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Immune Engineering 

Our mission is to bring together researchers and leaders from academia, industry, medicine, and government, and to leverage diversity in background, ideas, perspectives, expertise, and approaches, to advance understanding, modulation, and engineering of the immune system for the betterment of human health.

What is Immune Engineering?

Immune Engineering is a set of tools and technologies to modulate the immune system.

Immune engineering is a rapidly growing field that merges engineering techniques with basic and translational immunology to generate innovative solutions to treat cancer, infectious disease, immunological disorders, and major injuries.

The two main fields that form the foundation of Immune Engineering are Biomaterials and Cell & Gene Therapy.

Examples of Immune Engineering Approaches

  • Manipulated immune cells as therapeutics (e.g. CAR T cells)
  • Nanoparticle vaccines (e.g. the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines)
  • Biomaterials that direct immune cells to behave certain ways upon implantation or injection (e.g. regenerative implants)

Minor of Immune Engineering

The purpose of this undergraduate minor is to leverage Drexel’s unique strengths and leadership in this area to advance the education of the next generation of leaders in immune engineering. Students who complete the minor in Immune Engineering will gain knowledge about the innate and adaptive immune systems, the importance of these systems for the success or failure of various treatments for diverse clinical applications, and how to manipulate these systems for therapeutic benefit. Given the increasing understanding of the importance of the immune system in biomaterial design, drug delivery, and cell and gene therapy, students earning a minor in Immune Engineering will be well positioned to work in the pharmaceutical, biomaterials, and cell and gene therapy sectors. Students completing majors with backgrounds in biology or engineering are encouraged to consider this minor.

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Immune Modulation and Engineering Collaborative (IMEC)

Kara Spiller

Principal Investigator

Kara Spiller, PhD

URBN Professor of Biomedical Innovation

Office: Bossone 712
Phone: 215.571.3822

Research Interests

Macrophage-biomaterial interactions, drug delivery systems, and chronic wound healing.