Guest Lecture: Natalie Artzi, PhD
“Biomaterials for delivering on the promise of immunotherapy”
November 17, 2023
Immunomodulatory therapies have advanced to clinical trials over the past decade for the treatment of a range of diseases and disorders, from cancer to diabetes to transplant rejection. However, the efficacy of these therapies remains limited, as challenges associated with off-target drug toxicity, poorly controlled drug pharmacokinetics, and an incomplete understanding of real-time therapy responses prevent effective therapeutic windows from being realized. Here, we highlight some of our work on the design, fabrication, and characterization of biomaterial-based delivery technologies for the controlled delivery of immunotherapies and for the non-invasive monitoring of their associated immune responses for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease. We show that the design of materials and their delivery context can influence therapeutic outcomes and alter the spatiotemporal characteristics of the incited immunomodulatory responses. By adroitly designing and utilizing our material delivery platforms, we can deliver immunotherapies with tailorable pharmacokinetics and enhanced efficiency to improve long-term therapeutic outcomes and tolerability and enable studying basic questions in immunobiology as we seek to generate a ‘living’ therapeutics.
Dr. Artzi is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is a Principal Research Scientist at MIT, Associate Faculty at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. She completed her postdoctoral studies at MIT focusing on studying tissue:biomaterial interactions and designing smart biomaterials for therapy and diagnosis applications.
Dr. Artzi is the recipient of multiple grants and awards, including the inaugural Kabiller Rising Star Award in Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine, the Acta Biomaterialia Silver Medal award, One Brave Idea award, Stepping Strong Innovator Award, Controlled Release Society Young Investigator Award, Mid-Career Award from the Society for Biomaterials, Bright Futures Prize, and the Massachusetts Life Science Center for women entrepreneurs. Dr. Artzi was recently inducted to the Controlled Release Society College of Fellows.
Currently, Dr. Artzi directs multiple research venues aiming to integrate science, engineering, and medicine to rationally design personalized materials to improve human health, and has co-founded a startup company, BioDevek, which develops the next-generation biomaterials to improve outcomes following internal surgeries.