Dr. Omri obtained his Ph.D. degree from the Université de Montréal, Canada, in 1995. After completing postdoctoral fellowships at McGill University and the University of Toronto (1996–1998), he spent more than 2 years as Research Associate at NRC (Institute of Biological Sciences in Ottawa) from 1998 to 2000. Dr. Omri is currently a Full Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with a cross appointment to the Department of Biology, the Biomolecular Sciences Ph.D. Program, School of Rural and Northern Health Ph.D. Program. His research interests are focused on lipid-based drug and vaccine delivery systems. His laboratory employs a multidisciplinary approach to addressing the antimicrobial resistance to gram negative bacteria in cystic fibrosis patients and in medical devices implants. Dr. Omri is also involved in the education of undergraduate and graduate students through the coordination of several calendar courses in biochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology, and pharmaceutical technology. In addition to research, Dr. Omri is actively involved in the research training of both undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Omri has served in administrative capacities in several international scientific societies. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed research articles over his career on various aspects of drug delivery and targeting in addition to several published book chapters and books (2). He has served on a number of editorial boards and granting agencies in Canada and abroad. Dr. Omri has 2 patents.
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On The Webhttp://omripharm.webs.com/
Lipid-based drug and vaccine delivery systems
Liposomes are one of the most versatile biochemical tools. They are microscopic, spherical closed vesicles composed of one or more lipid bilayer that form when phospholipids are hydrated. Hydrophilic molecules can be incorporated into the aqueous compartment and lipophilic molecules can be encapsulated in the lipid bilayers. Liposomes by themselves are considered nonimmunogenic, biodegradable and nontoxic. They have been utilized in numerous biomedical applications including gene therapy, for delivery of drugs and vaccines, cancer imaging agents and cosmetics. Liposomes have the capability to incorporate selected bioactive biologicals and adjuvant molecules and potentiate their efficacy and minimize their toxicity. They do this by beneficially altering the biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of the molecule in the body following its administra-tion through various routes of delivery.
My research program is centered on the design, formulation, development and characterization of drug and vaccine delivery systems; particularly those based on liposomes. A special focus on the site-specific targeting, controlled release, drug resistance, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, metabolism and toxicity of free and liposome-encapsulated biological active agents.
1. Liposomal delivery of antisense oligonucleotides. Effect on P-glycoprotein function in multidrug resistant cells in vitro and in vivo studies. Cationic liposome formulations are used to promote the penetration of antisense oligonucleotides into the cell membrane and protect them from enzymatic degradation (nucleases).
2. Liposomal delivery of antimicrobial agents towards resistant bacterial pathogens: pulmonary and systemic infections. Construction of liposomes with high encapsulation efficiency, favorable antimicrobial release profile and enhanced bactericidal activity, to overcome the problem of bacterial resistance caused by low permeability of the bacterial cell envelope and by production of antimicrobial-inactivating enzymes.
3. Liposomal formulations of drugs and vaccine for oral delivery. Liposomes are used to protect the encapsulated agents from the harsh gastrointestinal milieu (low pH, phospholipases, and bile salts) and to enhance their absorption to the systemic circulation and to increase the efficacy of these agents while minimizing their frequency of administration. Special liposomal formulation will be prepared, characterized and assayed for their efficacy in vitro and in animal models.