New Leadership Announced at the Institute for NanoBioTechnology

Hai-Quan Mao, a professor in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering and formerly the INBT’s associate director, has been named director of the INBT. Sashank Reddy, an assistant professor in the departments of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at JHU’s School of Medicine and the senior medical director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV), has been named the INBT’s associate director.

With a shared vision for how the INBT can continue its tremendous success in fundamental research while also maximizing its impact on society, Mao and Reddy will augment and expand the institute’s areas of scientific focus, enhance collaborations across the university, and provide members with resources for effective translation.

Ed Schlesinger, the Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering, is enthusiastic about the new leadership, saying that, “Hai-Quan and Sashank are well poised to lead this new chapter. I am confident that the INBT will not only continue its long tradition of generating groundbreaking discoveries and technologies, but will increasingly translate these discoveries into innovations that improve lives worldwide.”

While maintaining an active research program, Mao has been remarkably adept at translating the multiple novel nanomaterials for regenerative medicine and therapeutics delivery that he has created for commercialization. Among his research accomplishments is the development of nanofiber-based scaffolds for regenerative engineering of diverse therapeutically important tissues. He has also created nanoparticles with tunable size, shape, and surface features that mimic natural viral particles, enabling precise delivery of genes, proteins, and drugs. In these efforts, he has established collaborations with many leading colleagues at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and beyond.

Reddy, who has been an affiliated researcher at the INBT, also is an accomplished entrepreneur and biomedical innovator. The primary focus of his research has been on mechanisms of regeneration and homeostasis in skin, and the development of nanomaterials to support tissue regeneration and cell and gene delivery. Earlier in his career, Reddy was at Third Rock Ventures, where he worked to launch early-stage biotechnology companies. In his role at JHTV, he works with faculty to enhance the real-world impact of discoveries through new company creation and corporate partnerships.

In addition to their shared vision, research interests, and complementary expertise, Mao and Reddy have co-founded two companies: LifeSprout, Inc., and SpaceTime Therapeutics. LifeSprout is developing a revolutionary suite of technologies for tissue restoration and cell delivery, with its first program now in clinical trials. SpaceTime aims to transform the delivery of therapeutic proteins and peptides, an area of increasing importance for pharma and biotech.