The goal of the Jewell Lab is to develop biomaterials that generate immune responses with specific, tunable characteristics, an idea known as “immunomodulation.” This goal has two complementary thrusts: basic investigations to understand the interactions between synthetic materials and the immune system, and translational studies that exploit these interactions for therapeutic vaccines targeting cancer and autoimmunity. We use biomaterials that range from degradable polymer particles, to lipid carriers, to self-assembling and multi-functional materials. We study these materials in cells and animal models, incorporating tools from chemistry, engineering, basic biology, nanotechnology, and immunology. Our ongoing projects include design of vaccines and immunotherapies, understanding the interactions of biomaterials with lymph nodes and other immune tissues, harnessing self-assembly of immune signals to control immune function, and investigations of the materials we design in pre-clinical models of multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, melanoma, and pediatric cancer.
Christopher M. Jewell is an Associate Professor in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland and a Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator. He is also an Associate Scientific Advisor for Science Translational Medicine. Dr. Jewell graduated from Lehigh University with high honors in 2003 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Molecular Biology. He attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, completing his PhD in Chemical Engineering with Professor David Lynn in 2008. Chris then joined the Boston Consulting Group in New York City as a consultant in the Healthcare practice, where his work focused on R&D strategy development for global pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. In 2009, Dr. Jewell accepted a postdoctoral fellowship from the Ragon Institute to begin vaccine research at MIT with Professor Darrell Irvine in the departments of Materials Science and Biological Engineering. Dr. Jewell held a concurrent appointment as a Visiting Scientist in the Division of Vaccine Research at Harvard. In August 2012, Chris established his lab at the University of Maryland. His research focuses on understanding the interactions between synthetic materials and lymph nodes, and exploiting these interactions for therapeutic vaccination.
Christopher JewellMinta Martin Professor of Engineering
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