Magnetic Nanoparticles for Cancer Imaging and Therapy

Jinming Gao, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, University of Texas at Dallas

Friday, October 10, 2008

Spanos Auditorium

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series

Nanoparticles with advanced magnetic properties have been actively pursed for potential biomedical applications, including molecular imaging, diagnosis, and therapy of cancer. Our lab is interested in the development of novel superparamagnetic nanoparticles as ultra-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents for cancer molecular imaging and targeted drug delivery applications. MRI is an important diagnostic imaging technique that provides superb in vivo imaging capability with excellent soft tissue contrast. However, the primary limitation of MRI in molecular imaging applications has been its lower sensitivity for the detection of targeted agents compared to other imaging modalities (e.g. nuclear imaging). Here I will present several strategies in achieving MRI ultrasensitivity and cancer specificity through new SPIO compositions, clustering and ligand functionalization of micelles. Magnetic targeting via these micelle nanoparticles will also be discussed. These results demonstrate the exciting potential of magnetic nanoparticles for cancer molecular imaging and targeted drug delivery applications.

About the Speaker

Dr. Jinming Gao received his B.S. degree in Chemistry at Peking University (Beijing, China) in June 1991. He carried out graduate studies at Harvard University under the supervision of G. M. Whitesides. In May 1996, he received a Ph.D. degree in Medicinal Chemistry with thesis research focused on rational drug design and protein charge ladders. Following his doctoral studies, he completed his postdoctoral training in Biomedical Engineering under R. S. Langer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his postdoctoral training, Dr. Gao worked on tissue engineering of vascular prosthesis and controlled-release drug delivery. In August 1998, Dr. Gao joined the faculty of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology in April 2004. In July 2005, Dr. Gao moved his lab to Dallas, Texas, where he holds a primary appointment as Associate Professor (with tenure) of Oncology and Pharmacology in the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a joint appointment as Associate Professor of Chemistry at UT Dallas. He is also the Founding Member of the Bioengineering Department at UT Dallas. Dr. Gao has published over 60 peer reviewed papers, 40 conference proceedings and 4 book chapters. He is currently serving as the Associate Editor for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Using a highly-interdisciplinary approach, his lab is focused on development of multi-functional nanomedicine platforms that incorporate tumor targeting, imaging ultrasensitivity, and controlled drug release for cancer-targeted therapy.