Skip to main content
An official website of the United States government

Innovative Research in Cancer Nanotechnology (IRCNs)

The IRCNs address major barriers in cancer biology and oncology using nanotechnology approaches, and emphasize fundamental understanding of nanomaterial and nanodevice interactions with biological systems in vivo. The individual, circumscribed research projects are designed to enable multi-disciplinary team research and transformative discoveries in cancer biology and oncology, diagnostics, and therapeutics through the use of nanotechnology.

The outcomes of IRCN-supported projects are expected to better inform, inspire, and aid in the development of innovative, clinically relevant nanotechnology solutions for cancer through a greater understanding of these interaction mechanisms. To advance these nanotechnologies, the IRCN projects take advantage of the collaborative environment of the Alliance network.

Currently active IRCN projects are listed below:

  • David Akhavan/Stefan Bossman – UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS MEDICAL CENTER – Design of a Novel Nanocarrier Technology to Drug-Load CAR T cells
  • Zaver Bhujwalla – JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY – The Tumor Microenvironment in Nanoparticle Delivery and Function
  • Michelle Bradbury/Michael Overholtzer/Ulrich Wiesner – SLOAN-KETTERING INSTITUTE OF CANCER RESEARCH – Ultrasmall Particle-Based Solutions for Inducing Ferroptosis and Improving Anti-Tumor Immune Responses in Cancer
  • Weiqiang Chen/Pengyu Chen – NEW YORK UNIVERSITY – Map Leukemia-Immune Cell Talks with Nanoplasmon Ruler in CAR T-Cell Immunotherapy
  • Juan Vivero-Escoto – UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA CHARLOTTE – Stimuli-Responsive Mucin1-Specific Nanoparticles for Efficacious Combinatorial Chemotherapy of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
  • Nicole Steinmetz Franziska/Shaochen Chen/Steven Fiering – UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO – Bioprinting Plant Virus Nanoparticles for Immunotherapy and Relapse Prevention of Ovarian Cancer
  • William Gmeiner – WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY HEALTH SCIENCES – Nanodelivery of FP polymers to improve treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer
  • Mark Grinstaff/Yolonda Colson/Orian Shirihai – BOSTON UNIVERSITY – Optimization of Nanoparticle Tumor-Localization and Drug-Loading for Treating Mesothelioma
  • Gang Han/Yubin Zhou – UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL SCHOOL WORCESTER – NanoOptogenetic Immunotherapy for B Cell Lymphoma
  • Xiaoming He/Xiongbin Lu – UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND COLLEGE PARK – Nanotechnology for Targeted Therapy and Fundamental Understanding of Therapeutic Resistance in Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  • James Heath – INSTITUTE FOR SYSTEMS BIOLOGY – Nano and Biomolecular Engineered Technologies for Neoantigen-Specific T Cell Capture and Characterization
  • Masakazu Kamata – UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM – Nanodelivery Platform for Antibody Drugs Targeting Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
  • Efstathios Karathanasis/Li Lily Wang – CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY – Dual action immunostimulatory nanoparticles for treatment of aggressive cancers
  • Efstathios Karathanasis/William Schiemann – CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY – Targeted Immuno-Nanoparticles for Directing Antitumor Immune Response Against Breast Cancer Metastasis
  • Kit Lam – UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT DAVIS – HER2-Targeting Transformable Nanotherapeutic Platform Against HER2+ Cancers
  • Zibo Li/Jin Xie – UNIV OF NORTH CAROLINA CHAPEL HILL – The Development of Novel Radiation-Sensitizer Based on Ultra-Small Carbon Dots
  • Song Li – UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH AT PITTSBURGH – Nanoparticles-mediated combination therapy for breast cancer
  • Wenbin Lin/Ralph Weichselbaum – UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO – Nanoscale Metal-Organic Frameworks Enable Radiotherapy-Radiodynamic Therapy and Deliver CpG Oligodeoxynucleotides to Generate Tumor Vaccines and Potentiate Immunotherapy of Head and Neck Cancers
  • Jonathan Lovell/Scott Abrams – STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO – A Cobalt Porphyrin Nanoliposome Adjuvant for MHC-I-Restricted Cancer Peptide Vaccines
  • Chad Mirkin/Bin Zhang – NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY – Innovative Research for Cancer Nanotechnology (IRCN) for Enhancing Melanoma-specific Immune Responses by the Rational Design of Spherical Nucleic Acids
  • Mohd Wasim Nasser – UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER – Novel Approach to Attenuate Small Cell Lung Cancer Growth and Metastasis
  • Andre Elias Nel – UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES – Use of a Nano-Enabled Platform for Pancreatic Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Satyanarayana Rachagani – UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER – Targeting Tumor and its Microenvironment Using Nanotherapeutics for Pancreatic Cancer
  • Jianghong Rao – STANFORD UNIVERSITY – Copper-Depleting Nanotheranostics for Treating Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  • Shiladitya Sengupta/Hae Lin Jang – BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL – Whitlockite Nanoparticle-Based Immunotherapy for Bone Metastasis
  • Dan Shu/Daniel Binzel – OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY – TNBC Ligand-displaying Exosomes Using RNA Nanotechnology for Targeted Cytosol Delivery of RNAi without Endosome Entrapment
  • Dmitri Simberg/ Irina Balyasnikova – UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER – Fluorescent Indocarbocyanine PEGylated Lipid Nanoparticles for Understanding and Overcoming Barriers to Drug Delivery in Invasive Glioblastoma
  • Konstantin Sokolov/Sang Hyun Cho/Sunil Krishnan – UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MD ANDERSON CANCER CENTER– In Situ Cancer Cell Specific Biomineralization to Overcome Nanoparticle Delivery Barriers and Sensitize Pancreatic Cancer to Radiotherapy
  • Hsian-Rong Tseng/Vatche Agopian/Sungyong You – UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES – Covalent Chemistry on Nanosubstrates Enables Molecular Analysis of Purified Extracellular Vesicles in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Carston Wagner – UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA – Targeting Effector Immune cells to Cancer with Chemically Self-Assembled Nanorings (CSANs)
  • John Yu – CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER – Magnetofluorescent Nanoplatform for Glioblastoma Therapy
  • William Zamboni/Xiao Sha Chang/Steven Libutti – UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA CHAPEL HILL – Minibeam Radiation Therapy Enhanced Delivery of Nanoparticle Anticancer Agents to Pancreatic Cancer Tumors
  • Dawen Zhao/Yong Lu – WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY HEALTH SCIENCES – Intrapleural Immunotherapeutic Nanoparticles for MPE Treatment