My group is focused on applying nanotechnology toward unanswered problems in cancer care. In particular, we are interested in developing novel nanomaterials that serve as platforms for tumor targeted drug delivery and molecular imaging contrast agents. Here we seek to exploit the multifunctional capabilities of nanomaterials to combine conventional therapies, such as radiation and chemotherapy, to achieve a synergistic treatment response or combine treatment with medical imaging modalities for theranositic approaches, such as image-guided drug delivery. In addition, a significant portion of my research is directed toward enabling novel treatment or imaging technologies that are only possible through the use of nanotechnolgy. For example, in collaboration with colleagues at the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), we have developed tumor targeted radioluminescent nanoparticles (RLNP) that serve as a centerpiece for a new in vivo imaging platform, X-ray luminescence computed tomography (XLCT). As a potential drug delivery platform, we are currently investigating the ability of RLNPs to serve as stimuli-responsive carriers for controlled release or energy mediators for deep tissue photodynamic therapy.

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