CENT Lab Group Picture, Front Row (L-R): Dr. Yasemin Yuksel Durmaz, Neha Kaushal, Eshita Khera, Dr. Yareli Rojas Aguirre, and Sibu Kuruvilla; Back Row (L-R): Jack Wang, Dr. Gopinath Tiruchinapally, Dr. Mohamed ElSayed, Ibrahim Youssef, and Omer Aydin.

Welcome to the Cellular Engineering & Nano-Therapeutics Laboratory (CENT LAB) web page. Our laboratory is located in the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Biomedical Engineering Building on the North campus of the University of Michigan. CENT LAB is part of the Department of the Biomedical Engineering and associated with the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Program, the Pharmaceutical Engineering Program, the UM Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences.

Our research program focuses on the development of bio-inspired drug delivery systems that enhance the therapeutic activity of the incorporated drug molecules while eliminating or minimizing their potential side effects. We follow two parallel approaches to achieve this goal. First, we aim to better understand the mechanism(s) of transport of small molecules, macromolecules, and polymeric drug delivery systems across epithelial and endothelial barriers under normal and pathological conditions. Second, we rationally design and synthesize novel polymeric carriers that can effectively exploit established transport mechanisms to permeate across different epithelial and endothelial barriers encountered within the body to selectively deliver their therapeutic cargo to the diseased tissues with cellular and sub-cellular accuracy. We utilize an interdisciplinary research approach combining molecular engineering, synthetic polymer chemistry, and cellular and molecular biology. Our ultimate goal is to translate our research findings into diagnostic and therapeutic tools for early detection and treatment of life-threatening diseases.

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