Micro-pharmacology: modeling the tissue barriers in drug delivery


Dr. Katarzyna (Kasia) Rejniak, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Abstract: Systemic chemotherapy is one of the main anticancer treatments used for most kinds of clinically diagnosed tumors. However, the efficacy of these drugs can be hampered by the physical attributes of the tumor tissue, such as irregular vasculature, specific cellular and ECM architecture, metabolic gradients, or non-uniform expression of the cell membrane receptors. This can prevent therapeutic agents to reach tumor cells in quantities sufficient to exert the desired effect. To examine ways to improve drug delivery on a cell-to- tissue scale (single-cell pharmacology), we developed the micropharamcology computational framework that helps to design optimal combination drug schedules, optimal drug properties, or investigate the development of drug-induced resistance.

Bio: Kasia gained her MSc degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Gdansk in Poland, and PhD degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, USA. She held postdoctoral positions at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute in Ohio, and University of Dundee in Scotland. She is currently Associate Member at the Integrated Mathematical Oncology Department at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida. Her main research interests involve use of computational and mathematical methods to study drug and metabolites delivery to tumor tissues, the impact of the tumor microenvironmenton on its response to therapies, and optimization of anti-cancer treatment schedules using histological data. She developed a suit of hybrid agent-based and fluid structure-interaction (microPKPD, MultiCell-LF, IBCell) models.

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