Our group uses a multidisciplinary approach to engineer nanoscale materials with unique physical and chemical properties so that they can be used to transform the study, detection, and treatment of cancer. Since molecular alterations promote tumor progression, logic dictates this disease should be combated at the nanoscale. Through careful design of nanoparticles’ architecture and surface chemistry, we seek to understand the structure/function relationship between these nanomaterials and complex biological systems, and then apply this knowledge to develop and implement advanced nanomaterials that solve key challenges in oncology. Specifically, we aim to create innovative nanoparticle-based platforms that can: penetrate biological barriers to enter diseased tissues and cells; provide minimally invasive imaging to ensure complete removal of cancer cells from diseased sites; enable gene regulation and/or photothermal therapy in order to treat primary tumors and metastases, and; release payloads intratumorally based upon intracellular cues or external activation. Ultimately, we aim to transition the technologies developed in our lab from concept to clinical application and expand their application to diseases beyond cancer.

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