Spring 2014 Seminar Series

The Nano Institute is pleased to partner with the Department of Chemistry and Department of Bioengineering to present  seminars for the Spring 2014 semester.


 Monday, March 31, 2014

Zak Megeed

Squire Sanders, LLP

"Intellectual Property and the Commercialization of Research: An Overview of the Patent system, Trends and Current Issues"

Zak Megeed is a patent attorney representing clients in the life sciences and technology industries in all aspects of intellectual property strategy and procurement. His practice focuses on strategic counseling related to patent procurement, portfolio development and management, freedom-to-operate, due diligence and licensing. He has extensive experience in antibody therapeutics, immunology, cleantech, diagnostics, drug delivery, molecular biology, regenerative medicine and next generation sequencing methods.

4:00 pm

Health Science Education (HSEB) Room 4100B


Friday, March 7, 2014


Rangaramanujam M. Kannan, Ph.D.

 John Hopkins School of Medicine

"Dendrimer-Based Targeting of Neuroinflammation-Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Disorders"

Abstract. Neuroinflammation, caused by activated microglia and astrocytes, plays a key role in the pathogenesis of cerebral palsy (CP), autism, retinal degeneration, and other debilitating neurodegenerative disorders. 'Engineering' the functional response of the microglia, to achieve targeted attenuation of neuroinflammation, can be a potent therapeutic strategy. However, drug delivery to the central nervous system is strongly restricted for most drugs by the blood-brain-barrier, making treatment of diffuse neuroinflammation a challenge. We take advantage of the unique, intrinsic, pathology-dependent, biodistribution patterns of dendrimers (with no targeting moieties) in diseases models of neurodegeneration. For example, dendrimers are transported to the periventricular region of the brain of newborn rabbit kits with cerebral palsy (CP), whereas relatively little brain uptake is seen in healthy animals. Interestingly, they further localize selectively in activated microglia and astrocytes in animals with CP. Such selective localization in activated microglia is also seen in small animal animal models of retinal degeneration, stroke, and a large animal model of brain injury following circulatory arrest. Building on these findings, we have designed and synthesized dendrimer-drug nanodevices, taking advantage of their rich surface functionality using appropriate linking chemistry. They can deliver and release the drug in the targeted tissue in a tailored and sustained manner. Two examples of this approach of targeting neuroinflammation the retina2 and the brain (intravenous administration)2 will be presented. We show that a single intravenous dose of dendrimer-drug conjugate, administered after birth to rabbit kits with CP, results in significant improvement in motor function along with decrease in neuroinflammation and oxidative/neuronal injury, followed by improved myelination, by 5 days of age.1 These studies suggest that attenuation of ongoing neuroinflammation, achieving by appropriate manipulation of the glial response, can have significant positive consequences in these and other debilitating neurodegenerative diseases. Application of this approach to designing dendrimer-based targeted therapeutic platforms is being explored in a variety of systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation-associated disorders.


 1. S Kannan, H Dai, RS Navath, B Balakrishnan, A Jyoti, J Janisse, R Romero, RM Kannan (2012). 'Dendrimer-based postnatal therapy for neuroinflammation and cerebral palsy in a rabbit model'. Science Translational Medicine, 4(130), p. 130ra46. Highlighted in Nature, Science, Nature Review Drug Discovery.

 2.R Iezzi, B Raja Guru, I Glybina, M Mishra, A Kennedy, RM Kannan (2012). 'Dendrimer-based targeted intravitreal therapy for sustained attenuation of neuroinflammation in retinal degeneration'. Biomaterials, 33(3), 979-988.


Monday, February 10, 2014


Vince Rotello, Ph.D.

University of Massachusetts, Amhurst

" Gold Nanoparticles in Biomedicine: Delivery and Sensing"

Abstract: A key issue in the use of nanomaterials is controlling how they interact with themselves and with the outer world. Our research program focuses on the tailoring of nanoparticles of surfaces for a variety of applications, coupling the atomic-level control provided by organic synthesis with the fundamental principles of supramolecular chemistry. Using these engineered nanoparticles, we are developing particles for biological applications, in particular delivery and sensing. This talk will focus on the interfacing of nanoparticles with biosystems, and will discuss our use of nanoparticles for delivery applications including our studies of small molecule, nucleic acid, and protein delivery. This presentation will also feature the use of nanoparticles for diagnostic applications, including the use of array-based sensing paradigms for the detection and identification of cancer.

Time 4:00 pm

4630 TBBC (4th  Floor)



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