Dr. Basu is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at South Dakota State University (SDSU) and directs the Biomedical and Bioinspired Fluid Dynamics Lab there. The group works on fluid dynamics of biophysical systems, with respiratory transport and tumor microenvironment flow physics as focus topics. Basu’s COBRE project integrates computational fluid dynamics simulations with theoretical fluid mechanics analysis and representative experimental validations to generate a first-principles mechanics-based modeling framework that quantifies perfusion in the intratumoral extracellular spaces.
Dr. Gomes’ research is focused on the synthesis of small molecules to inhibit COPZ1 in COPZ2-deficient PDAC cells selectively. Dr. Gomes’ group aims to provide a small molecule-based prototype to selectively kill pancreatic tumor cells while keeping the normal cells alive. As a result, the Gomes’ group will provide for the first time a lead molecule capable of increasing the 5-year survival rate and reducing the side effects related to regular chemotherapy for patients that currently don’t have any hope or treatment against pancreatic tumors. Dr. Gomes’ uses molecular modeling, synthetic chemistry, and chemical biology (in vitro and in vivo) to achieve this aim.
Dr. Layek’s research is focused on investigating a new approach for treating pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) with a combination of entinostat and oxaliplatin, used at much lower concentrations. This research will evaluate bioengineered mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) as a drug delivery platform to actively accumulate cytotoxic agents in pancreatic tumors. Further, Dr. Layek’s group will utilize various in vitro and in vivo PDAC models to delineate the underlined mechanisms of action and therapeutic efficacy of entinostat and oxaliplatin combination.