Irene de Lazaro del Rey, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
New York University, Tandon School of Engineering
Dr. de Lazaro will present her latest research results in three different yet related areas. A main focus of her work lies int the area of in vivo cell reprogramming, which has become one of the hottest areas in cell and tissue engineering. Transcription factors can induce changes in cell fate and identity, and in biological age, throughout an organism's lifespan. She takes advantage of this to develop approaches that reprogram cells in vivo and ultimately enhance the regeneration of injured or aged tissues, such as the heard. Closely related is the field of immune reprogramming. Immune cells discern between foreign and self and are able to fight infection or disease (e.g., cancer) while preserving healthy tissues intact. But under certain circumstances this ability can be lost leading to autoimmunity, infection or neoplastic disease. Dr. de Lazaro explores immunoengineering approaches to restore or augment immune function in the context of autoimmunity and cancer, respectively. Finally, the field of nanomedicines has emerged in recent years. Nanoscale carriers can improve the delivery of small molecule drugs and biologicals (e.g. nucleic acids, proteins, peptides...) by helping them localizing where they are needed or by protecting them from degradation. Dr. de Lazaro’s lab engineers nanomedicines for diverse applications, including cell reprogramming and immuno-engineering.
Dr. de Lazaro obtained a 5-year degree in Pharmacy at the University of Alcalá (Madrid, Spain) for which she received a National Award of Excellence in Academic Performance from the Spanish Ministry of Education in 2009. Subsequently, she completed postgraduate studies in the United Kindom (UK), including an MSc in Drug Delivery and a PhD in Regenerative Medicine, both from the School of Pharmacy at the University College London. She conducted postdoctoral training in Regenerative Therapeutics at The University of Manchester (2015-17), and in Bioengineering at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, advised by Prof. David Mooney (2018-21). Dr. de Lazaro was appointed Research Associate at Harvard and the Wyss in 2021 and will join NYU in January 1, 2023. She has contributed to over 30 publications in high impact journals including Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, Science Translational Medicine, and secured research funding from Hong Kong Univ, LaCaixa Foundation and the Engineering and Physical Scien-ces Research Council of the UK.