MGH Research Scholars Program
The MGH Research Scholars Program was established to support early career researchers with innovative yet unproven ideas that have the potential to transform the future of medicine. Funded 100% through philanthropy, this program gives researchers the freedom and flexibility they need to follow the science wherever it leads. History has shown that brilliant scientists who are given free rein to explore new frontiers make the greatest, often unexpected, advances.
The Lesser lab is interested in understanding how bacterial pathogens manipulate host cell processes to promote their own survival and replication during the course of an infection.
Engineering Probotics as a New Drug Delivery System
Most side effects associated with drugs are the result of off-target effects due to drugs being delivered throughout the body as opposed to the specific site of disease.
The Lesser lab proposes to develop designer beneficial bacteria that specifically deliver treatments to sites of disease.
To accomplish this, researchers use cutting-edge genetic technology to re-engineer safe and beneficial bacteria and program them to directly secrete protein-based medicines to sites of disease.
These bacteria will also be able to recognize and secrete a new class of therapeutic proteins that can bind to and neutralize disease-causing proteins with exquisite specificity.
Through this work the Lesser lab hopes to develop a novel and cost-effective beneficial-bacteria technology to deliver drugs in a safe and effective way to treat and cure a variety of human diseases including infections, autoimmune-based diseases and cancers.