Nanochemistry Approaches for Controlling Cancer/Stem Cell Fate
Speaker: KiBum Lee
Date & Time: September 11, 2012 - 11:00am
Location: Wright Rieman Auditorium
This talk will focus on the interface between micro-/nano science and cell biology. Even though cell fate (e.g. stem cell differentiation and cancer cell apoptosis) is regulated by the interactions between microenvironmental cues and intrinsic cellular programs, understanding the function of the microenvironment and manipulating gene expression in stem/cancer cells is hampered by the limitations of conventional methods and the lack of extensive knowledge of multiple regulatory signals. If the complex cell behaviors are to be fully investigated, both approaches from nanotechnology—the “top-down” patterning of extracellular matrix (ECM) and signal molecules (e.g. ECM compositions, pattern geometry, pattern density and gradient patterns), and the “bottom- up” synthesis of multifunctional nanoparticles and their surface modification with specific signal molecules— should be combined synergistically. To address the aforementioned challenge, our research mainly focuses on two approaches: i) the development of combinatorial arrays of microenvironmental signal molecules for the investigation of cell behaviors; and ii) the synthesis and utilization of multifunctional nanoparticles as drug (e.g. small molecules or siRNA) and gene delivery vehicles to manipulate the key gene expression levels in cancer/stem cells.
More specifically, we have applied the combinatorial signal arrays to study the temporal/spatial effect of microenvironmental cues on adhesion, growth, and differentiation of functional cells (e.g. neural stem cells and glioblastoma cells). Furthermore, novel synthetic approaches to link anti-cancer drugs [e.g. Erlotinib and Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDAC inhibitors)] and modified siRNA with nanoparticles have been developed. In this talk, a summary of the most updated results from these efforts in KBLEE group and future directions will be discussed.
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