W T. Godbey

Associate Professor

(504) 865-5872
School of Science & Engineering
W T. Godbey


301 Lindy Boggs Building
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118-5674

Courses Taught

Introduction to Biotechnology, CENG 2500

Numerical Methods, CENG 3230

Introduction to Gene Therapy, CENG 4400/6400

Applied Biochemistry I, CENG 4450/6450

Applied Biochemistry II, CENG 4460/6460

Chemical Process Control, CENG 4500

Gene Therapy Research, CENG 4820

Education & Affiliations

B.S., Southern Methodist University, 8/85 – 5/88, conferred May, 1988
Ph.D., Rice University, 1/97 – 8/99, conferred January, 2000
Postdoctoral, Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, 10/00–7/03


W T. Godbey received his B.S. in Mathematics from Southern Methodist University in 1988. After a successful period that involved starting his own software design and development company in Dallas, Texas, he joined the fields of science and engineering and earned his Ph.D. as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow from the Institute for Biosciences and Bioengineering at Rice University in 2000. From 2000-2003 he was a postdoctoral fellow at Children’s Hospital, Boston and Harvard Medical School. He joined the Tulane faculty in 2003.

Godbey’s research interests are centered on gene therapy and the manipulation of cells at the genetic level. He has published several papers on the subjects of cellular processing of non-viral gene delivery agents and the use of gene therapy for treatment of bladder cancer. His current research interests include the use of gene therapy for carcinoma treatment, genetic manipulation for bioremediation applications, living fuel cells, controlled release applications for efficient gene delivery, and the use of gene delivery for cellular engineering.

Research Interests

Gene delivery, Cellular engineering, Molecular aspects of nonviral transfection, Biomaterials

The research projects of this laboratory are encompassed by the development and application of gene therapy techniques for tissue and cellular engineering. The design and testing of novel gene delivery vehicles is of some interest, while the application of gene therapy for clinically oriented results is a major focus of the laboratory.

One major project in the Godbey laboratory is focused on the treatment of an entire class of cancers via expression-targeted gene delivery. The delivered DNA in this application acts as a "smart gene" to selectively cause the destruction of specific cancer cells while having little or no effect upon healthy, untransformed cells. This method is showing great promise as a possible treatment for many conditions such as bladder, colon, and prostate cancers.

Other projects include the merging of the fields of molecular and cell biology with engineering to yield cells that are receptive to artificial external signals. Following the administration of an external, user-controlled signal, the engineered cells are to respond in a predetermined way that might include the production of specific factors or an altered behavior such as enhanced mobility. Such engineered cells are excellent candidates for seeding onto biodegradable scaffolds. Over time, these scaffolds would mature into implants suitable for eventual implantation into waiting patients.


Hancock BM, McGuire KL, Tsuji S, Reil K, Hernandez V, Giacalone MJ, Godbey WT. A Single Intravesical Instillation of VAX014 Inhibits Orthotopic Superficial Bladder Tumor Implantation to Increase Survival. Anticancer Res. (2016) 36: 6243-6248.

Chen X, Scapa J, Liu D, Godbey W. Cancer-specific Promoters fo rExpression-targeted Gene Therapy: ran, brms1, and mcm5. J Gene Med. (2016) 18: 89-101.

Tsuji S, Chen X, Hancock B, Hernandez V, Visentin B, Sabbadini R, Giacalone M, and Godbey WT. Pre-clinical Evaluation of VAX-IP, a Novel Bacterial Minicell-Based Biopharmaceutical for Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer. Mol Ther Oncolytics (22016) 3: 16004.

Duran-Lara EF, Marple J, Giesen J, Fang Y, Jordan J, Godbey WT, Marican A, Santosc LS, and Grayson SM. Investigation of Lysine-functionalized Dendrimers as Dichlorvos Detoxification Agents. Biomacromolecules (2015) 16: 3434-3444.

Cortez MA, Godbey WT, Fang Y, Payne ME, Cafferty BJ, Kosakowska KA, Grayson SM. The Synthesis of Cyclic Poly(ethylene imine) and Exact Linear Analogues: An Evaluation of Gene Delivering Comparing Polymer Architectures. J Am Chem Soc. (2015) 137: 6541-6549.

Chen X and Godbey WT. The Potential of the Human Osteopontin Promoter and Single-nucleotide Polymorphisms for Targeted Cancer Gene Therapy. Current Gene Therapy (2015) 15: 82-92.

Fang Y, Chen X, and Godbey WT. Gene Delivery in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. (2015) 103: 1679-1699 (Epub 2014). (Note - Senior author Godbey listed as "W T G" in PubMed)

Abou-Kandil A, Chamias R, Huleihel M, Godbey W, and Aboud M. Differential Role of PKC-Induced c-Jun in HTLV-1 LTR Activation by 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate in Different Human T-cell Lines. PLoS ONE (2012) 7: e29934, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029934.

Abou-Kandil A, Chamias R, Huleihel M, Godbey W, and Aboud M. Role of Caspase 9 in Activation of HTLV-1 LTR Expression by DNA Damaging Agents. Cell Cycle (2011) 10: 3337-3345.

Dobek G, Zhang X, Balazs DA, and Godbey WT. Analysis of Promoters and Expression-targeted Gene Therapy, Optimization Based on Cell Behavior. FASEB J. (2011) 25: 3219-3228.

Balazs DA and Godbey WT. Liposomes for Use in Gene Delivery. J Drug Deliv. (2011) 2011:326497.

Dobek GL and Godbey WT. An Orthotopic Model of Murine Bladder Cancer. J Vis Exp. (2011) 48, pii:2535.  doi: 10.3791/2535. http://www.jove.com/details.stp?id=2535.

Zhang X, and Godbey WT.  Preclinical evaluation of a gene therapy treatment for transitional cell carcinoma. Cancer Gene Therapy (2010) 1-8.

Balazs DA and Godbey WT. Liposomes for Use in Gene Therapy. J Drug delivery (2010)

Zhang X, Turner C, and Godbey WT. Comparison of Caspase Genes for the Induction of Apoptosis following Gene Delivery. Molecular Biotechnology (2009) 41: 236-246.

Ramgopal Y, Mondal D, Venkatraman SS, Godbey WT, and Yuen GY. Controlled release of complexed DNA from polycaprolactone film: Comparison of lipoplex and polyplex release. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. (2009) 89: 439-447.

Grayson SM and Godbey WT. The role of macromolecular architecture in passively targeted polymeric carriers for drug and gene delivery.  J Drug Target. (2008) 16: 329-356.

Ramgopal Y, Venkatraman SS, and Godbey WT.  In vitro release of complexed pDNA from biodegrdable polymer films. J Appl Polym Sci. (2008) 108: 659-664

Zhang X, Atala A, and Godbey WT.  Expression-targeted Gene Therapy for the Treatment of Transitional Cell Carcinoma. Cancer Gene Ther. (2008) Mar 7; [Epub ahead of print]

Godbey WT, Zhang X, and Chang F. The Importance of and a Method for Including Transfection Efficiency into Real-time PCR Data Analyses. Biotechnol Bioeng. (2008) 100: 765-772 *Spotlighted by the journal*

Ramgopal Y, Mondal D, Venkatraman SS, and Godbey WT. Sustained release of complexed and naked DNA from polymer films. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. (2008) 85B: 496-503.

Zhang X and Godbey WT. Viral Vectors for Gene Delivery in Tissue Engineering. Adv Drug Del Rev (2006) 58: 515-534.

Sahiner N, Godbey WT, McPherson GL, and John VT. Microgel, Nanogel and Hydrogel-hydrogel Semi-IPN Composites for Biomedical Applications: Synthesis and Characterization. Colloid Polym Sci (2006) Online version: May 2006, Pages 1 - 9, DOI 10.1007/s00396-006-1489-4, URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00396-006-1489-4.

Godbey WT, Hindy S, Sherman ME, and Atala A. A Novel Use of Centrifugal Force for Cell Seeding into Porous Scaffolds. Biomaterials (2004) 25:2799-805.

Godbey WT and Atala A. Directed apoptosis in Cox-2-overexpressing cancer cells through expression-targeted gene delivery. Gene Ther. 2003 Aug;10(17):1519-27.

Godbey WT and Atala A. In vitro systems for tissue engineering. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Jun;961:10-26.

Godbey WT and Mikos AG. Recent progress in gene delivery using non-viral transfer complexes. J Control Release. 2001 May 14;72(1-3):115-25.

Godbey WT, Wu KK, and Mikos AG. Poly(ethylenimine)-mediated gene delivery affects endothelial cell function and viability. Biomaterials. 2001 Mar; 22(5):471-80.

Godbey WT, Barry MA, Saggau P, Wu KK, and Mikos AG. Poly(ethylenimine)-mediated transfection: a new paradigm for gene delivery. J Biomed Mater Res. 2000 Sep 5;51(3):321-8.

Godbey WT, Wu KK, Hirasaki GJ, and Mikos AG. Improved packing of poly(ethylenimine)/DNA complexes increases transfection efficiency. Gene Ther. 1999 Aug;6(8):1380-8.

Godbey WT, Wu KK, and Mikos AG. Poly(ethylenimine) and its role in gene delivery. J Control Release. 1999 Aug 5;60(2-3):149-60.

Godbey WT, Wu KK, and Mikos AG. Size matters: molecular weight affects the efficiency of poly(ethylenimine) as a gene delivery vehicle. J Biomed Mater Res. 1999 Jun 5;45(3):268-75.

Godbey WT, Wu KK, and Mikos AG. Tracking the intracellular path of poly(ethylenimine)/DNA complexes for gene delivery. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Apr 27;96(9):5177-81.

Non-referenced Publications

Godbey WT. Cancer Cells Can Be Tricked into Self Destructing. Future Oncology (2011) 7: 323-325.

(Lacoste B and Godbey WT.) Tricking Cancer Cells to Go Suicidal. Futurity.org  Health & Medicine – November 23, 2010

Godbey WT. An Expansion of Realtime PCR into the Realm of Gene Delivery. Biotechnol Bioeng (2008) 100: fmvii.

Godbey WT. and Mikos AG. Gene Delivery for Tissue Engineering. Adv Drug Del Rev. (2006) 58: 465-466.

Godbey WT. Polymeric Scaffolds for Stem Cell Growth. Aust J Chem. (2005) 58: 689-690.

Book Chapters in Print

Zhang X, Balazs DA, and Godbey WT, “Nanobiomaterials for Non-viral Gene Therapy”, CRC: Bionanomaterials Handbook, CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group, Balaji Sitharaman editor. (2011)

Munson JM and Godbey WT, “Gene Therapy”, The Biomedical Engineering Handbook (3rd ed.) Volume 3: Tissue Engineering and Artificial Organs. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group, Joseph Bronzino editor. (2006)

Godbey WT and Mikos AG, "Non-viral Gene Delivery,” Biomaterials and Drug Delivery toward the New Mellenium, K.D. Park, I.C. Kwon, N. Yui, S.Y. Jeong, K. Park (eds.) (2000)