Nanomedicine seeks to exploit a timely convergence of two parallel recent developments toward the diagnosis and therapy of disease – the decoding of the human genome that has led to greater understanding of the molecular basis of diseases, and nanotechnology, which offers the means to control single molecular interactions. The Nanomedicine Science and Technology program was formed to establish nanomedicine as a new paradigm for diagnosis and therapy of cancer, infectious and cardiovascular diseases from bench to bedside. Based at Northeastern University, the program collaborates with outstanding medical institutions such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel and Deaconness Medical Center and Dana Farber Cancer Center, and industrial organizations including Genzyme and Boston Scientific.
The tightly-integrated interdisciplinary team of medical researchers, pharmaceutical scientists, physicists, chemists, and chemical engineers, has an extensive range of expertise to facilitate research on nanomedicine:
- Development of nanomedical technologies using polymeric nanoparticles, lipid nanoparticles, metal nanoparticles, and self-assembling nanosystems,
- Synthetic chemistry required to design and optimize new strategies for nanoparticle preparation and functionalization,
- Science and technologies for cancer diagnostic and imaging techniques using nanoparticles as reporter platforms and contrast enhancing agents,
- Therapeutic targeted and intracellular drug and gene delivery using nanocarriers,
- Preparation of nanoparticles susceptible to external factors, such as electromagnetic fields from radio-frequency to infrared radiation, and hyper/hypothermia, that they can transfer to surrounding cells and tissues (tumor),
- Theoretical modeling of nanoparticle processes in biological and medical environments, and of drug and gene delivery,
- Clinical diagnosis and therapy of prostate, breast, and liver cancer.