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Nanotechnology to fight cancer

Research Achievements

Nanotechnology to fight cancer

IGERT trainee Michael Johnson is working on a project to develop a highly selective theranostic nanoplatform to inhibit and image a pathogenic driver of breast cancer known as human monoacylglycerol lipases (MGL). One of the key challenges in the fight against breast cancer is early diagnosis and ability to treat the aggressive form of this disease. Using nanotechnology it is possible to develop a theranostic agent that can simultaneously provide diagnostic and therapeutic benefits. MGL is the enzyme responsible for the hydrolytic inactivation of the signaling lipid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). It has been shown that MGL inhibition can result in reverse the aggressive nature of some breast cancer cells. In this project, a series of MGL inhibitors will be created and tagged with iron oxide nanoparticles to provide therapy and diagnostic capabilities. This project will utilize the expertise of the Center for Drug Discovery and Electronics Materials Research Institute at NEU.