IIN Frontiers in Nanotechnology Seminar Series – Jianjun Cheng
Dr. Jianjun Cheng
Professor and Willett Faculty Scholar
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Hosted by Professor Guillermo Ameer
Controlled materials design and synthesis play a significant role in addressing various drug delivery challenges in vivo. In this seminar, Professor Cheng will present his work on the development of helical-charged polypeptides for cell penetration, gene and siRNA delivery. By controlling polypeptide side-chains, he has developed ionic helical polypeptides capable of mediating efficient membrane penetration, and addressing cellular trafficking challenges. Professor Cheng will also describe his work on the development of well-controlled silica drug nanoconjugates, and his study of the size-distribution and size-efficacy correlation as it relates to cancer therapeutics. Finally, he will present his work on the development of axido-sugar derivatives that can label triple negative breast cancer and enable successful in vivo targeting.
Jianjun Cheng obtained a B.S. degree in Chemistry at Nankai University, China, in 1993, a M.S. degree in Chemistry at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1996, and a Ph.D. degree in Materials Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2001 with Professor Timothy Deming. He was a Senior Scientist at Insert Therapeutics, Inc., from 2001 to 2004, and a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at MIT with Professor Robert Langer from 2004 to 2005. He joined the faculty of UIUC as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2005, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011 and Full Professor in 2015. Cheng is the co-inventor of 27 patents and co-authored over 140 publications. Cheng’s research has made translational impact. Two nanomedicine systems he developed/co-developed are currently in Phase-II clinical trials. He received a Prostate Cancer Foundation Competitive Award in 2007, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2008, a Xerox Award for Outstanding Research at UIUC in 2010, a NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2010, the Willett Faculty Scholar Award in 2013, and the UIUC Distinguished Promotion Award in 2015 (among 5 out of 80 faculty being promoted). He was appointed as an Associate of the Center for Advanced Study at UIUC in 2014. He has also been on the list of Teachers Ranked as Excellent By their Students five times at UIUC. Cheng is currently an Associate Editor of Biomaterials Science, Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a Fellow of American Chemical Society-Division of Polymer Chemistry.