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Nobel laureate Roger Tsien, Ph.D., keynotes Cedars-Sinai nanomedicine conference March 15, 16

LOS ANGELES (March 11, 2013) Nobel laureate Roger Tsien, PhD, will keynote Cedars-Sinai's March 15 and 16 Nanomedicine for Imaging and Treatment Conference, which will assemble a multidisciplinary group of nationally and internationally renowned academic researchers, clinicians and representatives from private industry and the National Institutes of Health.

Tsien, professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein (GFP), which glows bright green and is found in one species of jellyfish. Among its biochemical uses, synthetic green fluorescent protein can be bound to other proteins to track their movement and behavior.

Experts from two dozen organizations will lead sessions on identified and emerging issues in nanomedicine, focusing on recent achievements in drug delivery, nanomedicine and imaging, the role of the NIH in nanodrug development, and the latest preclinical and clinical advances in the treatment of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and other conditions. The program was designed to provide many opportunities for those attending to talk and share ideas with members of the faculty.

Scientists specializing in nanotechnology and nanomedicine generally work with substances smaller than 100 nanometers. One nanometer is one-millionth of a millimeter. A sheet of paper is 100,000 nanometers thick and a strand of human DNA is 2.5 nanometers in diameter. Nano researchers manipulate substances and materials in the realm of their atomic makeup.

"Nanotechnology has the real potential to revolutionize a wide array of medical and biotechnology tools and procedures so that they are more personalized, portable, cheaper, safer and easier to administer," according to the United States National Nanotechnology Initiative website, which says nanomedicine already is making an impact in many areas, such as biological imaging for early disease diagnosis, molecular imaging for early cancer detection, therapeutic targeting of cancer cells, and monitoring of individual cells and molecules as they move in their environments.

The conference's March 15 sessions will focus on nanomedicine for advanced imaging and targeted drug delivery. Tsien's 1 p.m. presentation will be on new molecules to image neuronal function and disease processes. Other sessions will include:

  • Transport oncophysics and opportunities for nanomedicine
  • Bringing nanomedicines to cell organelles
  • Nanoscale electrostatic delivery systems: from layered nanoparticles to RNAi microsponges
  • Design and biorecognition of water-soluble macromolecular therapeutics
  • Multivalent hyperbranched polymeric nanoparticles as self-reporting drug delivery vehicles
  • A window into the Alzheimer's brain
  • Direct brain MR-guided delivery of nanoparticles in neuro-oncology and neurodegenerative disorders
  • MRI of cancer using targeted contrast agents
  • Mapping the human vasculature by in vivo phage display
  • Ligand-directed targeting and molecular imaging in translational medicine
  • A discussion on multidisciplinary research in oncology, with a panel of experts from the National Institutes of Health

March 16 sessions, spotlighting nanotechnology's major role in the future of medical treatment, will include:

  • Nanotechnology for medicine
  • Harnessing the combined powers of antibody-fusion proteins and nanopolymers for cancer therapy
  • Nanomedicine for targeted drug delivery to epithelial barriers of intestines, skin and lung
  • The clinical significance of iron oxide nanoparticles
  • Supramolecular nanomedicines for targeted cancer therapy
  • Nanotechnology strategies to overcome multidrug resistance
  • Protein-based nanoparticles target tumors and drug resistance
  • Nanobiomaterials: advances, safety and security
  • Translating nanomedical research into nanomedical applications
  • Panel discussion among industry and legal experts

This will be Cedars-Sinai's second nanomedicine conference for science and health care professionals, presented by the Department of Neurosurgery and the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.

It will be directed by Julia Y. Ljubimova, MD, PhD, professor of neurosurgery and biomedical sciences, and director of the Nanomedicine Research Center in the Department of Neurosurgery. Ljubimova and colleagues have published preclinical studies on a nanodrug transport system for targeted treatment of biological mechanisms in brain tumor and breast cancer cells.

Participating Cedars-Sinai faculty will include:

  • Keith L. Black, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, co-director of the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center, and the Ruth and Lawrence Harvey Chair in Neuroscience
  • Robert Figlin, MD, professor of medicine and biomedical sciences, director of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, and the Steven Spielberg Family Chair in Hematology/Oncology
  • Eggehard Holler, PhD, professor and director of Drug Synthesis in the Department of Neurosurgery
  • Shlomo Melmed, MD, professor of medicine, senior vice president for Academic Affairs, dean of the medical faculty, director of the Cedars-Sinai Research Institute, and the Helene A. and Philip E. Hixon Chair in Investigative Medicine
  • Steven Piantadosi, MD, PhD, professor, director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, and the Phase One Foundation Chair


Contact: Sandy Van
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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