The Shea Lab works at the interface of regenerative medicine, biomaterials, and gene and drug delivery. The central theme for the various projects is creating synthetic environments which can be employed to molecularly dissect tissue formation or promote regeneration. Of particular emphasis in the lab is:
- Identifying the fundamental design parameters for delivery of gene therapy vectors from biomaterials. We investigate strategies based on either sustained release approach or surface immobilization (i.e., substrate mediated delivery). These design parameters provide a fundamental tool for numerous applications.
- Applying the controllable microenvironments to in vitro and in vivo models of tissue formation, including ovarian follicle maturation, nerve regeneration, and islet transplantation.
- Developing diagnostic assays for cancer research using the fundamental tools of gene delivery from biomaterials.