"The ultimate and ideal goal of drug therapy is to cure the disease without any toxic side effects. This is also my career commitment - to develop strategies for unmet medical needs in healthcare to improve patients' lives," said Dr. Wei Tao, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.
The key focus of Dr. Tao's study has been to develop novel platforms or strategies to make efficient deliveries of different types of therapeutic drugs (e.g., nucleic acid, small molecule drugs, peptides, proteins, etc.) to the place where they ought to be, and be released and effective at the right time. This would be the most efficient treatment and minimize the side effects of the drugs.
His passion and dedication to this research field were largely inspired by Prof. Omid C. Farokhzad at Harvard and Prof. Robert S. Langer at MIT, whose cutting-edge studies in drug delivery systems, biomaterials, nanotechnology, tissue engineering, and regeneration medicine have huge impacts on improving patient's lives and promoting social and economic progress. Similarly, the drug delivery technologies developed by Dr. Tao have the potential to solve the common problems of conventional pharmacological treatment (e.g., dispersive drug distribution, poor targeting efficacy, toxicity and side effects, etc.), which can finally promote medical technology revolution and improve the quality of patient's lives. At present, one major part of his research focuses on the development of novel delivery platforms for RNA therapeutics (such as siRNA, mRNA, etc.).
Dr. Tao believes that great research findings come after continuous dedication, patience, and accumulation. Therefore, he and his team will remain committed to the field of drug delivery, which is majorly based on new biomaterials, nanotechnology and nanomedicines for at least another decade.
"The technologies that my supervisors have developed formed the basis of many great biotech companies, through which I am deeply influenced. Hence, my ultimate goal is always to commercialize and industrialize the drug delivery technologies developed in my lab, so that they can be truly applied in the clinic and improve the health of patients with tumors, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and many other diseases," said Dr. Tao.