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Washington University chosen as NIH Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology

nanotechnology developments that can have clinical applications through this century."

"The Programs of Excellence in Nanotechnology is a vitally important research effort that will spur the development of novel technologies to diagnose and treat heart, lung, and blood diseases. The program brings together bioengineers, materials scientists, biologists, and physicians who will work in interdisciplinary teams. By taking advantage of the unique properties of materials at the nanoscale, these teams will devise creative solutions to medical problems," said Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Wooley, a synthetic organic chemist who has made numerous important breakthroughs with nanoparticles over the past decade, cited six specific aims of the Program

  • Preparation and assembly of programmed, integrated nanosystems
  • Application of nanostructures for imaging at increased levels of sensitivity
  • Imaging of gene expression by recognition of messenger RNA (mRNA) transcription products
  • Application of the nanostructures for therapy
  • Cross disciplinary education and training of medical and materials scientists
  • Dissemination and translation of nanotechnology developments

As an example of how people in the PEN will collaborate and rely on each other's skills, Wooley says to imagine an injured vessel in the lung or cardiovasculature as the target. With guidance provided by medical experts on these diseases, Dan Schuster, Dana Abendschein and Rob Gropler, nanoparticles that Wooley and her lab members have been making for years called, shell cross-linked nanoparticles (SCK), or other nanoscale materials being developed in the laboratories of Jean Frechet (UC-Berkeley) or Craig Hawker (UC-Santa Barbara), will be used as carriers for diagnostic imaging agents and also therapeutics.

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Contact: Tony Fitzpatrick
tony_fitzpatrick@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis
29-Apr-2005


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