The project will focus on using feraheme (FH) as a scaffold to develop PSMA-targeting nanoparticles (NPs) using a PSMA-inhibitor (PSMA-I) in order to better image prostate cancer. Click chemistry will be applied to synthesize the NP quickly and efficiently. Prostate cancer cells display a concentration of PSMA markers 1000x more concentrated on their membrane than non-cancerous prostate cells. Feraheme is an FDA-approved off-label nanoparticle that has very low toxicity and high non-specific cellular uptake, but when a PSMA-I is attached, tissue-specific targeting will be demonstrated by comparing non-specific uptake in PSMA(+) and PSMA(-) tumor cell lines. PSMA is expressed in both the prostate and the brain which allows the NP to target multiple organs. By attaching several targeting structures on the surface of the NP, the synergistic effect will give the FH-PSMA-I NP better diagnostic power in vivo. Eventually, further additions on the surface of the NP will add specificity and will allow subtyping of prostate cancers.
CaNCURE provides trainees with a 6-month hands-on research experience and one-on-one mentoring by leading researchers in cancer nanomedicine. Projects performed by current and past participants include:
While on co-op, trainees document their research in an e-portfolio. This gives trainees the opportunity to provide regular updates on their research progress, reflect on training they are receiving, and explain how their research fits within the field of cancer nanomedicine. These research e-portfolios can be accessed through individual trainee profiles. The complete collection may be found here.
Presentation at CaNCURE Nanomedicine Day
At the completion of their co-op, trainees are provided with the opportunity to present their research to a wider audience. In our 1st annual CaNCURE Nanomedicine Day, trainees prepared interactive, digital posters to display on electronic poster boards. Over 100 faculty, students, and researchers attended our first event!
Check out the news article and congrats to all the poster winners!
Jordan Harris: Most Innovative Cancer Research Award
Jeremy Thong: Best Undergraduate Research Poster Award
Craig Pille: Most Promising Translational Research Award
Bryan Kynnap: Most Promising Basic Science Award
Jordan Harris: Top Chemical Engineering Poster Award