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Mauro Ferrari, PhD

Ernest Cockrell, Jr. Presidential Distinguished Chair, President & CEO, Research Institute
Director & Professor of Nanomedicine, Institute for Academic Medicine
Executive Vice President, Houston Methodist
Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College

Research Lab

Mauro Ferrari, PhD, is the Executive Vice President of Houston Methodist and the President and CEO of the Houston Methodist Research Institute where he is the Ernest Cockrell Jr. Presidential Distinguished Chair. As the Director of the Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine, Ferrari oversees all research and education programs at Houston Methodist, over 1,200 research employees and credentialed clinicians executing more than 800 clinical protocols. He also serves as the Senior Associate Dean of the Weill Cornell Medical College, the primary academic affiliate of Houston Methodist and holds Adjunct and Honorary Professorships at many universities around the world.

Ferrari is the founder of biomedical nano/micro-technology, especially in their applications to drug delivery, cell transplantation, implantable bioreactors, and other innovative therapeutic modalities. Dr. Ferrari served as special expert on nanotechnology at the National Cancer Institute in 2003-2005, providing leadership for the formulation, refinement, and approval of the NCI's Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, currently the world's largest program in medical nanotechnology.

He has to his credit more than 350 publications, including seven books and is the inventor of 30 issued patents in the US and Europe. Throughout his academic career, he has supervised trainees and students who have gone on to senior faculty positions at premier universities like Oxford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California Berkeley, University of California San Francisco, Duke University, University of Washington, and Ohio State University. Dr. Ferrari's degrees are in Mathematics (Padova, Italy), and Mechanical Engineering (M.S., & Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley).

His seminal contributions to the field of biomedical nanotechnology have been recognized through numerous awards and accolades, including: Founders Award - Controlled Release Society, the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the ETH Zürich Stodola Medal, Blaise Pascal Medal in Biomedical Engineering - European Academy of Sciences, and the Shannon Director's Award of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Ferrari is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Academy for the Advancement of Science and American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He also holds honorary doctorates in Electrical Engineering and Biotechnology from the University of Palermo and the University of Naples “Federico II”, respectively.

His career research and development portfolio totals over $50 million, including support from the NCI, NIH, DoD, NASA, NSF, DARPA, DoE, the state of Texas, the state of Ohio, the Ohio State University, and several private enterprises. He began his academic career at the University of California, Berkeley, where he tenured in Material Science, Civil Engineering, and Bioengineering. Upon recruitment to the Ohio State University, he served as the Edgar Hendrickson Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Internal Medicine, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. He was also the Associate Vice President, Health Sciences Technology and Commercialization, Associate Director of the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Center. Upon recruitment to Houston, he served as professor and chair of the nanomedicine department at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Description of Research

Nanomedicine for oncology, traumatic injury, cardiovascular disease, infectious pathologies, and diabetes
Biomedical Microtechnology (BioMEMS)
Drug delivery
Proteomics and peptidomics for early detection and therapeutic monitoring
Cell transplantation, regenerative medicine, and tissue engineering
Biosensors and bioseparation technology
Multiscale discrete/continuum mechanics and biomechanics

Areas Of Expertise

Nanomedicine Cancer Nanofluidics Drug delivery Biomedical microtechnology (BioMEMS)
Education & Training

, Universita' di Padova
, University of California, Berkeley

Porous structures with modified biodegradation kinetics

Patent Number: AU2009337181, Aug 04 2011


Enzyme-responsive multistage vector for drug delivery to tumor tissue
Mi, Y, Wolfram, J, Mu, C, Liu, X, Blanco, E, Shen, H & Ferrari, M 2016, Pharmacological Research, vol 113, pp. 92-99. DOI:

Biomimetic carriers mimicking leukocyte plasma membrane to increase tumor vasculature permeability
Palomba, R, Parodi, A, Evangelopoulos, M, Acciardo, S, Corbo, C, de Rosa, E, Yazdi, IK, Scaria, S, Molinaro, R, Furman, NET, You, J, Ferrari, M, Salvatore, F & Tasciotti, E 2016, Scientific reports, vol 6, pp. 34422. DOI:

A pyruvate decarboxylase-mediated therapeutic strategy for mimicking yeast metabolism in cancer cells
Scott, B, Shen, J, Nizzero, S, Boom, K, Persano, S, Mi, Y, Liu, X, Zhao, Y, Blanco, E, Shen, H, Ferrari, M & Wolfram, J 2016, Pharmacological Research, vol 111, pp. 413-421. DOI:

Computational analysis of drug transport in tumor microenvironment as a critical compartment for nanotherapeutic pharmacokinetics
Ziemys, A, Klemm, S, Milosevic, M, Yokoi, K, Ferrari, M & Kojic, M 2016, Drug Delivery, vol 23, no. 7, pp. 2524-2531. DOI:

Mesenchymal stem cells from cortical bone demonstrate increased clonal incidence, potency, and developmental capacity compared to their bone marrow-derived counterparts
Blashki, D, Murphy, MB, Ferrari, M, Simmons, PJ & Tasciotti, E 2016, Journal of Tissue Engineering, vol 7, pp. 2041731416661196. DOI:

Hesperetin liposomes for cancer therapy
Wolfram, J, Scott, B, Boom, K, Shen, J, Borsoi, C, Suri, K, Grande, R, Fresta, M, Celia, C, Zhao, Y, Shen, H & Ferrari, M 2016, Current Drug Delivery, vol 13, no. 5, pp. 711-719.

Enhanced performance of macrophage-encapsulated nanoparticle albumin-bound-paclitaxel in hypo-perfused cancer lesions
Leonard, F, Curtis, LT, Yesantharao, P, Tanei, T, Alexander, JF, Wu, M, Lowengrub, J, Liu, X, Ferrari, M, Yokoi, K, Frieboes, HB & Godin, B 2016, Nanoscale, vol 8, no. 25, pp. 12544-12552. DOI:

A pyruvate decarboxylase-mediated therapeutic strategy for mimicking yeast metabolism in cancer cells
Scott, B, Shen, J, Nizzero, S, Boom, K, Persano, S, Mi, Y, Liu, X, Zhao, Y, Blanco, E, Shen, H, Ferrari, M & Wolfram, J 2016, Pharmacological Research.

The Emerging Role of Nanotechnology in Cell and Organ Transplantation
Tasciotti, E, Cabrera, FJ, Evangelopoulos, M, Martinez, JO, Thekkedath, UR, Kloc Stepkowska, M, Ghobrial, RM, Li, XC, Grattoni, A & Ferrari, M 2016, Transplantation. DOI:

Simulation of angiogenesis in a multiphase tumor growth model
Santagiuliana, R, Ferrari, M & Schrefler, BA 2016, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, vol 304, pp. 197-216. DOI:

Theory and Experimental Validation of a Spatio-temporal Model of Chemotherapy Transport to Enhance Tumor Cell Kill
Wang, Z, Kerketta, R, Chuang, YL, Dogra, P, Butner, JD, Brocato, TA, Day, A, Xu, R, Shen, H, Simbawa, E, AL-Fhaid, AS, Mahmoud, SR, Curley, SA, Ferrari, M, Koay, EJ & Cristini, V 2016, PLoS Computational Biology, vol 12, no. 6, e1004969. DOI:

Profiling of cross-functional peptidases regulated circulating peptides in BRCA1 mutant breast cancer
Fan, J, Tea, MKM, Yang, C, Ma, L, Meng, QH, Hu, TY, Singer, CF & Ferrari, M 2016, Journal of Proteome Research, vol 15, no. 5, pp. 1534-1545. DOI:

Composite microsphere-functionalized scaffold for the controlled release of small molecules in tissue engineering
Pandolfi, L, Minardi, S, Taraballi, F, Liu, X, Ferrari, M & Tasciotti, E 2016, Journal of Tissue Engineering, vol 7, pp. 2041731415624668. DOI:

An injectable nanoparticle generator enhances delivery of cancer therapeutics
Xu, R, Zhang, G, Mai, J, Deng, X, Segura-Ibarra, V, Wu, S, Shen, J, Liu, H, Hu, Z, Chen, L, Huang, Y, Koay, E, Huang, Y, Liu, J, Ensor, JE, Blanco, E, Liu, X, Ferrari, M & Shen, H 2016, Nature Biotechnology, vol 34, no. 4, pp. 414-418. DOI:

IL-4 Release from a Biomimetic Scaffold for the Temporally Controlled Modulation of Macrophage Response
Minardi, S, Corradetti, B, Taraballi, F, Byun, JH, Cabrera, F, Liu, X, Ferrari, M, Weiner, BK & Tasciotti, E 2016, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, pp. 1-12. DOI:

Cell source determines the immunological impact of biomimetic nanoparticles
Evangelopoulos, M, Parodi, A, Martinez, JO, Yazdi, IK, Cevenini, A, van de Ven, AL, Quattrocchi, N, Boada, C, Taghipour, N, Corbo, C, Brown, BS, Scaria, S, Liu, X, Ferrari, M & Tasciotti, E 2016, Biomaterials, vol 82, pp. 168-177. DOI:

A specifically designed nanoconstruct associates, internalizes, traffics in cardiovascular cells, and accumulates in failing myocardium: A new strategy for heart failure diagnostics and therapeutics
Ruiz-Esparza, GU, Segura-Ibarra, V, Cordero-Reyes, AM, Youker, KA, Serda, RE, Cruz-Solbes, AS, Amione-Guerra, J, Yokoi, K, Kirui, DK, Cara, FE, Paez-Mayorga, J, Flores-Arredondo, JH, Guerrero-Beltrán, CE, Garcia-Rivas, G, Ferrari, M, Blanco, E & Torre-Amione, G 2016, European Journal of Heart Failure, vol 18, no. 2, pp. 169-178. DOI:

Redirecting transport of nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel to macrophages enhances therapeutic efficacy against liver metastases
Tanei, T, Leonard, F, Liu, X, Alexander, JF, Saito, Y, Ferrari, M, Godin, B & Yokoi, K 2016, Cancer Research, vol 76, no. 2, pp. 429-439.

In vivo targeting of leukemia stem cells by directing parthenolide-loaded nanoparticles to the bone marrow niche
Zong, H, Sen, S, Zhang, G, Mu, C, Albayati, Z, Gorenstein, DG, Liu, X, Ferrari, M, Crooks, PA, Roboz, G, Shen, H & Guzman, M 2016, Leukemia. DOI:

Chondroitin sulfate immobilized on a biomimetic scaffold modulates inflammation while driving chondrogenesis
Corradetti, B, Taraballi, F, Minardi, S, Van Eps, J, Cabrera, F, Francis, LW, Gazze, SA, Ferrari, M, Weiner, BK & Tasciotti, E 2016, Stem Cells Translational Medicine, vol 5, no. 5, pp. 670-682. DOI: