Academic Profile : Faculty

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Asst Prof Dang Thuy Tram
Assistant Professor, School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
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Assistant Professor DANG Thuy Tram joined the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering in January 2016. Assistant Prof. Dang received her bachelor degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and her PhD degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in Chemical Engineering. She also conducted her postdoctoral training as a Controlled Release Society fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Prof Dang is currently an Associate Editor of Drug Delivery and Translational Research (Springer), the official journal of the Controlled Release Society.
Assistant Prof. Dang’s multidisciplinary research interests span the fields of biomaterials, drug delivery and cell-based therapeutics. Our lab aims to integrate fundamental understanding of cellular and molecular microenvironment with engineering advances in the design of biocompatible materials, biologically responsive drug delivery and microfabricated cell-based systems to develop more effective treatments for diabetes and wound healing.

Our current research activities center on the following three areas

1. Host immune response to polymeric biomaterials
We seek to understand the influence of materials’ physical and chemical properties on their interaction with the surrounding cellular microenvironment in the host response to polymeric biomaterials. Our long term goal is utilize this knowledge in rational design of biomaterial surfaces to promote successful clinical integration of implanted medical devices, drug delivery systems and tissue-engineered scaffolds. In addition, we also study the immunogenicity of degradable polymeric biomaterials to predict their long-term performance in non-medical biological systems and evaluate their potential applications in cosmetic or food industries.

2. Biologically responsive drug delivery systems
We are interested in designing novel drug delivery systems that harness altered biochemical signals in pathological states to program the release of therapeutics for effective restoration of physiological balance.

3. Modular programming of pancreatic micro-tissues
Therapeutic cells, such as pancreatic islets for diabetes treatment, often suffer from decreased viability and function when transplanted into the body of recipients due to the absence of supporting blood vessels. Our team seeks to overcome this limitation by re-programming the pancreatic islets’ modular micro-structures to optimize their cellular configuration for enhanced oxygen and nutrient transports.
 
  • Additive manufacturing of advanced microtissue-encapsulating devices for cellular therapy
  • Evaluation of a dual-responsive protease-triggered drug delivery system for management of inflammatory diseases
  • Protease-based identification of biomaterial candidates to modulate immuno-stimulation for vaccine applications
  • Smart polymeric dressing for inflammation-triggered drug delivery in chronic wounds