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Principal Investigator

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Natalie Artzi is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is a Principal Research Scientist at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT, Associate Faculty of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Head of Structural Nanomedicine at Mass General Brigham's Gene and Cell Therapy Institute (GCTI), and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Leveraging material science, chemistry, imaging, and biology, Dr. Artzi’s laboratory is dedicated to designing smart biomaterial platforms and medical devices to improve human health.

Trained as a chemical engineer at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) and MIT, Dr. Artzi pioneered basic understanding of the contextual performance of biomaterials under different environments and pathological states, and concepts learned have changed the way we view materials. Materials and devices are designed to be tissue responsive, that is, to sense and respond to specific cues in the tissue microenvironment that are altered in the face of disease. Her multidisciplinary team works on developing materials for diagnosis and therapy, including the engineering of libraries of nanoparticles for targeted gene therapy, and exploits the toolkit available for material scientists to create multifaceted medical devices. 

Dr. Artzi has received many honors including the Clemson Award for Applied Research, the inaugural Kabiller Rising Star Award in Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine, the Acta Biomaterialia Silver Medal, One Brave Idea Award, Stepping Strong Innovator Award, Mid-Career Award from the Society for Biomaterials, Controlled Release Society Young Investigator Award, Bright Futures Prize, and the Massachusetts Life Science Center for women entrepreneurs. Dr. Artzi’s passion lies in medical innovation and as a biomedical researcher, professor, and entrepreneur, she works to translate new technologies to the clinic.

The Team

Instructors

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Alexander Cryer, PhD

"Nanotechnology and drug delivery"

Alex is an instructor in cancer immunoengineering. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry (2014) and Masters in Biomedical Research (2015) prior to obtaining a Ph.D. from Imperial College London, U.K. (2019), focused on the development of nanoparticle drug delivery systems for cancer therapy. His current work centralizes around engineering therapeutic cancer vaccines and improving immunotherapy delivery using biomaterials and nanotechnology.  

Postdoctoral fellows

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Núria Puigmal Domínguez, PhD

"Immunoengineering and biomaterials"

Núria received her PhD in Bioengineering at the Institut Químic de Sarrià (IQS). She received her B.S. in Biotechnology from the University of Girona and completed her Master’s in Bioengineering at IQS. Her PhD research has been focused on development of nanoparticles for local delivery to the skin and DNA/RNA vaccines. Currently, she is working on microneedle fabrication and drug delivery. 

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Maria Poley, PhD

"Nanotechnology and drug delivery"

Maria received her B.Sc. in Biochemical Engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. In July 2022, she received her Ph.D. from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Her research focus was nanotechnology distribution in the female reproductive system and brain-targeted drug delivery to treat Parkinson’s Disease.

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Eliz Amar-Lewis, PhD

"Biomaterials and drug delivery"

Eliz Amar-Lewis is a postdoctoral research fellow in drug delivery, gene therapy and biomaterials. She received her B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Ben-Gurion University (BGU) and completed her M.Sc. and Ph.D at BGU under the supervision of Prof. Joseph Kost. In her research she studied polysaccharides for the delivery of nucleic acids (siRNA and pDNA) as a platform for cancer gene therapy and the application of therapeutic ultrasound as a means to overcome delivery barriers. In addition, studied and developed biomaterials for controlled release of drugs for several therapeutic applications. Her current focus is on the development of biomaterials-based nanoparticles for gene editing applications and cancer immunotherapy.

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Tengyu He, PhD

"Nanomedicine and cancer immunotherapy"

Tengyu is a postdoctoral research fellow in nanomedicine for cancer immunotherapy. He received his Master of Science in Materials Science from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China (2018) and Ph.D. in Materials Science from University of California San Diego, US (2023). His research centers on innovating nanomaterials and self-assembling peptides-based compounds for cancer immunotherapy. He currently focuses on amplifying cancer immunotherapies with immunogenic tumor cell death.

Graduate Students

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Michelle Dion

"Nanotechnology and drug delivery"

Michelle is a PhD student in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Medical Engineering and Medical Physics program, concentrating in Biological Engineering. Her research interests are in nanotechnology, immune engineering, and drug delivery. Prior to graduate school, she worked at Genentech developing long-acting ocular drug delivery technologies and applying antibody engineering techniques for the optimization of ocular therapeutics. She received her S.B. in Chemical-Biological Engineering from MIT. As an undergraduate, Michelle worked in Ron Weiss’s lab as a member of the iGEM team, applying synthetic biology techniques to develop self-assembling mammalian tissues.

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Berta Vall Brossa

"Biomaterials and drug delivery"
Berta is a Bioengineering Master's student from Institut Químic de Sarrià, Barcelona. She holds a B.S in Chemistry and a BBA. Her multidisciplinary background equips her with a holistic approach to problem-solving, and she is committed to contributing to groundbreaking advancements in healthcare transforming innovative ideas into real-world solutions. Berta is passionately involved in designing biomaterials and currently she is working in the development of a drug delivery platform for the treatment of lung cancer.

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Romy El Khoury


"Nanotechnology and immunoengineering"

Romy is a Master’s student enrolled in a dual degree program, pursuing a Masters in Biomedical Engineering (BME Paris) and a degree in Digital Data Engineering (ISEP) in Paris, France. With a background in biomedical sciences from her undergraduate studies and a focus on Molecular & Cellular Biotherapies from her Masters, Romy's academic journey reflects her commitment to interdisciplinary learning, blending engineering principles with biomedical applications. Her current work focuses on the design and development of nanomaterials for immune modulation.

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William Sawyer

William is a Master’s student studying Material Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. He previously graduated from Florida with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Chemistry. He has a passion for the fundamentals of engineering, chemistry, and medicine, which led him to work as a clinical research associate at Moffitt Cancer Center working with CAR-T cells and pilot studies on novel cell-culture platforms. Currently, he is working on the development of lipid nanoparticles as vehicles for drug delivery for various diseases. William’s interests revolve around his central goal of using Material Science and Engineering as a convergence point for the fields of engineering, chemistry, and medicine.

Research Assistant

Andrea Li

Undergraduates 

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Juan Carlos Oliva Estrada

Carlos is a senior undergraduate student majoring in Biotechnology Engineering, with interest in genetic diseases, gene therapy, and personalized medicine. Since the beginning of his studies at Tec de Monterrey, Carlos has devoted himself to translating basic scientific knowledge into practical tools, with potential for clinical applications. He previously worked in laboratories focused on plant tissue and cell culture techniques, bioprocess analysis, and molecular biology. Carlos also completed a research internship in the International Laboratory for Human Genome Research (LIIGH) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where he focused on assessing the oncogenic potential of a genetic variant as a prospect for induction and development of acral lentiginous melanoma. Currently, his focus is on the synthesis of nanoparticles for the plasmid and mRNA delivery for cancer immunotherapy and treatment for genetic vascular disorders. 

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Silvia Vargas Franyuti

Silvia is an undergraduate student in the Nanotechnology Engineering program at Tecnológico de Monterrey. Her main interests are nanomedicine, drug delivery, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Throughout her academic career, she has participated in projects related to medicine, including the proposal of an electrochemical sensor for glucose detection based on the green synthesis of copper oxide nanocubes. She was also part of the Institute for Obesity Research where she worked with cardiac hypertrophy models for the development of new therapies to reduce cardiovascular diseases. She organized the first national congress of Nanotechnology and Sciences at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

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Leonardo de la Parra Soto

Leonardo is a senior undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Biotechnology Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey. His current work focuses on the development of biomaterials to enhance drug delivery for immunotherapeutic applications, specifically geared towards cancer treatment. He is a member of the FEMSA Biotechnology Center at Tec, where he worked with cellular models to determine the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of endemic fruits. Leonardo is currently contributing to a scientific review about the therapeutic potential of Basidiomycota mushrooms. His interests include cancer research, immunotherapy, neuroscience, and anti-aging technologies.

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Livani Diaz Mercado


Livani is a senior undergraduate student in the Biotechnology Engeneering program at Tecnológico de Monterrey. Her main interests in research are the development of drugs and innovating technologies that contribute to the development and well-being of people.  Specifically, she is interested in cancer therapy and neuroscience. During her career, she has participated in research projects such as iGem, in which she and her team developed different strategies to come up with better ways to treat diabetes. She also helped to create informative course content for schools to ignite interest about biotechnology in kids. She has experience with cell cultures, enzyme production, and oncology research. Currently at the Wyss Institute, she is developing nanoparticles to improve administration of brain therapy drugs.

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Santiago Barragán Hernández

Santiago is a senior undergraduate student in the Nanotechnology Engineering program at the Tecnológico de Monterrey. Throughout his academic career, his interests in the healthcare field have led him to work on various projects such as the design of photonic sensors, as well as preparation and analysis of co-crystals. In particular, his interest in controlled drug delivery has led him to work as a research student at the National Institute of Nanotechnology in Mexico. His work there was based on the design of nanosystems using quantum dots, and allowed him to participate in both national and international conferences. Currently, he is working in the Artzi Lab on the development of drug delivery platforms for chemotherapy.

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Beatriz Nicolas Ruiz

Beatriz is an undergraduate student in the Biotechnology Engineering program at Tecnológico de Monterrey. She is passionate about innovative medical research and is actively involved with the FEMSA Biotechnology Center at Tecnológico de Monterrey. There, she participates in projects related to genetic engineering and immunology, studying neutrophil characteristics for potential applications in cell therapy. Her interests include immunotherapy, synthetic biology, drug delivery, and biomedicine.

 

Alumni

Pere Dosta Pons, PhD
Fiona Freeman, PhD
Gonzalo Munoz Taboada, PhD
Daniel Dahis, PhD

Kalaumari Mayoral Pe
ña
Yi Zhang, PhD
Kui Wang, PhD
Sara Strecker, PhD
Shimon Unterman, PhD
Shani Elgin, Bs
Lyndon Charles, PhD
Christina Arnold, PhD
Hyun Seok Song, PhD
Nuria Oliva, PhD
João Conde, PhD
María Alejandra Hernández Mustieles
Nelly Andrews Interiano
Gabriela Garcia De Leon Carmona
Claudia Andrea Morales Garay
Michaela Nicole Pra
do Larrea

Ana Sofia Kay Carrasco Brito
Alejandro A. Espinosa Perez
Diana Michelle Ocampo Alvarado
Natalia Ramírez
Diane Cruz Manjarrez
Kristen Alexandra Rodrigues
Nir Margalit
Mariana Atilano
Ana Paula Cosme Lozano
Cynthia Ramírez Rodríguez
Orlando González Ortiz
Pau Hurtado Niubò

Alma Lorena Rodríguez Curiel
Mariana Alonso Riquelme
Cristobal Riojas Javelly
Triana Mayra Sánchez Huerta
Diego Fernando Ruiz Aguilar
Oscar Yael Perez Soria

 

© 2023 by Artzi Research Group

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