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Workshop / Seminar

Dept. of Chemistry Seminar

About the event

Speaker:  Gaurav Sahay, Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Oregon State University, OR 97729

Host: Dr. Anjali Sharma

Title:  The quest for next generation lipid nanoparticles for cell-specific delivery of mRNA.


The field of nanomedicine is moving from an age of renaissance towards industrial revolution, in part, due to the ability of lipid nanoparticles (LNP) to package and deliver antigenic mRNA against SARS-CoV2, leading to the development of a powerful vaccine against COVID. The next horizon for our field remains tissue/cell-specific mRNA delivery that can lead to treatment of several diseases. Our lab has worked extensively in LNP design, synthesis, structure, and its impact on intracellular delivery of mRNA. I will talk about our labs pursuit onto understanding the journey of an LNP-mRNA within the cellular interior. These fundamental insights led us to design nanoparticles that can deliver mRNA to different tissues for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, retinal degeneration, and as COVID-19 therapeutics. We have shown that novel peptide guided LNPs can deliver mRNA selectively in the retina of non-human primates. We have developed novel LNPs that target the lungs after inhalation or IV injection for gene delivery and editing. Evolution of a cell-selective carrier for mRNA delivery through approaches will be discussed. Such platform technologies with capability to precisely deliver cargo to manipulate cells, correct diseases, with minimal off-target effects, will transform modern medicine.


Gaurav Sahay is Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and co-Director for the Center of Innovative Drug Delivery and Imaging (CIDDI), at the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University. Dr. Sahay’s lab is developing novel nanotechnology-based platforms including lipid-based nanoparticles for effective delivery of messenger RNA therapeutics for treatment of cystic fibrosis, retinal degeneration and against SARS-CoV2. He has done pioneering work to dissect the intracellular transport essential for nucleic acid delivery to the cytosol and developed methods to overcome endosomal barriers. He has more than 65-peer-reviewed publications in top tier journals including Science Advances, Nature, Nature Communications, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Nanotechnology, Journal of Controlled Release, Nano Letters etc. He is the winner of a 2013 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Postdoctoral Fellow Award, the 2015 Controlled Release Society (CRS) T. Nagai Award, a 2016 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) New Investigator Award, a 2019 Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) Distinguished Faculty Senate Award for Collaboration, 2020 Phi Kappa Phi OSU Emerging Scholar Award and 2020 CMBE Young Innovator Award. He serves as the Principal Investigator on awards funded through the National Institutes of Health, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and biotech companies. He serves as a consultant and scientific advisory board member to several biotech and venture capital firms. He is co-founder of Enterx Bio and RNAvax Bio. He was the Chair of the 2018 NanoMedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium (NanoDDS, Portland, OR) and is standing section member for Innovative in NanoSystems and Nanotechnology. Dr. Sahay completed his postdoctoral research with Prof. Robert Langer and Prof. Daniel Anderson at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska Medical Center under the mentorship of Prof. Alexander Kabanov.