Steinbach Laboratory

Research Interests and Focus

My background, comprised of both Materials Science Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, provides me with the versatile experience to design and develop drug/gene delivery vehicles and biomaterials for physiologically difficult-to-deliver-to microenvironments. My long-term goals are to create drug and gene delivery vehicles that provide more efficacious prophylactics/treatments for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including acute and chronic (latent) infections. In addition to developing better vehicles that specifically target viruses and host cells, significant advancements can be made to rationally design delivery platforms targeted to the unique microenvironments where infection, latency, and reactivation occur. Gene and drug delivery vehicles, especially those suitable for delivery to the peripheral and central nervous systems (PNS/CNS) ‒ sites of HSV latency ‒ are still in the nascent stages of development. Similarly, the development of next-generation microbicides, offers burgeoning opportunities to create biomaterial combinations that can adapt to the acidic and mucosal intravaginal environment to provide multipurpose (contraceptive and viral) prevention modalities. Beyond these core research goals, I am excited to pursue collaborations involving the development of novel delivery systems for a wide range of pathologies including: cancer progression, virus infection, and delivery to generally challenging physiological environments.