BME Special Engagement Seminar – Rogjun Chen, PhD
We welcome Professor Rongjun Chen for a special virtual engagement seminar. Dr. Chen is part of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London.
Virus-mimicking nanostructures for enhanced RNA delivery and long-term thermostability
Abstract: Research into RNA-based vaccines and biotherapeutics is currently among the most promising to address some of the world’s prolific diseases and illnesses, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, it remains a major hurdle to achieving efficient RNA delivery and non-cold chain storage. This talk will cover our efforts on development of novel virus-mimicking nanostructures to address those challenges together. The biomimetic nanostructures demonstrated efficient in vitro and in vivo intracellular delivery of RNA. The RNA vaccine nanoformulations enabled excellent immunogenicity in vivo. Furthermore, the novel nanoformulations enabled long-term stable storage of RNA at room and tropical temperatures, eliminating the need for cold or cryogenic storage. This new technology represents a promising delivery platform suitable for large scale production and provides a solution to clinical translation and thermostable storage of RNA vaccines and biotherapeutics.
Bio: Rongjun Chen obtained his PhD degree and did his postdoctoral work in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. He is Currently Professor of Biomaterials Engineering and Head of the Biomaterials and Nanomedicine Laboratory in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. His research focuses on design, synthesis and manufacturing of polymers, lipids and bio-inspired nanoparticles for targeted delivery of active pharmaceutical agents. He has developed a translational research programme on targeted nanomedicine, vaccine formulation, cell and gene therapy. His research work has been recognised by various awards including the IChemE Global Team Award in 2021, Imperial College President’s Award for Outstanding Research Team in 2021, and highly commended for IChemE Global Biotechnology Award in 2018. He is an Editor for Chemical Engineering Journal.