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Burnham Institute to collaborate in NCI funded Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence

La Jolla, CA October 3, 2005 Burnham Institute for Medical Research announced its contribution to the newly funded Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE) established at the University of California with funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The CCNE is a new program created with the goal of assembling nanodevices capable of targeting tumor vasculature and carrying out multiple potential functions for imaging, diagnosis and therapeutic treatment. Dr. Erkki Ruoslahti, Distinguished Professor at the Institute, will join a team of world class nanoengineers to integrate "homing" functionality into nanodevices, or so called "mother ships," capable of delivering diagnostic or therapeutic cargo to cancer blood vessels. [The project will bring $6.8 million the Institute over the next five years.]

Cancer blood vessels express specific markers that are not present in the blood vessels of normal tissues and may be use as a postal address for delivering imaging agents and cancer therapeutics. The project directed by Dr. Ruoslahti aims to develop nanodevices that can act as mailmen for delivering these payloads directly to the blood vessels of cancer cells.

Dr. Tomas Mustelin, Professor and Director of the Institute's inflammation research program, will contribute as co-principal investigator on a component directed by Dr. Michael Sailor. Dr. Mustelin will study the interaction of nanomachines with cells, looking at how molecular assemblies affect cell health.

The CCNE has assembled a team of investigators from the University of California, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Irvine, and Riverside campuses, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, NanoBioNexus, and General Electric. The consortium is comprised of six complementary projects, each using newly developed and unique technologies, which will collectively aim at using nanotechnology to develop anti-cancer therapies that directly target tumor cells; more accurate and faster dia
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Contact: Nancy Beddingfield
nbeddingfield@burnham.org
858-646-3146
Burnham Institute
3-Oct-2005


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