Approximately 25% of all new drugs approved by the American Food and Drug Administration are proteins. Also, the use of DNA as a drug, i.e., gene therapy, is making a strong comeback and holds promise for the treatment of many diseases. Unfortunately, proteins and DNA both possess a certain number of intrinsic shortcomings related to the structure and chemistry that limit their efficacy as drugs.
My research program takes a translational approach to medical research and exploits innovations in (bio)-chemistry and material science as tools for optimizing therapies for prominent diseases. In a first project, we seek to reduce allergic responses towards a protein drug used in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In a second project, we seek to improve the efficiency with which we can deliver small DNA drugs to prostate cancer cells, and consequently make them more sensitive to chemotherapy. In the last project, we seek to improve the treatment of bacterial infections with a long acting and stabilized antimicrobial agent. Overall, our research program develops better therapies that will improve the quality of life of the population of Quebec/Canada and to reduce the financial burden of healthcare on society.