Moore Lab

Dr. Moore’s research interests are directed at development and use of in vivo molecular imaging technologies as indispensable preclinical and clinical tool to unravel complex biological pathways and pathogenic mechanisms in various diseases including cancer. Early in her research she recognized the need to use imaging for detection of specific alterations in genomic makeup paving the way to personalized medicine approach. Furthermore, as imaging was becoming a powerful tool in biomedical research, her work has shifted from developing target-specific contrast agents to utilizing these agents for direct delivery of therapeutic drugs. In a search for realizing the dream of Precision Medicine Dr. Moore’s team was the first to utilize magnetic resonance imaging, a widely used clinical modality for monitoring the delivery of siRNAs to tumors. These small oligonucleotides have been recognized as potentially powerful therapeutic tools, however effective delivery had hampered their utility. Dr. Moore’s group was the first to demonstrate the feasibility of MR imaging for delivery of siRNA in tumors using magnetic nanoparticles, and effective gene silencing. This work, published in Nature Medicinein 2007 has been cited over 650 times. As metastatic cancer continues to be the leading cause of mortality from cancer, Dr. Moore and her team started looking deeper into the events causing metastatic spread and discovering tools to prevent and stop it. We know now that microRNAs play a major role in cancer initiation in progression including metastatic cancer. Dr. Moore’s team has recently discovered that one specific micoRNA (miR-10b) is responsible for viability of metastatic cells. This discovery led to creation of an image-guided theranostic nanodrug targeting miR-10 that showed complete eradication of established lymph node and lung metastases in mice with breast cancer. In this approach the miRNAs that are implicated in breast cancer metastasis can be targeted with image-guidance and the therapeutic effect can be monitored over time. In addition, the results of this study demonstrated virtually complete prevention of lymph node metastasis formation in breast cancer and arrest of further metastatic dissemination. These studies received multiple grant awards from the NIH as well as national and international recognition. To accelerate clinical translation of these studies Dr. Moore and colleagues formed a company TransCode Therapeutics Inc, which goal is to bring this powerful anti-metastatic drug to patients.