Dr Amirali Popat

University of Queensland
Research Field: Nanomedicine

1.4 million people in USA, 230,000 Canadians and around 75,000 Australians with an annual net disease burden of approx. $3 billion on Australian economy. A key challenge in current treatment for IBD is achieving localised delivery of drugs and costly biologics, reducing effective systemic dose and side effects associated with non-targeted therapy. This is difficult especially with systemically delivered biologics as oral protein formulations for IBD are non-existent because the harsh environment in the gastrointestinal tract degrades the therapeutic payload before it reaches the site of inflammation.
The side effect profile of systemic therapy can be quite toxic, and despite the introduction of biologic agents, which have greatly increased the cost of therapy, side effects remain a considerable hurdle. Addressing the practical challenges of oral delivery of sensitive protein payloads to the colon without denaturing under the harsh conditions of stomach, my research is developing fundamental knowledge and methods for fabrication of programmable nanoparticles with bio-responsive release properties. This proof-of-concept study with intestinally active therapeutic proteinscan be generalised to many potentially therapeutic proteins and small molecules for better treatment of Diabetes, IBD and Colorectal cancer.