Research That Tackles Human Disease

Currently under way at PVLSI are studies evaluating a variety of human diseases through multiple scientific disciplines. Some of our recent accomplishments include:

  • Engineering a system with a genetic on/off switch to deliver anticancer drugs directly into solid tumors and control when the drug is released
  • Using polymers as a tool to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic drugs while decreasing the drugs' toxicity to healthy cells
  • Identifying an enzyme that may be a good drug target to treat obesity and insulin resistance
  • Studying the TGF family of growth factors and learning that the proteins may have a key regulatory function that could impact everything from the development of fat tissue to reproductive disorders

By forming research teams that include both bench scientists and clinicians, our faculty can look at diseases such as breast cancer and diabetes in a new way-expanding the possibility for the development of novel treatments.

It has become increasingly evident that the way to answer questions raised in life science research may be to look beyond that one discipline to other fields that may offer a unique viewpoint on human disease. In this regard, the Institute enjoys the best of all worlds. We are an independent nonprofit research center with access to a deep well of expertise and resources available through our founders, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Baystate Medical Center. Our research teams can draw on faculty in many different programs, ranging from nanotechnology and engineering to polymer and veterinary sciences.