Research

Lee Laboratory at the College of Pharmacy, Ewha Womans University is focusing on the development of innovative strategies, aimed at targeted-modulating gut microbiome, apoptosis, and/or immune systems for the effective management of inflammation-related diseases, especially inflammatory bowel diseases, and cancer. Our translational biomedical research utilizes tools of pharmaceutics, nanotechnology, biomaterials, drug delivery, and biomacromolecules/tissue engineering to achieve our goals.

1) Modulating apoptosis with Nano/Biomedicine: Apoptosis is a physiological mechanism that eliminates excessive, damaged, or unwanted cells, playing a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis in multicellular organisms. The pathogenesis of various diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, autoimmune disorders, heart diseases, and infectious diseases such as AIDS is closely linked to aberrant apoptosis. To enhance apoptotic processes for cancer treatment or suppress the processes for anti-inflammation therapy, our lab focuses on the development of nano/biomedicine capable of modulating apoptosis effectively.

2) Improving Immunity with Nano/Biomedicine: Our immune system can detect and eliminate foreign pathogens by generating systemic immune responses. Developing a novel strategy that harnesses the potential of our immune system to sense and eradicate tumors could bring innovative changes to cancer therapy. Our lab is working on novel anti-cancer immunotherapy strategies based on nanomedicine/biomedicine, effectively manipulating the immune system and tumor cells to eliminate primary and metastatic tumors through educated immune responses. On the other hand, dysregulated immune responses are highly associated with various immune diseases. Thus, another goal of our research is to develop novel anti-inflammation immunotherapy strategies based on nanomedicine/biomedicine for effective management of immune system disorders.

3) Manipulating Microbiome with Nano/Biomedicine: Advances in genome sequencing technology, big data analysis, and bioinformatics have allowed us to extract meaningful insights from microbiome data. This has revealed that the gut microbiome plays a crucial role in immune tolerance, systemic immune responses, and the induction, development, severity, and treatment of various systemic diseases. Therefore, we seek to develop a novel strategy harnessing the tremendous potential of the gut microbiome to improve drug efficacy and/or directly manage diseases.