Dr. Alexandros Marios Sofias is a specialist in immune cell targeting and intravital microscopy. His research focuses on unraveling the intricate in vivo fate of cancer nanomedicine via multimodal and multiscale imaging, and on the development of nanoimmunotherapeutics for targeting and manipulating the cancer-associated immune system, with particular focus on myeloid cells.
Within MSSO, Dr. Sofias, in partnership with Dr. Baumeister, is leading a multidisciplinary project focusing on nanomedicine-based targeting and multiscale imaging of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). MPN are hematopoietic stem cell disorders which are associated with all grades of myelofibrosis (MF) and fibrogenic cells that prominently fuel the disease phenotype. Key features of advanced MF are ineffective hematopoiesis, splenomegaly and bone marrow (BM) fibrosis. Early diagnosis of MF is challenging, and no therapies are currently available to achieve long-term disease remission. We recently identified promising therapeutic targets in MPN, aiming to explore and optimize the potential of inhibiting these specific targets for attenuating MF in MPN. To this end, we will incorporate small molecule inhibitors in clinically relevant drug delivery nanomedicines, to enable drug targeting to the pathological site, and to attenuate MF and MPN disease progression in a tissue- and cell-specific manner.
In parallel, we will explore the use of non-invasive imaging for MF and MPN diagnosis and treatment monitoring. This will be done by combining CT- and MRI-based anatomical and functional imaging with multimodal and multiscale fibrosis-specific molecular imaging, intending to non-invasively visualize the MPN consequences in BM and spleen.
Together, these efforts will explore new biological and preclinical avenues, and they will contribute to the improvement of diagnostic and therapeutic options for the management of MPN.