Distinguished Lecture

IEEE Nanotechnology Council Distinguished Lecture - Convergence of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Perspectives in Biomedicine: Innovative Ways to Fight Cancer

Professor Larry Nagahara
Whiting School of Engineering
Johns Hopkins University

For more than 45 years, the U.S. government declared a “war on cancer” and committed to investing in laboratory and clinical research in order to understand the causes of cancer and thereby aid its diagnosis, treatment, and cure.  Despite enormous advances and important improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of many cancers, the “war” has in significant ways progressed less than originally hoped. 

The complexity of the disease is evident in the dynamic and evolving course the disease takes during its progression and response treatment.  Harnessing the power of nanotechnology could lead to a paradigm shift in the way we understand and ultimately and treat cancer.  Combined with personalized medicine, one of the promises for nanomedicine is a scenario where an individual diagnosed with a disease will be able to receive the right treatment (i.e., right time and right dose) tailored for that specific individual’s medical need through the use of nanotechnology. Being able to realize this scenario may take some time. 

While stunning progress in the molecular sciences and other advanced technologies has been made over the past several decades, the complex interplay of genomics and environmental factors for many common diseases, such as cancer, has inhibited substantial improvement in the treatment of these disease   This presentation will describe in details some of the recent advances in nanotechnology to address major questions and barriers in biomedical research and the challenges that nanotechnology faces in integration into healthcare.

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