The main goal of my current project is development of the SYMBA (Synthetic Molecular Binding Agent) technology, in collaboration with professor Christian Schafmeister (Department of Chemistry, ThirdLaw Technologies, LLC), funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). This is a very interesting and entirely novel project because SYMBA represents unique “artificial immune system” that can be used in the rapid, point of care diagnostic tools, biological agent sensors (such as Lateral Flow-based and Surface Acoustic Wave-based devices) and a new class of therapeutics. Since this project involves highly pathogenic viruses and bacteria, all experiments are performed in the Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) facility which has state-of-the-art equipment. I’m also a manager of the BSL-3 facility.
Second area of my work is translational research focused on development of drugs based on the selected bacterial metabolites from the human gut microbiome to treat chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. I’m co-inventor, co-owner, and Chief Development Officer (CDO) of SFA Therapeutics Inc., which is a biopharmaceutical company, Temple University spin-out of this research. In particular, I designed formulations of oral drugs to treat (1) psoriasis (which is currently in the multicenter Phase 1b clinical trial) and (2) Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), with or without fibrosis (clinical protocol has been approved by FDA, and Phase 1a clinical trial will start in May 2023).