We propose to create a predoctoral training program in nanotechnology for cancer medicine - The Johns Hopkins Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center (CNTC) - that will be positioned at the interface of cancer biology and nanotechnology and will establish a unique national resource with interdisciplinary and synergistic programs in both fundamental and translational research in cancer medicine. The CNTC will foster predoctoral fellows who will be trained across disciplines to lay foundations for technologies that will enable an inside-view of cancer cell functions as opposed to the limited black-box input-output techniques currently used, introduce new modalities for molecular imaging, develop new high-throughput diagnostic tools, and engineer novel viral and non-viral delivery systems to treat human cancers. CNTC fellows will view interactions between nanostructures and biological systems in physical, biological, and biomedical terms and will become adept at emerging concepts in biomolecular engineering, protein engineering, materials synthesis and surface modification, which are required to create nanotechnology to elucidate and monitor in real-time signaling pathways that lead to cancer transformation. CNTC fellows will also develop novel cancer diagnostics to evaluate each individual patient's prognosis and optimal treatment, based upon the patients'genetic and epigenetic markers and disease phenotype and therapeutics that are selected and optimized for each individual patient. The CNTC will train a cadre of predoctoral fellows for a future in research in academia and research laboratories in industry. Through independent proposal writing, the CNTC will emphasize early independence in research. CNTC fellows will be able to take advantage of research and clinical resources at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the NCI- designated Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Ludwick Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Center, the In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center, and the Johns Hopkins Engineering in Oncology Center PSOC as well as the unique educational resources and experimental facilities of the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology, where the CNTC will be administratively housed.
The proposed predoctoral training program will train fellows at the interface between nanotechnology and cancer medicine to develop novel nanoscale therapeutic and diagnostic tools for the detection, treatment and cure of human cancer.
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