NU-CCNE Northwestern

Developing innovative nanotechnology approaches and devices to combat cancer.

The Northwestern University Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (NU-CCNE) is an NCI-funded collaboration between the Northwestern University's International Institute for Nanotechnology and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. Established in September 2005 as part of Phase 1 of the National Cancer Institute's Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer program, the NU-CCNE recently received a $12 million grant from the NCI Alliance in an open nationwide competition to support new multidisciplinary teams of nano-scientists, cancer biologists, engineers, and clinicians who are working collaboratively to leverage the advantages of nanotechnology to improve the way cancer is diagnosed and treated. Results will be disseminated to the wider research community for ultimate translation to the clinic.

The NU-CCNE is focusing on the development of nanomaterials and nanodevices primarily for application in brain, breast, and pancreatic cancer diagnostics and therapeutics but with potential for use in other forms of cancer.

Northwestern is one of only nine institutions across the country, and the only one in the Midwest, to receive a CCNE award in this second funding phase of the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer program. (Northwestern’s first CCNE received NCI support from 2005 to 2010.)

Augmenting the NCI grant, a $2.1 million award from the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) will establish a new facility enabling NU-CCNE discoveries to be shared with CBC-affiliated biology laboratories at no cost, broadening the impact of the center’s research.

Each of the CCNE’s four research projects has the meaningful participation of an industry partner that is committed to facilitating rapid commercialization of clinical trial-ready technologies developed as part of the center. The Center also supports pilot projects in new and emerging areas as well as collaborative Alliance Challenge Projects each year.

A Nanoconstructs Core provides a shared facility where new nanoplatforms can be developed and evaluated using a common set of cell and animal models, and researchers can definitively determine which new nanoplatforms should be pursued. The core also will allow for comparison of nanoplatforms developed by other researchers who are part of the NCI’s Alliance for Cancer Nanotechnology. All of the research projects are supported by a Bioinformatics Core and an Administrative Core.

In addition to research, the NU-CCNE is committed to educating and training scientists who can work at the interface of nanotechnology and cancer research; encouraging and supporting trans-alliance training opportunities and collaborations; and providing effective mechanisms to disseminate knowledge to the larger community.

Some of the strategies to achieve these goals include providing integrative training in nanotechnology and cancer, an intramural seminar series, Medical Student Summer Fellowships in Nanotechnology and summer research programs for undergraduates.

 
 
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Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence Northwestern University | 2145 Sheridan Road, K111 | Evanston, IL 60208
Tel: (847) 467-5335 | Fax: (847) 491-3721
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  This work is supported by the Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE) initiative of the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute under Award Number 1-U54CA151880-01. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s)and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Institutes of Health.