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Ghandehari Lab News

Kyllie Furukawa

  • 03/011/2019 -Congratulations to M. Martin Jensen on winning the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition at the University of Utah. His presentation showcased how biologically inspired Silk-Elastinlike Protein Polymers (SELP) can be used to create innovative medical devices. Additionally, he will give his presentation at the University Research Communication Fair and be heading to compete at the Western Association of Graduate School Regional Grand Slam in Tucson, Arizona.
  • KYLE12/11/2018 - Congratualtions to Kyle Isaacson who recieved 3rd place in the Graduate Oral Presentation Competition at the Utah Biomedical Engineering Conference (UBEC) 2018. Presentation Title: Silk-Elastinlike Protein Nanogels for Controlled Drug Delivery.
This university/corporate partnership is located at the university’s Nano Institute, which is overseen by co-director Dr.Hamid Ghandehari. (Aqua-Yield)(AGPRO) Five years after introducing its crop fertility products with nanotechnology, Aqua-Yield is eyeing further product development while expanding its footprint.“Today, 75% of our revenue comes from our ag products, and the balance is from the turf business,” says Aqua-Yield Clark Bell. “We currently have 30 distributors in the U.S, but we are looking to double that be the end of 2019.”Bells says this includes expanding beyond its farmer network of distributors to include traditional ag retail and dealers, with that coming on-board in the first or second quarters of 2019. Another development for the company is forming a first of its kind collaboration between the company and University of Utah’s Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization. This university/corporate partnership is located at the university’s Nano Institute, which is overseen by co-director Dr.Hamid Ghandehari. Aqua-Yield Chief Science Officer Landon Bunderson will lead the company’s efforts to “building”/inventing nano-particles that will specifically focus on agriculture and combine these new findings with the “nanogronomy” advancements already instituted and in practice at Aqua-Yield. “Nano isn’t the cure-all, but it does help a plant express its full genetic potential,” Bell says. “And we’ve made great waves with corn, soy, potatoes, wheat and cotton.” The company also recently reported trials with Utah State University in alfalfa. The trials were performed over the growing season (three cuttings) of 2018, Aqua-Yield liquid fertilizer enhancer, NanoStress, was added to the traditional dry fertilizer protocol. Tons per acre increased as well as relative feed value. The trial showed increased per acre returns on overall product investment by more than $107. Bell also says the company is looking to expand beyond fertilizer products and is pursuing partners for a pesticide product in the next 18 to 24 months. While the company has product in 47 U.S. state, it’s also expanded internationally. “For example, our export partners have realized the benefit of nanotechnology. What pre full article: Exclusive: Aqua-Yield Joins Nano Institute; Eyes Product Expansion
  • 09/22/2018 - Congratulations to Kyle Isaacson on receiving a Graduate Student Travel Award from the University of Utah Graduate School to attend  15th International Nanomedicine & Drug Delivery Symposium (NanoDDS).
  • 9/01/2018 - Martin Jensen received a National Science Foundation Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN) Supplemental Funding Award, National Science Foundation award work with TheraTarget, Inc. and learned about translating university inventions to commercial products. 
  • 8/31/2018 - Liquid to Solid Intravascular EmbolicEmbolization is a minimally invasive therapy that provides stable and localized occlusion of arterial blood flow (transarterial embolization, TAE) with applications in rapidly growing markets of interventional radiology and cancer treatment. However, transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) treatments have severe shortcomings due to chemotherapeutic toxicity, off-target embolization, and non-degradability.University of Utah researchers have developed an innovative biopolymer, composed of silk-like elastin proteins that overcomes the above shortcomings by combining the best properties of both liquid and solid embolics for TACE. The SELP embolic polymer is liquid at room temperature permitting localized delivery through smaller diameter catheters that transitions in vivo to a solid providing stable occlusion. This liquid to solid embolic enables pinpoint embolization of tumor-feeding arteries and can also be used to deliver therapeutics.
  •  07/27/2018 - Congratulations to Pouya Hadipour for being selected for the Kumamoto Award for his excellence in research. He was one of only three chosen for the award. Pouya was selected for his clear focus, peer-reviewed publications, and high quality research. Great work!
  • 07/22/2018 - Congratulations to Martin Jensen on receiving a  Graduate Student Travel Award from the University of Utah Graduate School to attend the Controlled Release Society Annual Meeting to present his work on fluorescently loaded embolics for improving visualization during the minimally invasive resection of highly vascularized tumors in the head and neck.
  • 07/22/2018 - Congratulations to Kyle Isaacson receiving the Kinam Park Student Travel Grant for traveling to the Controlled Release Society Annual Meeting to present his work on thermo-contractive nanogels with matrix metalloproteinase responsive behavior. 
  • 07/1/2018 - Congratulations to Nithya Subrahmanyam on receiving an NIH-NRSA fellowship to pursue her work in water-soluble polymers to target the tumor-associated extracellular matrix.

Kyllie Furukawa

06/18/2018 - Congratulations to Kyllie Furukawa, a high school intern for the Ghandehari Lab during the summer of 2017, on her awards that were based on research done during her internship. She was awarded the following:  1) The In Vitro Biology award, presented by the Society for In Vitro Biology, awarded for "outstanding achievement for ability and creativity in in vitro biology."  2) The Office of Naval Research (part of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps) awarded her the Naval Science Award + a $50 gift card to for "producing and presenting quality science and engineering projects." 3) The 3rd place award for the senior Materials and Biomedical Engineering Division (high school), which also came with a $45 cash prize. 
  • 5/21/2018 - Congratulations to Martin Jensen ( and our collaborator Dr. Siam Ootamasathein for the best poster award in the Bladder & Urethra: Anatomy, Physiology, & Pharmacology Session of the 113th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in San Francisco, CA.
  • Mostafa Yazdimamaghani was selected as the recipient of American Society of Iranian Pharmaceutical Scientists (ASIPS) award for 2017 and will present his project in American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) annual meeting in San Diego.
  • Pouya Hadipour won the Best Poster Award in 15th International Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium, NanoDDS 2017, held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, September 22-24, 2017.
  • Martin Jensen was awarded an Allied Scientist Grant from the Society for Interventional Radiology Foundation in 2017. This $40K award supports his current research into the development of a radiopaque SELP Embolic for improving the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. 
  • Martin Jensen received a Student Research Award from the Society for Biomaterials, Drug Delivery Special Intrest Group for his work on developing recombinant polymer-based systems for reducing radiation-induced damage and pain. This work was recognized at The 14th International Nanomedicine & Drug Delivery Symposium, NanoDDS at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Our students received several awards at the Institute of Biological Engineering Conference held in Salt Lake City this year. Kyle Isaacson received the 1st place award for graduate student poster competition sponsored by the Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. M. Martin Jensen received 3rd place in the graduate student poster competition and the "Oustanding Student Presentation in Materials & Technology for Drug and Nucleic Acid Delivery" award for his oral presentation. 
  • Martin Jensen received Best Oral Presentation at the 2016 UBEC 11th Annual Bioengineering Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, December 16th, 2016.
  • Martin Jensen received a Student Research Award from the Society for Biomaterials, Drug Delivery Special Intrest Group for his work on developing recombinant polymer-based systems. This work was recognized at The 14th International Nanomedicine & Drug Delivery Symposium, NanoDDSat Johns Hopkins University. 
  • Mostafa Yazdimamaghani was awarded one of the inaugral Skaggs Graduate Research Fellowship awards from the Universtity of Utah College of Pharmacy.
  • M. Martin Jensen and Kyle Isaacson received a Best Poster Award at Mechanisms and Barriers in Nanomedicine conference in Breckenridge, CO on July 16, 2016 for their poster"Impact of Motif Organization on the Formation and Stability of Silk-Elastinlike Protein Polymer Nanogels". Based on the quality of the poster presentation Martin received an invitation at the conference to give an oral presentation in the concluding session titled "Creation of Physically Crosslinked Nanogels from Silk-Elastinlike Protein Polymers".  The work represents the first reported creation of physically cross linked protein nanogels.
  • Pouya Hadipour was awarded a 2015 Nanotechnology Graduate Training Program Fellowship and will receive a certificate upon graduation from the Nanotechnology Training Program.
  • Martin Jensen, PhD Graduate Student, Bioengineering, has recently been selected to receive a 2015 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship.
  • Azadeh Poursaid and Nick Frazier received 1st and 3rd student poster prizes, respectively, at nanoUtah 2014.
  • Azadeh Poursaid received an NIH-NRSA fellowship for her project focused on design and development of protein based polymers for localized drug delivery in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
  • Adam Gormley won the Best Poster Award at the 2012 International Polymer Therapeutics Symposium in Spain.
  • Heather Herd was the recipient of NanoDDS Poster Award in the 2011 Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium.
  • Robert Price, Dallin Hubbard and Azadeh Poursaid were awarded the Nanotechnology Training Program Fellowship during the period of 2010-2011.
  • Shraddha Sadekar and Giridhar Thiagarajan were awarded the Research Fellowship from the University of Utah Graduate School in 2011.
  • Debra Goldberg was awarded first prize for her podium presentation at The Globalization of Pharmaceutics Education Network conference in 2010.
  • Three students from Ghandehari lab won poster awards at nanoUtah 2010, Utah's 6th annual statewide nanotechnology conference. First, second and third prizes in the Nanomedicine Category, went to Giridhar Thiagarajan, Shraddha Sadekar, and Adam Gormley respectively.
  • Heather Herd, PhD Graduate Student, Bioengineering, has recently been awarded two fellowships. The Institute of International Education has awarded Heather a Whitaker International Fellowship, which allows her to study at the University of Saarland, Saarbruecken, Germany, as a Visiting Scholar in Dr. Claus Michael-Lehr's laboratory. Following her fellowship in Germany, Heather will return to the Ghandehari lab to begin a Department of Defense (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) titled Multimodal silica nanoparticles for the assessment of the role of tumor-associated macrophages in breast carcinoma and therapy. Herd will receive three years of funding from the DOD to continue her research in this area.
  • Adam Gormley, PhD Candidate, Bioengineering, received a Pre-doctoral fellowship from the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) titled Targeted Prostate Tumor Ablation Using Engineering Gold Nanorods. Gormley will receive three years of funding from the DOD to continue his research in this area.
  • Giridhar Thiagarajan and Jordan Frandsen win 2nd and 3rd place respectively at the nanoUtah 2009 Conference Poster Session. Thiagarajan’s 2nd place winning poster was titledPAMAM-Camptothecin Conjugate Inhibits Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis in Colorectal Carcinoma Cells. Frandsen’s 3rd place winning poster was titled Silk-elastinlike Protein Polymers Improve the Efficacy of Gene Therapy of Head and Neck Tumors.  Please see our Photo Gallery for photos from the award session.
  • Dr. Ghandehari was selected to become a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

Lab Contact Information

36 S Wasatch Dr
SMBB Rm 5205
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Phone: 801-587-1566

Last Updated: 3/11/19