Dr. Bodiford completed her PhD in inorganic and materials chemistry at Texas Christian University, where she created a diverse morphological family of composite materials for biomedical applications. Her work there consisted of evaluations of the function of these new materials as drug delivery and tissue engineering devices, but now, in the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering at the Technion, she will probe the opportunities for their exploitation in multiple therapeutic areas.
Dr. Bodiford will be heading her laboratory’s research effort in the design of degradable nanostructured silicon and polymer composite materials for the delivery of therapeutics to the brain. Specifically, the goal is to develop new routes for minimally-invasive delivery of nerve growth factor to the brain. Nerve growth factor plays a vital role in reducing the loss of cholinergic neurons in Alzheimer’s disease. Despite its crucial neuroprotective role, effective administration of the factor to the brain remains a challenge as the protein does not cross the blood brain barrier and it undergoes rapid degradation, which leads to a short biological half-life, limiting its clinical therapeutic effectiveness. Dr. Bodiford’s project will focus on designing new administration routes for long-term delivery systems that will allow for controlled spatiotemporal release of the growth factor.
Dr. Bodiford was a finalist in her college’s Three Minute Thesis Competition (similar to an entrepreneurial elevator pitch).