Since iron is an essential element for cell growth and proliferation, iron chelation (removal) is a strategy for achieving cytostasis, inhibiting the division of cancer cells. The Josephson lab has developed PEG-like nanoprobes (PNs) that consist of the iron-chelator (iron binder) deferoxamine (DFO), a fluorochrome, and PEG polymer. These DFO bearing PNs (“DFO-PNs)” bind 89Zr (a radioactive metal ion detected by PET imaging) and can be imaged with PET/CT or by surface fluorescence (see Figure). Preliminary results indicate a DFO-PN can inhibit the growth of at least one tumor cell line. The goal of this project is to demonstrate that DFO-PNs can inhibit the division of a variety of tumor cell lines, using techniques for measuring the inhibition of cell division, instead of cell death, developed in the Josephson lab. Success of these experiments will support the use of DFO-PNs in animal models of cancer, and their possible clinical translation.
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