Mlinar received a BChE in chemical engineering with minors in chemistry and computer science from the University of Minnesota in Spring 2009. She is working toward her PhD in chemical engineering at UC-Berkeley in Professor Matthew Tirrell’s lab. Her current research aims to construct a multi-functional peptide amphiphile micelle that can directly target atherosclerotic plaques and deposit a drug of interest to the site of plaque formation. Her research interests include the design of targeted drug delivery and imaging agents for atherosclerosis and cancer using a variety of biologically inspired, peptide-functionalized, polymeric, and self-assembled materials.
The overall goal of her research is to rationally design peptide-functionalized nanoparticles that can target atherosclerotic plaques for the purposes of drug delivery and imaging. To this end, the group's current work involves designing peptide amphiphile micelles that are specifically targeted to inflammation markers of atherosclerotic plaques. The goal is to design these micelles such that they can release a drug of interest at the site of plaque formation in a controlled manner. In a second project, they are also seeking to be able to image plaques using peptide-functionalized contrast agents. In collaboration with Professor Conolly’s laboratory at UC-Berkeley, they are using magnetic particle imaging (MPI) in an effort to image plaques in a mouse model of atherosclerosis.
E. J. Chung, L. Mlinar, M. Sugimoto, K. Nord, B. Roman and M. Tirrell. In vivo biodistribution and clearance of peptide amphiphile micelles. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology Biology and Medicine. 2015. Vol. 11, Pg. 479-487.
E. J. Chung, L. Mlinar, K. Nord, M. Sugimoto, E. Wonder, F. Alenghat, Y. Fang, and M. Tirrell. Cardiovascular disease: monocyte-targeting supramolecular micellar assemblies. Advanced Healthcare Materials. 2015. Vol. 4, Pg. 324.