DEBRA Ireland researcher, Dr. Wenxin Wang, was recently in the limelight, thanks to a very high profile scientific publication in one of the scientfic ‘Nature’ journals. The Nature journals are the stuff of dreams for all scientists across the world and Wenxin was thrilled to have his work feature in one of them. The published article outlines a new and exciting method of making polymers (substances made up of multiple small units) and received a lot of attention around the world. Among other things, the new polymers can act as delivery vehicles for DNA and may be a valuable tool in the group’s efforts to develop a gene therapy for the recessive dystrophic form of EB. See here for the Irish Times article on the breakthrough.
It’s been a good year for Wenxin’s team. Earlier this year, they were awarded over a quarter of a million in funding from Science Foundation Ireland, to progress their EB gene therapy research. Naturally, we are just as delighted as they are!
In Wenxin’s own words….
“The versatility of our synthesis process could allow us to tailor polymer properties, such as structure, functionality, strength, size, density and degradation — with previously unimaginable ease. We are currently investigating the use of these new materials for biomedical applications such as drug/gene delivery (for RDEB), cross linkable hydrogel materials (for wound healing) and skin adhesives. However, in reality this synthesis method also could be used for a wide range of materials outside the biomedical field.”