Photodynamic therapy (PDT) relies on the use of light, combined with a photosensitizer, in order to treat cancer and infectious diseases. While both the light and photosensitizer are generally safe on their own, their combination can be toxic to cells. Fortunately, photosensitizers tend to selectively accumulate in tissues with high metabolic activity, such as cancers. This accumulation allows for localized treatment, and so unlike systemic drug administration, PDT produces few off-target side-effects. In this talk, you will hear about some of the latest advances in photodynamic therapy, as well as new ideas to transform the way PDT is used clinically.
After receiving a B.S. in Physics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, IN), Eric’s pursuit of an interdisciplinary research career led him to join the Spring Lab at Northeastern University (Boston, MA) in 2015, where he has spearheaded many preclinical photomedicine and cancer research projects. Eric is primarily interested in developing translatable cancer therapies by combining his experience in fundamental photophysics, medical imaging, and cancer biology. Eric will also receive a Certificate in Nanomedicine through the Nanomedicine Academy as part of his doctoral training, and hopes to use these concepts to create new photo- and nanomedicines later in his career. In 2015, Eric completed the Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Memphis, TN) where he worked on hepatic iron quantification using MRI in the Diagnostic Imaging Department.