The NU-CCNE is committed to (1) educating and training scientists who can work at the interface of nanotechnology and cancer research, (2) encouraging and supporting trans-Alliance training opportunities and collaborations, and (3) providing effective mechanisms to disseminate knowledge about the Alliance in general and the NU-CCNE in particular to the larger community.
Some of the strategies to achieve these goals include:
Integrative training in nanotechnology and cancer
Intramural seminar series
Medical Student Summer Fellowships in Nanotechnology
Research experiences for undergraduates
Researcher exchange program with other Alliance members
Support for trans-Alliance training and collaborations
NU-CCNE annual meeting
Annual symposium and mini-symposia
Nanotechnology Town Hall Meetings
Annual Cancer Survivors' Celebration and Walk
One of the mechanisms to enhance pathways to commercialization, is the Small Business Evaluation and Entrepreneurs (SBEE) program. This program was launched in 2002 through a partnership between the IIN and the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. It provides opportunities for researchers to present their ideas to groups of Kellogg students for evaluation and for development of viable business plans, which are then presented to potential investors.
Some notable examples of new companies that have been launched based upon NU-CCNE technologies developed during Phase 1 include: Nanotape (launched 2005, Stupp) utilizes self-assembling amphiphilic molecules for drug discovery and novel therapeutic tissue regeneration; PreDx (launched 2006, Meade) creates bioactivatable contrast agents for imaging diagnostics; SAMDITech (launched 2007, Mrksich) uses high-throughput biomarker screening for in vitro nanodiagnostics; and AuraSense (launched 2009, Mirkin) applies nanoprisms for diagnostics, therapeutics, catalysis, and more. Additionally, Nanosphere, founded by Mirkin, has received approvals from the Food and Drug Administration for nanotechnology-based diagnostics platform and two assays in 2008.
The NU-CCNE also leverages the Nanotechnology Corporate Partners (NCP) Program at Northwestern University's International Institute for Nanotechnology. This program supports the mutual needs of business, industry, and academia by providing mechanisms for technical exchange and collaboration. Members learn about and are involved in the latest developments and technological breakthroughs as they gain a window into new discoveries.