Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

National Science Foundation Hosts Nanotech Conference at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute

National Science Foundation Hosts Nanotech Conference at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute


HOUSTON (March 01, 2011) -The National Science Foundation (NSF) will host the NSF Summer Institute on Cancer Nanotechnology at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute on June 7- 9, 2011.

"The resources and expertise we have cultivated here in Houston and in the Texas Medical Center put us in a position to be able to teach some of the brightest minds in medical research about how nanotechnology can change the course of medicine, with the guiding aim of curing diseases that afflict patients, especially those with cancer," said Dr. Mauro Ferrari, president and CEO of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and an internationally recognized leader in nanotechnology. "It is an honor for the NSF to recognize Methodist's contribution to this vibrant, growing field of medical research."

Cancer nanotechnology combines chemistry, physics, mathematics and the engineering sciences with cancer biology to address cancer's complex challenges. According to Ferrari, nanotechnology can uniquely help solve some of the more complex mechanical issues in dealing with this disease: the delivery of therapy to the proper location in the patient's body; ensuring that drug delivery proceeds in a precise, timely fashion - striking the cancer when it is most vulnerable, and the rest of the body suffers the least damage; and monitoring the response of the cancer and the patient's body to the treatment.

The NSF Summer Institute will provide an overview of the main nanotechnological devices that have been developed and are under development for cancer treatment, imaging and analysis.

"During the three-day symposium, we will provide a comprehensive description of nanoparticle systems that are available today to diagnose and treat cancer," said Dr. Paolo Decuzzi, medical director of the conference. "Then, we'll dive into discussions of what is ahead in this dynamic field."

One focus area is fabrication/synthesis methodologies, which will include an analysis of the physicochemical processes and laws which govern their behavior and performance in vivo, and the engineering criteria for their rational design and quality testing. In addition, the course will cover the in silico and in vivo analysis of nanoparticle transport mechanics within the vascular and extravascular compartment over multiple scales. Finally, new therapeutic strategies for the electromagnetic and near-infra red thermal ablation of tumors will be discussed in detail.

For more information and to register for the conference, see www.methodisthealth.com/nsfsummerinstitute, or more information on The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, see www.tmhri.org. Follow Methodist on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MethodistHosp and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/houstonmethodist.