Selected research activities
In 2017 and through her affiliation in University of Maryland, Prof. Muro was awarded a $1.5 million, 4-year R01 grant from the U.S. National Institute of Health for the project entitled “Targeted replacement of defective lysosomal enzymes in the lung and brain”, which aims to design new nanomedicine approaches to treat lysosomal disorders, a group of inherited and fatal conditions whose treatment remains largely unresolved.
She was also awarded a Maryland Innovation Initiative award from State of Maryland Technology Development Corporation, to develop a new fusion-enzyme therapeutic to treat types A-B Niemann-Pick disease, and she secured a Collaborative Research Agreement with Genisphere LLC, a nano-bio-technology company based on Pennsylvania, to advance a new 3DNA-based drug-carrier platform for diverse therapeutic applications.
Prof. Muro’s Maryland group published 7 articles in 2017, among them a highly innovative work (Kim et al., Biomaterials. 2017 Dec;147:14-25) describing for the first time the combination of targeting molecules and anti-phagocytic elements on the surface of drug nanocarriers, which significantly enhanced the specific tissue uptake of these therapeutic devices in preclinical animal models.
Two of Prof. Muro’s U.S. patents, filed through University of Pennsylvania, were granted in 2017 (“Targeted nanocarriers for intracellular drug delivery” and “Targeted protein replacement for the treatment of lysosomal storage disorders”).
She was also an invited speaker in the Frontiers in CNS Drug Delivery Symposium held in Berlin (Germany) and the Gordon Research Conference on Lysosomal Diseases held in Barga (Italy), and after joining ICREA and her host institution, IBEC, Prof. Muro participated as a keynote speaker in the International NanoBio&Med Conference 2017, where she spoke of “Receptor-targeted drug delivery: biological mechanisms and applications”.