Sridhar Srinivas
Srinivas Sridhar, professor of physics and director of Northeastern’s IGERT nanomedicine program

Physics professor Srinivas Sridhar has received grants from the National Institutes of Health, American Lung Foundation, and Department of Defense totaling $1.13 million.

The NIH/NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) grant is to support the project titled, “Quantitative Neurovascular Imaging for Drug Abuse Research.” The Sridhar group has developed a new ground-breaking technique QUTE-CE MRI that leads to quantitative MRI imaging with unprecedented clarity and definition using magnetic nanoparticles. This grant to Principal Investigator Srinivas Sridhar and co-Investigator Craig Ferris will enable the creation of a brain atlas using this new technique in animals and will further study changes in the blood distribution in the brain under the influence of addictive drugs.

In support of the project, “Targeted Nanodelivery of PARP inhibitors for Lung Cancer Therapy,” the American Lung Foundation has awarded its grant. Sridhar explains the project: “Lung cancer is relatively insensitive to chemotherapy with platinum drugs and radiation therapy. An enzyme called Poly‐ADP‐ribose‐polymerase (PARP) repairs the damaged DNA. Treating tumors with PARP inhibitors like Olaparib results in selective tumor cell death. Current oral delivery of Olaparib is highly inefficient due to low bio‐availability, meaning only a small proportion of the drug enters the circulation and accumulates in the tumor. Using nanotechnology, we will develop and test two injectable nanoparticle formulations of Olaparib. These novel targeted nanoparticle formulations will ensure the delivery of clinically relevant doses of Olaparib and cisplatin specifically to the lung tumor, increasing the ability to kill cancer cells while minimizing toxic effects for both localized and metastatic tumors.”

Finally, the Department of Defense CDMRP Breast Cancer Research Program awarded a grant to support the project, “Nanoformulations and Sustained Delivery of PARP Inhibitors for Breast Cancer.” The Sridhar group has developed NanoTalazoparib, a nanoparticle formulation of the PARP inhibitor Talazoparib. Under this DoD funded project the group will study in mice models of breast cancer how these formulations behave in the bloodstream, where they end up, and how long they last. They will test the therapeutic efficacy by studying how tumors are shrunk by this novel nanoparticle drug formulation. Successful outcome of the proposed studies could lead to Phase I clinical trials for neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer in 2-3 years. If successfully completed, the project would proffer new treatment options for enhancing therapeutic efficacy, prolonging progression-free survival, reducing mortality, and greatly improving the quality of life for as many as 75% of TNBC patients, and 33% of breast cancer patients overall.