2012 Postdoc, Materials Science and Biological Engineering, MIT (HHMI)
2008 PhD, Bioengineering, Rice University
2002 BS, Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley

Research Statement

The Moon Laboratory is interested in the development of novel therapeutics at the interface of immunology, pharmaceutics, and engineering. Specifically, we are developing new drug delivery systems that can enhance targeting of antigen and adjuvant to lymphoid organs, thereby manipulating immune functions in the context of cancer, infectious diseases, and autoimmunity. Our translational research focused on immunoengineering utilizes tools of nanotechnology, biomaterials, drug delivery, tissue engineering, and advanced in vitro/in vivo high-throughput methods to detect and improve immune functions. One thrust of our research is the development of a nanoparticle vaccine that can induce anti-tumoral cellular immune responses for cancer immunotherapy. The second thrust in the lab focuses on the synthesis of novel biomaterials for mucosal immunization against infectious pathogens, including HIV.

Research Interests

  • We are developing new drug delivery systems for modulating immune functions in the context of cancer immunotherapy, drug development against autoimmune disease, and vaccines against infectious pathogens.


  • 2018 Mid-Career Nanotechnology Scientific Award, Applied Nanotech and Nanoscience International Conference
  • 2018 Emerging Leader Award, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
  • 2017 Young Innovator of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, CMBE Journal & BMES Society
  • 2017 University of Michigan Senior Forbes Scholar, University of Michigan Cancer Center
  • 2017 Outstanding Bioengineering Alumnus Award, Rice University, Bioengineering Department
  • 2017 Emerald Foundation Distinguished Investigator Award, Emerald Foundation
  • 2016 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, National Science Foundation
  • 2016 Department of Defense Career Development Award (CDMRP), DOD
  • 2015 Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award, Melanoma Research Alliance
  • 2014 New Investigator Award in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technologies, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
  • 2014 Best Poster Award, American Society for Nanomedicine
  • 2012 NIH K22 Research Scholar Development Award, National Institute of Health
  • 2012 American Association of Immunologist Trainee Award, American Assocaition of Immunogists
  • 2011 IEEE-EMBS Harvard Wyss Institute Award for Translational Research, IEEE-EMBS
  • 2010 TERMIS Young Investigator Award, TERMIS
  • 2008 Mary F.D. Morse Graduate Fellowship Award, Rice University, Bioengineering Department
  • 2007 Graduate Student Research Award, North American Vascular Biology Organization, North American Vascular Biology Organization
  • 2006 Sigma Xi Graduate Student Research Award, Sigma Xi

Selected Publications

  • Scheetz L*, Kadiyala P*, Sun X*, Son S, Najafabadi AH, Aikins, M, Lowenstein PR, Schwendeman A§, Castro MG§, Moon JJ§. Synthetic high-density lipoprotein nanodiscs for personalized immunotherapy against gliomas. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0341, 2020, Clinical Cancer Research.

  • Son S*, Nam J*, Zenkov I, Ochyl LJ, Xu Y, Scheetz L, Shi J, Farokhzad OC§, Moon JJ§. Sugar-Nanocapsules Imprinted with Microbial Molecular Patterns for mRNA Vaccination. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b03483, 2020, Nano Letters.

  • Xu C, Nam J, Hong H, Xu Y, Moon JJ§. Positron Emission Tomography-Guided Photodynamic Therapy with Biodegradable Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles for Personalized Cancer Immunotherapy. 13, 10, 12148-12161, 2019, 2019, ACS Nano.

  • Fan Y, Stronsky SM, Xu Y, Steffens JT, van Tongeren SA, Erwin A, Cooper CL§, Moon JJ§. Multilamellar Vaccine Particle Elicits Potent Immune Activation with Protein Antigens and Protects Mice against Ebola Virus Infection. 13, 10, 11087-11096, 2019, ACS Nano.

  • Scheetz L*, Park KS*, Li Q, Lowenstein PR, Castro MG, Schwendeman A, Moon JJ§. Engineering patient-specific cancer immunotherapies. 3, 10, 768-782, 2019, Nature Biomedical Engineering.

  • Nam J*, Son S*, Park KS, Zou W, Shea L, Moon JJ§. Cancer nanomedicine for combination cancer immunotherapy. 4, 398-414, 2019, Nature Reviews Materials.

  • Kuai R*, Yuan W*, Xu Y, Fan Y, Schwendeman A§, Moon JJ§. Elimination of established tumors with nanodisc-based combination chemoimmunotherapy. 4,4, eaao1736, 2018,Science Advances

  • Nam J*, Son S*, Ochyl LJ, Kuai R, Schwendeman A, and Moon JJ§. Chemo-photothermal therapy combination elicits anti-tumor immunity against advanced metastatic cancer. 9, 1, 1074, 2018, Nature Communications.