To take advantage of the unique capabilities offered by nanotechnology to enhance cancer diagnosis and therapy, experts in multiple disciplines including chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology and medicine, must work together as a cohesive group. Its, chemists, and materials scientists enjoy a far deeper understanding than biomedical scientists of the unique optical, structural and electronic properties of nanomaterials that have driven research in this field. Yet, even as engineering of nanoscale, biomedical diagnostic and therapeutic agents evolves into its own cross-disciplinary field, few nanomaterials have been used for clinical applications.
The bottleneck in the clinical development of novel therapeutics using any nanomaterials is caused by the current lack of relevant structural/physicochemical characterizations linked to fundamental knowledge of biological function relationships at the pre-clinical level that would help to bridge cell culture-to mouse-to human studies.
My research program integrates specific clinical applications into the development of nanotechnology-based, multifunctional entities that can diagnose cancer, deliver therapeutic agents, and monitor cancer treatment (so called "theranostic" agents).
The research will facilitate the translation of nanoparticle-based therapeutics from the lab to the clinic.