April 18, 2023

“March madness-style” voting for J. Welch's Remote-Controlled Cells project

A unique opportunity to support our colleague and research, and promote our department. Thanks Josh for doing this! 

Joshua Welch's project is in the "Sweet 16" of the ARPA-H DASH program!

How to vote!
Vote here: https://polyplexus.com/healthdash
You have to create an account with your email address, then click on "brackets."

The project
Title: Remote-Controlled Cells
Proposed Health Transformation: Use ultrasound to remotely turn on target genes in cells at a specific body site. Different genes could induce cells to, e.g., migrate toward or away from a would or convert one cell type to another.
Current implementation: Current practice is to turn on genes by viral infection or light. Key limitations: Viruses can’t target specific cells, and light can’t reach cells more than a few millimeters inside the body.
What’s new: Ultrasound penetrates deep into tissue and was used to modify neural activity. Applying it more generally could allow using a Star Trek-style handheld device to treat injury and disease.
Evidence Statement: This study showed that ultrasound can be used to activate a light-sensitive protein deep in the brain. Other studies have used similar light-sensitive proteins to turn on target genes.
Evidence citation: https://doi.org/10.1016/jaddr.2023.114711

About the ARPA-H DASH program

Josh Welch, PhD

Joshua Welch, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science