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Current Research

The intersection of chemical biology and nanotechnology offers vast opportunities to improve our understanding and treatment of human disease. The Finbloom lab applies design principles found in nature to create new classes of bioinspired nanomaterials to solve intractable biomedical problems. Some of the applications of our research include studying and treating antibiotic resistant bacterial infections and improving the oral delivery of probiotics to treat gastrointestinal disorders.

Biointerfacing Nanoparticle Drug Carriers to Treat Biofilm Infections


Bacterial biofilms are dynamic and heterogeneous bacterial communities, containing dense biological hydrogels of polysaccharides, DNA, and proteins. These biofilms limit antibiotic penetration and can lead to 1000x drug resistance.  We are taking inspiration from natural systems to design nanoparticles that interface with the biomolecular components of biofilms and guide antibiotic delivery to bacterial regions of interest. This approach will aid in our understanding of biofilm microenvironments and develop next generation nanotherapeutics for the clinic. 

Research Prior to UBC

Antimicrobial Codelivery with Polyelectrolyte Nanocomplexes

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As a postdoc in the lab of Prof. Tejal Desai at UCSF, Joel developed a new class of polyelectrolyte nanocomplex drug carrier to deliver combinations of synergistic antimicrobials. These drug carriers eradicated resistant bacterial biofilms and treated cystic fibrosis lung infections in mice. A central focus of this project was engineering the drug carrier biointerface to overcome biological barriers to drug delivery.

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