Omid Veisehâ€™s laboratory utilizes advanced nano, micro, and macro fabrication techniques in combination with molecular engineering and cellular and molecular biology, to develop platforms of implantable devices tailored for in vivo chemical sensing and delivery of therapeutics. The Veiseh laboratory is particularly interested in developing technologies for the improved management of cancer, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.
New research in Veisehâ€™s laboratory, which is supported by a $2 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to improve the diagnosis and therapy of pediatric brain tumors. By combining the latest innovations in nanotechnology, chemical engineering, high-throughput synthesis and screening methods, molecular biology, and pediatric brain tumor oncology, his lab can develop a new modality for the treatment of pediatric brain tumors. In the long run, the development of this technology would not only benefit pediatric brain tumor patients, but could also translate towards other debilitating diseases of the central nervous system.
Prior to joining Rice, Veiseh worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in Professors Robert Langer and Daniel Anderson laboratories at MIT and Harvard Medical School. Through grants from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Department of Defense, Veiseh worked to develop a bioartificial pancreas for the treatment of patients afflicted with Type 1 Diabetes. Veiseh focused on developing immune modulatory biomaterials for cell-based therapy applications. This included a high-throughput pipeline for the synthesis and evaluation of more than 1,000 material formulations and prototype devices that are able to resist foreign body reactions. These formulations were used to develop novel, porous, alginate hydrogels with tuned geometries for enhanced biocompatibility and sustainability. The results lay the groundwork for transplanted cells encapsulated inside the alginate spheres to treat type 1 diabetes.
Veisehâ€™s discoveries at MIT helped catalyze the launch of a new biotechnology company, Sigilon, a company he co-founded in Cambridge, Mass. that is committed to commercializing and translating these discoveries to the clinic. Veiseh has authored, or co-authored more than 45 peer-reviewed publications, including those in Nature Biotechnology, Nature Materials, Nature Medicine, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, and is an inventor on 12 pending or awarded patents, three of which have been licensed for commercialization with three separate biotechnology companies. Veiseh was recently named one of MedTech Boston's 40 Under 40 Healthcare Innovators for 2017.
Veiseh holds a dual Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering and Nanotechnology from the University of Washington. His research under Miqin Zhang, the Kyocera Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, was focused on the development of magnetic nanotechnologies for multimodality molecular imaging, and targeted drug delivery of nucleic acid based therapies.
Combining molecular engineering and multi-scale fabrication to innovate new biomaterials for medicine and biologyÂ Â
The Veiseh Lab utilizes multi-scaled (nano, micro, and macro) fabrication techniques, combined with molecule engineering and cellular and molecular biology, to develop functional platforms of implantable devices tailored for applications in immunology, regenerative medicine, and disease monitoring.Â
The role of implanted biomaterials and devices in modern medicine is rapidly expanding, but their efficacy is often compromised by host immune recognition and subsequent foreign body responses. Recent discoveries on physical properties (geometry, surface porosity, mechanical stiffness) and chemical properties (molecular surface engineering, reducing protein fouling, and biomolecule displays) that can modulate host immune responses are now creating new opportunities to innovate novel, long-term functioning implantable systems for a broad spectrum of clinical applications, including cell transplantation, localized controlled drug release, continuous sensing and monitoring of physiological conditions, and tissue regeneration.
While significant progress has been made, the clinical translation of these applications are still hindered by a lack of suitable biomaterials that can appropriately interact with the host immune system in a controlled and tailored manner. To achieve these goals, it will be necessary to: