Faculty (Courtesy Appointment), McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University
Visiting Scientist, Carnegie Mellon University
Postdoctoral Fellowship, UCLA School of Medicine
Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Southern California
B.S., Pharmacy, University of Maryland
The Meng lab focuses on design and characterization of inspired drug delivery systems for modulating immune functions. The group pursues projects that bridge gaps between preclinical and clinical stages in drug development in enhancing drug bioavailability in diseased tissues while limiting systemic toxicities. The strategic themes are to optimize experimental and approved biologics for locoregional treatments of graft rejection, type I diabetes, and solid tumors. Current research themes include 1) Develop bioaffinity hydrogels formed by self-assembling peptides in delivering immunoregulatory antibodies and Fc fusion proteins, 2) Optimize surface-functionalized microparticles for formulating recombinant proteins, nucleic acids, and poorly water-soluble small molecules as therapeutics, 3) Apply MHC bioinformatics and T cell epitope cross-reactivity mapping in predicting immunogenicity of recombinant protein therapeutics, and 4) Engineer artificial thymic organoids to reprogram T cells.
The Meng group has developed particles that combine the polymer PLGA and the polycation O10H6 as nucleic acid delivery systems (Chamarthy et al, 2003, 2004; Kovacs et al, 2005; Zheng et al, 2006; Jia et al, 2006, 2008; Kovacs et al 2009). The group is testing PLGA-O10H6 particles to deliver the interleukin-10 gene in a mouse transplant model (funded by NIH). In collaboration with Nick Giannoukakis and Yong Fan (Allegheny-Singer Research Institute), the group is developing nanostructures for delivering immune programming factors to delay the onset of type-I diabetes in mice (funded by JDRF and NIH). Working with Lisa Weiland (Pitt) and Eric Freeman (Univ. of Georgia), the group constructed a mathematical model predictive of amine-induced endosomal burst (Freeman et al, 2010, 2012). Together with Mat Saunders and Alan Waggoner at Carnegie Mellon, the group is developing injectable biosensors for drug delivery applications (Saunders et al, 2013 and Liu et al., 2016). The group has a strong interest in MHC bioinfomatics/T cell epitope prediction (Joseph et al, 2007; Andrick et al, 2014 in preparation). More recently, the group has characterized injectable peptidic membranes (functionalized EAK16-II) to extend the accumulation of antibodies locally in vivo (Zheng et al, 2011; Wen et al, 2013, 2014a, 2014b; funded by PA-CURE and NIH R21).
NIH R21 AI171241 (MPI: Empey, Meng); 2/2/2023-1/31/2025
Project title: Optimization of a Self-adjuvanted Nanoparticle Platform for Delivering Respiratory Syncytial Virus Antigen DS-Cav1
COVID-19 Emergency Competitive Revision for NIH R21 AI139828 (PI: Meng); 7/2/2020-1/31/2021
Project title: Development of a Regulatory T Cell Mimetic for Tolerance Induction in Skin
TransplantationNIH R21 AI139828 (PI: Meng); 2/6/2019-1/31/2021
Project title: Development of a Regulatory T Cell Mimetic for Tolerance Induction in Skin Transplantation
Department of Defense KCRP Concept Award 2018 (PI: Meng): 09/01/2018-08/31/2019;
Project title: "Generating Systemic Antitumor Immunity in Renal Cell Carcinoma by Intratumoral Injection of Multiplexed Anti-PD-1 Antibody and Adenosine Deaminase"
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 2-SRA-2016-318-S-B (Co-I: Meng; PI: Nick Giannoukakis of ASRI); 09/01/2016-08/30/2018;
Project title: "Tolerogenic Nanoparticle Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes"
NIH R43 AI124783 (Co-I: Meng; PI: Alan Lewis of Diavacs, Inc. San Diego, CA); 07/01/2016-06/30/2017;
Project title: "Antisense-Loaded Microsphere Therapy for Autoimmune Diseases."
NIH R21 AI113000 (PI: Meng); 8/1/2014-7/31/2017
Project title: A Biomaterial Approach to Attenuate Rejection of Skin Allografts
NIH R01 AI123392 (Co-I: Meng; PI: Fan of Allegheny-Singer Research Institute); 01/15/2016-12/31/2019
Project title: Induction of allogeneic tolerance with bioengineered thymus organoids"
JDRF 17-2012-348 (Co-PI: Meng; PI: Giannoukakis of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh); 9/1/2012-8/30/2014
Project title: Type 1 Diabetes-Suppressive Microspheres
NIH R15 AI081218 (PI: Meng); 12/1/2010-11/30/2014
Project title: Genetic Modification of Antigen-Presenting Cells in Allograft
CURE-Pennsylvania Department of Health (PI: Meng); 1/1/2012-12/31/2013
Project Title: A Biomaterial Approach to Inhibit Melanoma Growth and Metastasis in Mice
CURE-Pennsylvania Department of Health (PI: Meng); 1/1/2007-12/31/2010
Project Title: Modulation of Antitumor Immunity with Anti-Foxp3 siRNA Nanoparticles
NIH R15 CA97990 (PI: Meng); 03/10/2004-02/28/2008
Project title: Rational Design of Peptide-Based Tumor Vaccines
Link to Dr. Meng's Publications at Google Scholar:
Pharmaceutical Science and Practice of Immunization
Pharmaceutical Principles and Drug Delivery Systems II
Biomedical Sciences and Therapeutics: Oncology, Drug Hypersensitivities and Transplant Pharmacology
Human Physiology and Pathophysiology: Hematology and Immunology (coordinator)
Advanced Pharmaceutics: Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (coordinator): protein stability and formulation, biosimilars
Advanced Pharmacology (coordinator)
Drug Mechanisms and Actions
Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology
Continuing Education (ACPE accredited): Pharmacogenetics for Pharmacists