Biomedical Engineering Case Western Reserve University
Abstract: Sizing and shaping of nanostructured features with temporal and spatial control is a key opportunity to produce the next-generation of higher-performing products with diverse applications in medicine. Nanoscale self-assembly is a technique that Nature masters with atomic precision; genetic programming provides the highest achievable reproducibility. Therefore we turned toward the study and application of Nature’s nanomaterials, specifically the structures formed by plant viruses. Plant viruses come in many shapes and sizes but most species form highly uniform structures. The nanomanufacturing of plant virus-based biomaterials is highly scalable and economic through molecular farming in plants. Viruses have naturally evolved to deliver cargos to specific cells and tissues; and the medical research thrust in my laboratory is aimed at understanding these natural properties for effectively tailoring tissue-specificity for applications in molecular imaging and therapeutic interventions. In this presentation, I will discuss our recent efforts focused at shaping and engineering plant virus-based carriers for applications in molecular magnetic resonance imaging as well as drug delivery and immunotherapeutic approaches targeting oncological and cardiovascular diseases.
Biography: Dr. Steinmetz is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, where she is leading a research laboratory interfacing of bio-inspired, molecular engineering approaches with medical research, technology development, and materials science. Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of the research, Dr. Steinmetz holds secondary appointments and is a trainer in Radiology, Materials Science and Engineering, and Macromolecular Science and Engineering, Pathology, Pharmacology, Molecular Virology. Dr. Steinmetz trained at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK (PhD in Bionanotechnology), and RWTH-Aachen University in Germany (Masters in Molecular Biotechnology). Dr. Steinmetz was named a Crain’s Cleveland Business 40 under 40 honoree (2014); in 2011, Dr. Steinmetz was named Mt. Sinai Scholar, she is a 2009 recipient of the NIH/NIBIB Pathway to Independence Grant (K99/R00), a previous American Heart Association Post-doctoral Fellow, (2008-2009) and former Marie Curie Early Stage Training Fellow (2004-2007). Dr. Steinmetz serves on the Editorial Board of Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) on Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology; she serves on the Advisory Editorial Board for the ACS journal Molecular Pharmaceutics. Dr. Steinmetz has chaired symposia at ACS and MRS; she is the Session Chair for the Protein and Viral Nanoparticle Track at FNANO and the Co-Chair of the Gordon Conference of Physical Virology (2015). Dr. Steinmetz has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, reviews, and book chapters; she has authored and edited books on Virus-based nanotechnology. Research in the Steinmetz Lab is funded through grants from federal agencies, National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and private foundations, including Susan G. Komen Foundation and American Heart Association.