- PI Group: Prof Helen Townley
Hakmin Mun is a DPhil candidate at NDWRH, University of Oxford, supervised by Prof. Helen Townley. His main lab is based in the Advanced Technology of Institute building at Begbroke Science Park. His research interest lies in active targeting of tumour cells through drug-loaded functional nanoparticles.
His PhD research mainly focuses on developing an effective therapeutic platform which is able to actively target the paediatric tumours. He has been synthesizing the lipid-based nanoparticles (cubosomes) that might confine the cytotoxicity of their cargo materials into tumour tissues as a drug delivery vehicle system. Recently, he and his team have succeeded in triple functionalisation of cubosomes with hyaluronic acid, antibodies against CD221 receptors and iron oxide nanoparticles. Helenalin (an antitumour agent) loaded triple functionalised cubosomes were able to generate a high degree cytotoxicity against rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) cells while having a limited impact on control cells.
In the previous project, he investigated the mechanism of action of helenalin in promoting the RMS cell death. He identified that helenalin-induced oxidative stress would be likely to be the main mechanism triggering RMS cell death, with smaller contributions to cell death from the mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum stress pathways, and NF-𝛋B p65 deactivation.
He is now working on targeted starvation of tumour cells using functional cubosomes encapsulated with enzymes, siRNA, chemotherapeutic compounds and aptamers. He and his collaborators look into prospects of designing next-generation nanoplatforms to reduce the side effect of cargo drugs as well as to enhance their therapeutic efficacy in the clinical application.
Prior to his DPhil study, he obtained the M.Sc. degree at Uppsala University in Sweden.
CD44 and CD221 directed magnetic cubosomes for the targeted delivery of helenalin to rhabdomyosarcoma cells
Mun H. et al, (2022), Nano Research
Mechanism of Action of the Sesquiterpene Compound Helenalin in Rhabdomyosarcoma Cells
Mun H. and Townley HE., (2021), Pharmaceuticals, 14, 1258 - 1258
Nanoparticle Delivery of siRNAs in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Mun H., (2021), Acta Scientific Cancer Biology
Nanoencapsulation of Plant Volatile Organic Compounds to Improve Their Biological Activities.
Mun H. and Townley HE., (2021), Planta Med, 87, 236 - 251