Dr. Omid Veiseh Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Director of the Biotech Launch Pad at Rice University, where he leads a research program aimed at engineering next-generation treatments for a wide range of human diseases by leveraging the latest techniques in synthetic biology, immunoengineering, and materials science to develop innovative cell-based platforms for real-time production of biologics. He is also a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded Sigilon Therapeutics (Nasdaq:SGTX), Avenge Bio, Sentinel Bio, and Curada Bio. These companies collectively have attracted ~ $500M in private and public investment capital.
Dr. Veiseh received a dual Ph. D. in Materials Science & Engineering and Nanotechnology from the University of Washington. He completed his postdoctoral research with Prof. Robert Langer and Daniel G. Anderson at MIT and Harvard Medical School. Throughout his career, he has authored or co-authored more than 75 peer-reviewed publications, including those in Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Materials, Nature Medicine, and Natural Biomedical Engineering. He is an inventor of more than 40 pending or awarded patents.
Combining molecular engineering and multi-scale fabrication to innovate new biomaterials for medicine and biology
The Veiseh Lab utilizes multi-scaled (nano, micro, and macro) fabrication techniques, combined with molecule engineering and cellular and molecular biology, to develop functional platforms of implantable devices tailored for applications in immunology, regenerative medicine, and disease monitoring.
The role of implanted biomaterials and devices in modern medicine is rapidly expanding, but their efficacy is often compromised by host immune recognition and subsequent foreign body responses. Recent discoveries on physical properties (geometry, surface porosity, mechanical stiffness) and chemical properties (molecular surface engineering, reducing protein fouling, and biomolecule displays) that can modulate host immune responses are now creating new opportunities to innovate novel, long-term functioning implantable systems for a broad spectrum of clinical applications, including cell transplantation, localized controlled drug release, continuous sensing and monitoring of physiological conditions, and tissue regeneration.
While significant progress has been made, the clinical translation of these applications are still hindered by a lack of suitable biomaterials that can appropriately interact with the host immune system in a controlled and tailored manner. To achieve these goals, it will be necessary to:
- Expand our understanding of the interplay between materials properties and their influence on host immune responses,
- Based on discoveries, develop new materials with tailored properties to control host immune cell behavior, and
- Develop tools to non-invasively track cellular and biomolecular activity in vivo.