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Research > Portfolio > Funded Research

Nisarg Shah, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of NanoEngineering, Jacobs School of Engineering, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA

Bridge Grant

Engineering Immune Tolerance in Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis

Supported by Michael and Melissa Weinbaum & The Attilio & Beverly Petrocelli Foundation


Layman's Statement: Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a debilitating disease that affects multiple joints and leads to progressive disability. The infiltration of hyperactive immune cells in the joint is thought to be a major contributor to the disease and manifests as characteristic pain and inflammation. The goal of our project is to develop biomaterials that promote localized immunomodulation by enhancing certain immune cell subsets that are inherently immunosuppressive. The biomaterials are delivered locally via an injection in one or more affected joints where they release immune cell-instructive cues. The direct modulation of immune cells in this manner is anticipated to generate a therapeutic response in other affected joints beyond the immediate site of administration. We expect that the project will yield important insights into the role of immune cells in PsA and the potential of biomaterials to guide the development of immunomodulatory therapies.