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Rui Kuai

Rui Kuai




Research Interests

Recent breakthroughs in discovering innovative immune signaling pathways and immunomodulators have created new opportunities to harness the power of the immune system for the treatment of different diseases, but the instability of therapeutic molecules and the presence of biological barriers at the tissue, cellular, and subcellular level can prevent them from accessing the therapeutic targets and therefore compromise the therapeutic efficacy. Furthermore, the off-target effect can also cause severe side effects. My lab is interested in working at the interface of pharmaceutical sciences and immunotherapy and developing innovative formulations to overcome the above challenges and fully unleash the power of immunotherapy. The major research areas include: (1) Develop innovative formulations that can overcome the drug instability and biological barriers; (2) Tune the spatiotemporal distribution of drug molecules at different levels (e.g., tissue, cellular, and subcellular level) and investigate its relationship with the host immunity; (3) Explore the use of formulations for the treatment of different diseases (e.g., cancer, infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases) and elucidate the mechanism of action.


Selected Publications

1. Levy O#Kuai R#, Siren EM#, Bhere D, Milton Y, Nissar N, Biasia MD, Heinelt M, Reeve B, Abdi R, Alturki M, Fallatah M, Almalik A, Alhansan AH, Shah K, Karp JM. Shattering barriers towards clinically meaningful mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) therapies. Science Advances, 2020; 6: eaba6884.

2. Kuai R#, Singh PB#, Sun X#, Xu C, Najafabadi AH, Scheetz L, Yuan W, Xu Y, Hong H, Keskin DB, Wu CJ, Jain R, Schwendeman A, Moon JJ. Robust anti-tumor T cell response with efficient intratumoral infiltration by nanodisc cancer immunotherapy. Advanced Therapeutics, 2020, (In press)

3. Park H#Kuai R#, Jeon JE, Seo Y, Jung Y, Moon JJ, Schwendeman A, Cho S. Dual effective high-density lipoprotein-mimicking substance P nanodiscs for enhanced therapeutic angiogenesis in diabetic hindlimb ischemia. Biomaterials, 2018, 161, 69-80.

4. Kuai R#, Yuan W#, Son S, Nam J, Xu Y, Fan Y, Schwendeman A, Moon JJ. Elimination of established tumors with nanodisc-based combination chemoimmunotherapy. Science Advances, 2018; 4: eaao1736.

5. Kuai R, Sun X, Yuan W, Ochyl LJ, Xu Y, Najafabadi AH, Scheetz L, Yu M, Balwani I, Schwendeman A, Moon JJ. Dual TLR agonist nanodiscs as a strong adjuvant system for vaccines and immunotherapy. Journal of Controlled Release, 2018, 282, 131-139.

6. Kuai R, Ochyl LJ, Bahjat KS, Schwendeman A, Moon JJ. Designer vaccine nanodiscs for personalized cancer immunotherapy. Nature Materials2017, 16 (4), 489-496.

7. Kuai R, Li D, Chen YE, Moon JJ, Schwendeman A. High-density lipoproteins: nature’s multifunctional nanoparticles. ACS Nano, 2016, 10 (3), 3015–3041.


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