Derfogail Delcassian is an assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering. She brings a new research area to the Bioengineering Department– precisely designed chemical tools in combination with 3D printing and materials– to controllably deliver signals which direct immune cell behavior. Her proposed research has high translational potential for treatment of diabetes, cancer and other diseases. She received her Ph.D. in the Department of Materials, Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College London. .
In her graduate research, she focused on using polymer chemistry to create organized inorganic nanoparticle protein binding arrays that were used to stimulate immune cells, providing the first evidence of nanoscale inter-ligand spacing stimulation requirements in human immune cells. She later developed new lipid and polymer nanoparticles to deliver mRNA for transient protein expression, applied to cancer vaccination and therapeutic protein expression in vivo, among other cutting-edge projects.