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Omar Banda investigates therapeutic applications of novel nanoparticle delivery systems for the treatment of Fanconi Anemia.
Dr. Banda received his BS in Cell Biology and Biochemistry from Rice University, where he investigated the use of synthetic materials to mimic the bone marrow niche. He received his PhD as a Biomedical Engineer from the University of Delaware, where he developed a platform to measure cell-generated forces and their impact on intracellular signaling. He now combines his cellular engineering and material science background with state-of-the-art molecular biology research techniques at CHOP to fuel his research efforts.
Dr. Banda's research is focused on the development of in vivo therapeutics to achieve functional recovery of the Fanconi Anemia (FA) DNA repair pathway in patients with FA. The disease emerges primarily as the result of hematopoietic stem cell dysfunction and leads to childhood anemia and bone marrow failure. Current limitations in the treatment of FA include reaching those sensitive stem cells in their native bone marrow environment and correcting them in a meaningful way.
To overcome these limitations, he is exploring the use of novel lentivectors and lipid nanoparticles as therapeutic cargo delivery systems for gene therapy, affording efficient access to the bone marrow stem cells and allowing them to deliver lifesaving enzymes to the cells that need them most.