Behnaz Lahooti is the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Highlighted Trainee Author April 2023. Currently, Dr. Lahooti is working as a post-doctoral fellow in the field of drug delivery (non-viral gene delivery) at Sanofi. The highlighted manuscript listed below is from her dissertation work at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center under the mentorship of Dr. Constantinos Mikelis. The Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics article that earned her honor of being selected as Highlighted Trainee Author is titled: “Endothelial-Specific Targeting of RhoA Signaling via CD31 Antibody-Conjugated Nanoparticles” and is available at: https://doi.org/10.1124/jpet.122.001384.
The existing Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)-oriented anti-angiogenic therapy, commonly used for cancer treatment, has high potency but significant side effects. Therefore, a novel approach is required to address this issue. The small GTPase RhoA is an established regulator of actin cytoskeletal dynamics. Previous studies have highlighted the impact of the endothelial RhoA pathway on angiogenesis. A rho-associate kinase (ROCK), a direct RhoA effector, is potently inhibited by Fasudil, a clinically-relevant ROCK inhibitor.
Dr. Lahooti’s research targeted the RhoA signaling in endothelial cells by generating Fasudil-encapsulated CD31-targeting liposomes as a potential anti-angiogenic therapy. The anticipated impact of her work is to provide viable anti-angiogenic treatment for cancer patients.
Outside of work, Behnaz enjoys cooking and yoga. She also likes spending time with friends and traveling.