NWO ENW-XS grant for Dr. Mahdiyeh Nouri Goushki

News - 05 December 2022 - Communication ChemE

Why do we need better-engineered immune cells and tumor models? T-cell therapy, which deals with engineering immune (T-)cells to attack cancer cells, has shown great promise in treating blood cancers. T-cell therapy, however, has only been modestly successful in treating solid tumors originating from either soft (e.g., breast) or hard (e.g., bone) tissues. This is because the mechanical properties of cancer tissues affect T-cells’ numbers and function, which is generally neglected in contemporary research regarding T-cell therapy.

"NWO ENW-XS grant will allow me to continue the research direction I have established in biomaterials and tissue engineering and take up new challenges in engineering (micro)scaffolds with controlled mechanical stiffness to modulate T-cells functions in hard (e.g., bone) and soft (e.g., breast) cancerous tissue." 

The effects of scaffold stiffness on T-cells functionality can be translated in the future to stimulate targeted T-cells in such a way to generate more tailored, specific and effective T-cell products against tumor cells  for better therapeutic outcome.

Dr. Mahdiyeh Nouri Goushki, a Post-doctoral researcher at “Living soft materials lab” of Dr. P. Boukany, joined the Chemical Engineering department in March 2021. Her current research focuses on developing 3D-printed tumor models to study cancer invasion and metastasis under physiological conditions. She got her PhD from the Biomechanical Engineering Department of TUDelft, where she fabricated surface nano-patterned bone implants to stimulate bone regeneration and modulate inflammatory immune responses. She recently received NWO ENW-XS grant on “3d-Printing meets T-cells (T-PRINT)”. This interdisciplinarity project will be performed between the Chemical engineering of TUDelft and the Oncology department of Erasmus medical center.