The Laboratory for Cancer Nanotechnology and Immunotherapy focuses on the integration of nanotechnology with oncology and immunology to develop impactful therapeutics for hard-to-treat cancers. The overarching objective is to generate fundamental understanding of the processes pertinent to the use of nanotechnology in cancer nanomedicine and immunotherapy.


multicomponent nanoparticles

The multicomponent nanoparticle platform develops new classes of nanoparticles including (1) chain-like nanoparticles, termed nanochains and (2) mesoporous silica nanoparticles with an iron oxide core. Due to enhanced site-specific targeting and radiofrequency-triggered drug release, the multicomponent nanoparticles facilitate effective delivery of drugs into hard-to-reach tumors, which has the potential to unfold the field and allow significant expansion of therapies to the disease where success is currently very limited.

Representative publications: Peiris et al., ACS Nano 6(5) 2012 | Peiris et al., ACS Nano 6(10) 2012 | Peiris et al., J Control Release 2012 | Peiris et al., Cancer Research 2015 | Turan et al., Nanoscale 2019

cancer immunotherapy

Effective antitumor immunity depends on the reprogrammming and robust activation of the tumor immune microenvironment. We design immunostimulatory nanoparticles that carefully consider the unique tumor microenvironment to deliver robust immune-potentiating stimuli and effectively bridge the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system.

Representative publications: Karathanasis et al., Ann Biomed Eng 2009 | Atukorale et al., Cancer Research 2019 | Lorkowski et al., J Control Release 2020 | Bielecki et al., Nanoscale Horizons 2020

molecular imaging

We study the design of nanoparticles to improve the spatiotemporal targeting of nanomedicines towards hard-to-treat cancers. Our lab develops nanoparticle imaging agents for anatomical, molecular and phenotypical imaging. Using MRI, CT and nuclear imaging, these nanoparticles facilitate prognostication of the outcome of cancer therapies, non-invasive in vivo interrogation and highly accurate and early diagnosis of disease.

Representative publications: Karathanasis et al., Radiology 2009 | Peiris et al., ACS Nano 6(10) 2012 | Toy et al., ACS Nano 2013 | Doolittle et al., ACS Nano 2015 | Peiris et al., Nanoscale 2018