Stavroula Sofou

Associate Professor

Biomedical Engineering

Office Hours: By appointment
Website: Sofou Group


Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical Physics/Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, 2001-2004
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2001
Diploma, Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece, 1994


Awards and Honors
  • American Cancer Society, Research Scholar Grant (2012)
  • Busch Memorial Fund Award, Rutgers University (2011)
  • A. Walter Tyson Associate Professorship Award, Rutgers University (2011)
  • Career Catalyst Research Award, Susan Komen for the Cure (2008)
  • J.D. Watson Young Investigator Award, New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) (2006)
  • Wallace H. Coulter Early Career Award in Translational Research (2006)
  • NATO Science Fellowship (1999-2001)
  • Columbia University, Ph.D. dissertation designated ‘with distinction’ (2001)

Research Interests

Our group works on Biomembranes and Drug Delivery Systems. We investigate the intermolecular and interfacial interactions determining the morphology and collective properties of self-assembling heterogeneous biomembranes. We use these materials to engineer lipid-based carriers of diagnostics and therapeutics for medical applications. Current projects include: environmentally responsive liposomes to improve transport and trafficking of chemotherapeutics in solid tumors, multifunctional liposomes for antivascular therapy, lipid-based carriers for targeted internal radiotherapy.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

  1. A. Bandekar, C. Zhu, A. Gomez, M.Z. Menzenski, M. Sempkowski, S. Sofou, Masking and triggered unmasking of targeting ligands on liposomal chemotherapy selectively suppress tumor growth in vivo, 2012, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2013, Vol 10, 152-160
  2. A. Bandekar, S. Karve, M.-Y. Chang, Q. Mu, J. Rotolo, S. Sofou, Antitumor efficacy following the intracellular and interstitial release of liposomal doxorubicin, Biomaterials, 2012, Vol 33, 4345-4352
  3. A. Bandekar, S. Sofou, Floret-Shaped Solid Domains on Giant Fluid Lipid Vesicles Induced by pH, Langmuir, 2012, Vol 28, 4113-4122
  4. E. Mamasheva, C. O’Donnell, A. Bandekar, S. Sofou, Heterogeneous liposome membranes with pH-triggered permeability enhance the in vitro antitumor activity of folate-receptor targeted liposomal doxorubicin, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2011, Vol 8, 2224-2232
  5. S. Karve, A. Bandekar, R.M. Ali, S. Sofou, The pH-dependent association with cancer cells of tunable functionalized lipid vesicles with encapsulated doxorubicin for high cell-kill selectivity, Biomaterials, 2010, Vol 31, 4409-4416
  6. M. Bhagat, S. Sofou, Membrane heterogeneities and fusogenicity in phosphatidylcholine - phosphatidic acid rigid vesicles as a function of pH and lipid chain mismatch, Langmuir, 2010, Vol 26, 1666-1673
  7. S. Sofou, R. Enmon, S. Palm, B. Kappel, P. Zanzonico, M.R. McDevitt, D.A. Scheinberg, G. Sgouros, Large anti-HER2/neu liposomes for Potential Targeted Intraperitoneal Therapy of Micrometastatic Cancer, Journal of Liposome Research, 2010, Vol 20, 330-340
  8. S. Karve, A. Alaouie, Y. Zhou, J. Rotolo, S. Sofou, The use of pH-triggered leaky heterogeneities on rigid lipid bilayers to improve intracellular trafficking and therapeutic potential of targeted liposomal immunochemotherapy, Biomaterials, 2009, Vol 30, 6055-6064
  9. G. Bajagur Kempegowda, S. Karve, A. Bandekar, A. Adhikari, T. Khaimchayev, S. Sofou, pH-dependent formation of lipid heterogeneities controls surface topography and binding reactivity in functionalized bilayers, Langmuir, 2009, Vol 25, 8144-8155
  10. S. Khapli, JR. Kim, JK. Montclare, M. Porfiri, S. Sofou, Frozen cyclohexane-in-water emulsion as a sacrificial template for the synthesis of multilayered polyelectrolyte microcapsules, Langmuir, 2009, Vol 25, 9728–9733
  11. M.-Y. Chang, J. Seideman, S. Sofou, Enhanced loading efficiency and retention of 225Ac in rigid liposomes for potential targeted therapy of micrometastases, Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2008, Vol 6, 1274-1282
  12. S. Karve, G. Bajagur Kempegowda, S. Sofou, Heterogeneous domains and membrane permeability in phosphatidylcholine-phosphatidic acid rigid vesicles as a function of pH and lipid chain mismatch, Langmuir, 2008, Vol 24, 5679-5688
  13. S. Sofou, B. J. Kappel, J. Jaggi, M. R. McDevitt, D. A. Scheinberg, and G. Sgouros, Enhanced Retention of the alpha-Particle-Emitting Daughters of Actinium-225 by Liposome Carriers, Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2007, Vol 15, 2061-2067
  14. S. Sofou, J. L. Thomas, H. Lin, M. R. McDevitt, D. A. Scheinberg, and G. Sgouros, Engineered Liposomes for Potential Alpha-Particle Therapy of Metastatic Cancer, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 2004, Vol 45, 253-260
  15. S. Sofou and J. L. Thomas, Effects of Oxidation and Reduction on the Membrane Activity of a Cysteine Dimerizable Peptide, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2003, Vol 27, 197-207
  16. S. Sofou and J. L. Thomas, Stable Adhesion of Phospholipid Vesicles to Modified Gold Surfaces, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2003, Vol 18, 445-455
  1. S. Sofou and K. Rege, Special Issue on Nanomedicine: Diagnostics, Therapeutics and Imaging, NanoLIFE, 2011, 3-4, iii-iv
  2. S. Sofou and B. Yu, Targeted Radiotherapy of Cancer, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 2008, Vol 60, 1317-1318
Invited Reviews
  1. M. Bhagat, S. Halligan, S. Sofou, 2011, Nanocarriers to solid tumors: considerations on tumor penetration and exposure of tumor cells to therapeutic agents, Current Pharm Biotechnology, 2012, Vol 13, 1306-1316
  2. S. Sofou, G. Sgouros, Targeted liposomes for cancer therapy, Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, 2008, Vol 5, 189-204 
  3. A. Alaouie, S. Sofou, Liposomes with triggered content release for cancer therapy, Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, 2008, Vol 4, 1 - 11
  4. S. Sofou, Radionuclide carriers for targeting of cancer, Int. Journal of Nanomedicine, 2008, Vol 3, 181-199
  5. S. Sofou, Surface-active liposomes for targeted cancer therapy, Nanomedicine, 2007, Vol 2, 711-724

Book Chapters

  1. S. Sofou, “Responsive Liposomes” in: Drug Delivery in Oncology. From Basic Research to Cancer Therapy, Kratz, F. / Senter, P. / Steinhagen, H. (eds.), 2012 Wiley-VCH
  2. S. Sofou and J.L. Thomas, “Vesicles and Liposomes in Sensor Technology”, in Handbook of Nanostructured Biomaterials and Their Applications, H. S. Nalwa (editor), American Scientific Publishers, CA, 2004