NU-CCNE Northwestern



Lurie Medical Research Center


NU-CCNE research is conducted in a number of state-of-the-art facilities including the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center on the Chicago campus (pictured above), and the Center of Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-Assembly (Ryan Hall) and Silverman Hall on the Evanston campus (pictured below).

Ryan Hall  
Silverman Hall



The potential impact of nanotechnology is well recognized, and significant advances in the medical field are expected to be realized first. It is possible that nanotechnology will be the fundamental driver of advances in oncology and cancer research leading to near-term benefits for patients, and yet formidable challenges must be met. Researchers at the NCI-funded Northwestern University Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (NU-CCNE) seek to meet these challenges.

Led by Co-Principal Investigators, Chad A. Mirkin and Steven T. Rosen, the NU-CCNE represents a strongly integrated partnership between the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (RHLCCC) and the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN). In addition, individual researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago, are actively participating in this effort.

Building upon the significant advances in cancer research and in nanotechnology obtained at the NU-CCNE during Phase 1 of the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, permits the NU-CCNE to optimize the intensive level of integration and collaboration required to create an accelerated pathway—from conception to clinical trial—for development of nanomaterials and nanodevices to overcome cancer.

The NU-CCNE encompasses highly skilled investigative teams of physical and biological scientists in a group of projects and cores that work together to apply nanotechnology innovations to advance cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. The primary goal of the new NU-CCNE program is to advance nanotechnology discoveries (e.g., materials, tools, and devices) for brain, breast, and pancreatic cancer diagnostics, imaging, and therapeutics that have strong potential for clinical utility and potential for use in many other forms of cancer research and treatment.

Research at the NU-CCNE is organized into four highly interdisciplinary projects. The four key project groups are complemented by: (1) the Nanoconstructs Core, which develops and tests new nanomaterials in the same cell and animal models; (2) the Bioinformatics Core, and (3) the Administrative Core.

Finally, the NU-CCNE has mechanisms and funding in place to support pilot projects, Alliance Challenge Projects, programs for the education and training of scientists who can work at the interface of nanotechnology and cancer research, and effective methods to disseminate knowledge and ensure rapid commercialization of new technologies..