Associate Professor Joy Wolfram leads a nanomedicine and extracellular vesicle research program with the goal of developing innovative approaches that bring the next generation of treatments and diagnostics directly to the clinic. She has joint appointments in the School of Chemical Engineering and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at The University of Queensland, Australia (#36 in Best Global Universities, U.S. News & World Report).

Extracellular vesicles are small biomolecular packages (released locally and systemically) that are crucial for intercellular communication. Extracellular vesicles have promising potential to be leveraged and engineered to provide a paradigm shift in cell-free therapy. Unresolved challenges in the field include scalable manufacturing, understanding therapeutic/pathological mechanisms, and capacity to use extracellular vesicles for drug delivery. We are leveraging innovations that my team has established in manufacturing, biological mechanisms, and drug loading of EVs to develop therapeutics to alter the trajectory of  disease, improve patient outcomes, and prolong healthy lifespan.


  1. Develop a new paradigm of therapeutics (using nanotechnology and cell products) to treat life-threatening diseases that are major causes of death globally (for example, cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease)
  2.  Save lives by manufacturing at scale - Deliver national manufacturing innovation and a skilled workforce 
  3. We are at a critical juncture for this technology – Our multi-disciplinary team and industry partners will position Australia as a global leader

Focus areas

  1. Developing improved methods for extracellular vesicle isolation from human biofluids
  2.  Designing hybrid drug delivery systems with extracellular vesicle and synthetic components for a ‘best-of-both-worlds’ approach to treat cardiovascular and kidney disease
  3.  Understanding the role of extracellular vesicles in cancer immunoevasion and metastasis

Her research program has resulted in more than 70 publications in journals, such as, Nature Nanotechnology, Materials Today, and Nature Reviews Materials. These publications have been cited over 10,800 times (Google Scholar). Her team has collaborated with 160 universities and industry partners across 45 countries (Scopus). Her research program has also been featured in more than 100 presentations at scientific meetings, including 70 invited talks and seven international keynote talks.