Studying Immune Response to Improve Diagnosis of Disease
UTA bioengineering associate professor Justyn Jaworski is developing a multifaceted approach to studying immune response that has implications for diagnosing disease.
Jaworski and a team of four undergraduate and two graduate bioengineering students are working on a two-year project to develop a test for the presence of certain antibodies in human serum. Specifically, they are looking to quantify the number of antibodies present that can bind to certain sugars that result in diseases including IgA nephropathy, Crohn’s disease, and various cancers.
The National Institutes of Health-funded project could not only improve diagnostic capabilities for classifying patients, but could be crucial in understanding the immune response correlation with disease states.
Jaworski said the approach they are developing could lead to more effective diagnosis of distinct health conditions and offer a path to new technologies that could be used in tracking infectious disease.
“Our laboratory is perfectly matched to perform this research given our expertise in developing sensors and assays based on this well characterized liposome platform,” Jaworski said. “Having been at the forefront of discovering new tools for the fabrication, characterization, and study of such stimuli-responsive liposomes related to those outlined in this proposal, we are confident that the technical objectives set forth can be met successfully within our proposed time frame.”
Michael Cho, chair of the Bioengineering Department, said Jaworski’s research could carry implications across the medical analysis sector.
“With an increased need for antibody testing, we may find future adaptations of this work to be critical for examining exposure to viruses and assessing individual immune responses to vaccinations,” Cho said.
Jaworski joined the Bioengineering Department in January 2017. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and spent seven years at Hanyang University in Seoul prior to joining UTA.