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Laura M. Ensign

Laura M. Ensign

Department Affiliation: Primary: Ophthalmology, Nanomedicine Division; Joint: Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering;
Secondary: Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences; Biomedical Engineering; Gynecology and Obstetrics; Infectious Diseases; Oncology.
Degree: Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Rank: Associate Professor
Phone: 410-614-9854
Fax: 410-287-7922
School of Medicine Address: Robert H. and Clarice Smith Bldg., Room 6015, 400 North Broadway, Baltimore, MD  21287

Nanomedicine for drug delivery.

When a patient takes a pill or injection, drug enters the bloodstream and the entire body is exposed. This is why conventional drugs have so many side effects. Nanotechnology has great potential for improving delivery of drugs to target cells and tissues, which is the field of Nanomedicine. However, the body has evolved many defense mechanisms to protect our important cells and tissues from direct access, resulting in numerous biological barriers to developing effective nanomedicines. The Ensign lab is focused on characterizing biological barriers in health and disease in order to design more efficacious formulations for prophylactic and therapeutic drug delivery. We employ a wide range of engineering tools and animal models to characterize our drug delivery systems in the context of clinical translation. Areas of interest include topical ocular drug delivery, inflammatory bowel disease, preterm birth prevention, sexually transmitted infection prevention, bladder cancer, bacterial vaginosis, surgical devices, and more


Representative Publications:  

  • Kates, M., Date, A., Yoshida, T., Afzal, U., Kanvinde, P., Babu, T., Sopko, N.A., Matsui, H., Hahn, N.M., McConkey, D.J., Baras, A.S., Hanes, J., Ensign, L.M.*, Bivalacqua, T.J*. Preclinical evaluation of intravesical cisplatin nanoparticles for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Clinical Cancer Research 23(21):6592-6601, 2017. Pub Med Reference

  • Date, A., Halpert, G., Babu, T., Ortiz, J., Kanvinde, P., Dimitrion, P., Narayan, J., Zierden, H., Betageri, K., Musmanno, O., Wiegand, H., Huang, X., Gumber, S., Hanes, J.*, Ensign, L.M*. Mucus-penetrating budesonide nanosuspension as an enema therapy for local treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Biomaterials 185:97-105, 2018. Pub Med Reference

  • Hoang, T., Zierden, H., Date, A., Ortiz, J., Gumber, S., Anders, N., He, P., Segars, J., Hanes, J., Mahendroo, M., Ensign, L.M. Development of a mucoinert progesterone nanosuspension for safer and more effective prevention of preterm birth. J Control Release 295:74-86, 2018. Pub Med Reference

  • Luo, L., Yang, J., Oh, Y., Hartsock, M., Xia, S., Kim, Y.C., Ding, Z., Meng, T., Eberhart, C.G., Ensign, L.M., Thorne, J.E., Stark, W.J., Duh, E.J., Xu, Q., Hanes, J. Controlled release of corticosteroids with biodegradable nanoparticles for treating experimental autoimmune uveitis. J Control Release 296:68-80, 2019. Pub Med Reference

  • Wang, B., Tang, Y., Oh, Y., Lamb, N.W., Xia, S., Ding, Z., Chen, B., Suarez, M., Meng, T., Kulkarni, V., Eberhart, C.G., Ensign, L.M., Stark, W.J., Hanes, J., Xu, Q. Controlled release of dexamethasone sodium phosphate with biodegradable nanoparticles for preventing experimental corneal neovascularization. Nanomedicine 17:119-123, 2019. Pub Med Reference




Other graduate programs in which Dr. Ensign participates:

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Biomedical Engineering