RNA interference therapy co-opts a natural process by which cells modulate protein levels through microRNA. By delivering synthetic RNA sequences that mimic mircoRNA - directly into diseased cells - we can selectively silence disease-causing proteins.
Cellular heterogeneity within tumors drives resistance to personalized medicines. We are developing nanotechnology-enabled de-personalized approaches to chemotherapy that simultaneously target multiple types of cells within the complex tumor microenvironment.
Cancer cells exploit redundancy in cell signaling pathways to circumvent therapeutic inhibitors. We are developing nanotechnologies that preemptively block known fail-safe pathways in order to starve tumor cells of oncogene-addicted signaling.
Drugs that activate upon light exposure can improve the safety and tolerability of tissue-targeted drugs. We are designing organic and inorganic nanotechnologies that release drugs or intense heat energy in response to exposure to specific frequencies of laser light.
I am currently an NIH Ruth L Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT working the in the laboratory of Paula T Hammond in the Department of Chemical Engineering. I am housed in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research in Cambridge, MA. Please read more about our exciting work below!See More
A selection of our recent manuscripts.
Our work is conducted at MIT and Harvard/Dana-Farber; it is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
Paula T Hammond, PhD has been Erik’s postdoctoral advisor and mentor since 2012. She is Koch Professor of Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT and works closely with him on all current projects.
Michael B Yaffe, MD, PhD is Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at MIT. He works closely with Erik to develop synthetic lethal approaches to drugging DNA damage response using RNAi-based gene therapy.
Ronny I Drapkin, MD, PhD is Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, Principal Investigator in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Associate Pathologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is Co-mentor to Erik as part of his NIH Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellowship and works with him to develop synergistic drug therapies for advanced ovarian cancers.
Jeremiah A Johnson, PhD is Assistant Professor of Chemistry at MIT. Erik work closely with the Johnson Group to translate “bottle-brush” polymer nanotechnologies for photo-activated combination chemotherapy.
Joyce F Liu, MD, MPH is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and a practicing Gynecologic Oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She works with Erik to translate new RNA interference therapies through the use of patient-derived xenografts (PDX) mouse models. Joyce is also Co-mentor to Erik as part of his NIH Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellowship.