Department of Materials Science & Engineering
and Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of California, San Diego
Nanoparticle targeting strategies have largely relied on the use of surface conjugated ligands designed to bind overexpressed cell-membrane receptors associated with a given cell-type. We envisioned a targeting strategy that would lead to an active accumulation of nanoparticles by virtue of a supramolecular assembly event specific to tumor tissue, occurring in response to a specific signal. For this purpose, we utilize enzymes as stimuli, rather than other recognition events, because they are uniquely capable of propagating a signal via catalytic amplification. We will describe the preparation of highly functionalized polymer scaffolds utilizing ring opening metathesis polymerization, their development as in vivo probes and their utility as a multimodal imaging platform and as drug carriers capable of targeting tissue. Furthermore, we will describe new methods and approaches for characterizing this kind of dynamic material at the nanoscale, including by liquid cell transmission electron microscopy and combined isotopic and optical nanoscopy.
Nathan C. Gianneschi received his B.Sc(Hons) at the University of Adelaide in 1999. In 2005 he completed his Ph.D at Northwestern University. Following a Dow Chemical postdoctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute, in 2008 he began his independent career at University of California, San Diego where he is currently the Teddy Traylor Faculty Scholar and Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Materials Science & Engineering, and a member of the Moores Cancer Center.
The Gianneschi group takes an interdisciplinary approach to nanomaterials research with a focus on multifunctional materials with interests that include biomedical applications, programmed interactions with biomolecules and cells, and basic research into nanoscale materials design, synthesis and characterization. For this work he has been awarded the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, the NIH Director's Transformative Research Award and the White House's highest honor for young scientists and engineers with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Prof. Gianneschi was awarded a Dreyfus Foundation Fellowship, is a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.