In the Stupp lab we are working to engineer a new class of “smart” molecular delivery systems that can introduce therapeutic RNAs into target cells. Many diseases—cancers, in particular—are caused by an inappropriate activation of specific genes. In theory, these disorders could be treated by the delivery of RNA molecules that would recognize and turn off these genes. Such therapies have been hampered by the lack of an effective means to get RNA molecules into the affected cells. Combining cutting-edge techniques in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and nanotechnology, I will design and synthesize an innovative delivery system that will carry a specific RNA molecule into cancer cells grown in the laboratory and then release this cargo once it reaches the cell interior. Such tailor-made delivery systems would enhance our ability to target novel molecular therapies to selected cells, increasing our capacity to treat a variety of human diseases.