The Northwestern CCNE represents a dynamic partnership between the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (RHLCCC) and Northwestern’s International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN), uniting scientists, engineers, and clinicians in their quest to provide novel nanotechnology-based solutions to cancer research and treatment. Under the leadership of Professor Chad A. Mirkin and Dr. Leonidas Platanias, the CCNE features three projects (one discovery-based and two translational), and one core facility to learn about the genetic basis of this highly heterogeneous disease class and how it can be analyzed and treated using genetic approaches.
Due to their novel size-, shape-, and composition-dependent chemical, biological, and physical properties nucleic-acid based nanomaterials can be used to gain access to privileged intracellular environments, discover new aspects of cancer biology and genetics, and exploit nanostructure-biomolecular interactions to create effective treatment options. The Northwestern CCNE explores these vast possibilities by applying a novel class of nanostructure genetic constructs – the spherical nucleic acid (SNA) and variants of it – for the study and treatment of brain (glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and prostate cancer (pCa).
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