Local Tech Wire

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – , Ph.D., a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been appointed as an adjunct member at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Cancer Nanocenter.

The appointment is part of a strategic alliance aimed at building Sloan-Kettering’s capabilities in nanomedicine and broadening the geographic base of DeSimone’s pioneering work in North Carolina.

DeSimone, who is the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University, and founder of the nanobiotechnology firm Liquidia Technologies, said his appointment will enhance a budding scientific alliance between UNC Lineberger, other institutions in North Carolina, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

“Our work is advancing the field of vaccines, which is a traditional strength of Memorial Sloan-Kettering,” said DeSimone. “Additionally, the geographical location of Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York and its large, diverse patient base will both complement and enhance the reach of the work being done at UNC and N.C. State in medical imaging, radiation therapy, cancer vaccines and pharmaceutical therapies as well as in the new field of interventional oncology, where we are working to deliver therapies directly to the area of the body affected by cancer.”

The research conducted at both institutions will build on DeSimone’s existing work, including his invention of techniques for mass-producing customized micro- and nanoparticles tailored to have specific sizes, shapes and surface properties.

“One of the limitations in the field of nanomedicine is the shortage of scientists trained in the key technologies of this field. Joe’s collaboration in cancer therapeutics at UNC has had a major impact on our program and will undoubtedly enhance work being done at Memorial Sloan Kettering,” said Shelton Earp, M.D., Director of UNC Lineberger.

This adjunct appointment will also allow DeSimone to co-advise trainees who are working in New York and help advance the future of cancer treatment by educating the newest generation of physicians and scientists.

DeSimone is a 2008 recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Prize, known as the “Oscar for inventors,” and received a National Institutes of Health Pioneer Award in 2009. He is also a member of the pharmacology department in the UNC School of Medicine; founding director of the UNC Institute for Advanced Materials, Nanoscience and Technology, and the UNC Institute for Nanomedicine; and co-principal investigator of the Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence.

DeSimone is a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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