The Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology  in Baltimore recently received a 5 year $13.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to establish the Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence. The center, under the co-direction of  Professors Peter Searson and  Martin Pomper,  will initially focus on four research projects:

1) the application of quantum dots and silica super paramagnetic particles to screen bodily fluids for the presence of cancer indicators

2) testing for the possible us if nanocurcumin in the treatment of tumors that have developed in abdominal organs. Curcumin is derived from the spice turmeric. In it’s larger form, curcumin has been shown to be effective when used as part of chemotherapy, but is difficult for the bloodstream to absorb, while nanocurcumin is more easily absorbed into the bloodstream

3) Development of a non-invasive method of monitoring the effectiveness of vaccines

4) Development of methods using mucus penetrating nanoparticles to deliver chemotherapy treatments directly to small cell lung cancer tissues.

Other projects will be added over the course of the five year period.

As part of an effort to bring products that emerge from these research areas to market, the Center will also have a Cancer Nanomedicine Commercialization Working Group, headed by John Fini, Johns Hopkins University’s Director of Intellectual Property.