NMIN

EVENTS

NMIN Lectures

Ongoing 

NMIN

Pieter Cullis Invitational Lecture Series

Designing nanomaterials for therapeutics and biosensing

Dr. Molly Stevens

Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine in the Department of Materials and the Department of Bioengineering, and Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College London

Tuesday 28 September 2021

10-11:00 am PDT | 1-2:00 pm EDT

This lecture will be delivered online using Zoom

This talk will provide an overview of recent work by Dr. Molly Stevens and the Stevens Group at Imperial College London using designer bio-nanomaterials for biosensing and controlled delivery.

Dr. Stevens and her Group are exploiting the sensing capabilities of nanoparticles to engineer detection assays for infectious diseases such as HIV, Ebola, tuberculosis and COVID-19, and they are integrating these capabilities with smartphone technology to enable patient self-monitoring, geographical tagging and epidemic surveillance. They are also engineering complex 3D architectures and cell interfacing nanoneedles for multiplexed intracellular biosensing and modulation of biological processes. Their in-depth research on liposomal platforms using neutron scattering is informing the choice of lipid composition and formulation method for biological applications. For example, they have tailored lipid-based nanocarriers for ultrasound-triggered hydrogelation to enable in vivo remote remote-triggered drug delivery.

In this lecture, Dr. Stevens will discuss how the versatile technologies she is developing with the Stevens Group can be applied to transformative biosensing, regenerative medicine and new therapeutic approaches.

Dr. Molly Stevens

Imperial College London

Molly Stevens is Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine in the Department of Materials and the Department of Bioengineering, and the Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, at Imperial College London.

The Stevens Group is a large, multidisciplinary research group of students, postdocs and research fellows who use innovative bioengineering approaches to pursue their vision of solving key problems in regenerative medicine and biosensing. The Group’s research spans drug delivery, bioactive materials, tissue engineering, biosensing, materials characterisation, soft robotics and the interface between living and non-living matter, and is underpinned by collaborations with data scientists and molecular dynamics experts.

Dr. Stevens is Fellow of eight UK Societies including the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2019, she was elected Foreign Member of the National Academy of Engineering (USA). She holds numerous leadership positions, including: Director of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform “Smart Materials” Hub; Deputy Director of the EPSRC-funded Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Early-Warning Sensing Systems for Infectious Diseases; Associate Director of the British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence; previous member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council for Advanced Materials; Scientist Trustee of the National Gallery (London, UK); and Associate Editor of ACS Nano and previous reviewing editor at Science.

Dr. Stevens has received over 30 prestigious awards, including the Acta Biomaterialia Silver Medal (2020), Surfaces and Interfaces Award (Royal Society of Chemistry 2019), Rosalind Franklin Medal and Prize (Institute of Physics, 2018), the Harrison Medal (Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 2017) and the Imperial College President’s Award and Medal for Outstanding Research Team (2016).

The Pieter Cullis Invitational Lecture series features individuals working at the frontiers of nanomedicines research and innovation and showcases remarkable examples of scientific and commercial progress in the field. 

NMIN

NMIN Lectures

Lipid and RNA Nanomedicines to Control Bleeding and Thrombosis

Dr. Christian Kastrup

Associate Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories and Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of British Columbia; member of the Centre for Blood Research and the School of Biomedical Engineering

Tuesday 21 September 2021

10-11:00 am PDT | 1-2:00 pm EDT

Play Video

Blood coagulation is necessary to stop bleeds, but an imbalance of the enzymes that form, inhibit and degrade blood clots can lead to bleeding disorders, failure to stop severe hemorrhage after injury, or formation of thromboses. Gene therapy, using RNA and lipid nanoparticles, can be used to modulate the concentration of these enzymes and correct any imbalance. This talk highlights the applicability of RNA and lipid nanoparticles to control the expression of endogenous and exogenous proteins in the liver and in platelets, toward the goal of creating useful therapies for trauma, rare bleeding disorders, and thrombosis.

Dr. Christian Kastrup

Dr. Christian Kastrup did his postdoctoral fellowship in at MIT, specializing in engineering biomaterials for cardiovascular drug delivery. He received his PhD at the University of Chicago, specializing in chemical biology, microfluidics, and blood coagulation. His lab at UBC utilizes biochemical engineering to solve problems related to hemostasis and hemorrhage. They investigate, utilize, and mimic the biochemistry and biophysical dynamics of blood coagulation to create innovative materials that perform new functions inside of blood vessels, and work to develop treatments for severe hemorrhage.

Dr. Kastrup has received many accolades, the most recent being the Sir Major Banting Award from the True Patriot Love Foundation. He is the Chief Scientific Officer of CoMotion Drug Delivery Systems, Inc., which is working to develop hemostatic agents for severe combat and surgical hemorrhage.

The NMIN Lecture Series focuses on the activities and successes of NMIN investigators and/or Network research. These lectures provide opportunities for Network participants and stakeholders to stay up to date with Network research, and promote collaboration between Network labs. Attendance is open to any interested parties.

NMIN

NMIN Lecture Series

Nano-delivery of Novel Inhibitors of DNA Repair for Enhanced Cancer Therapy:
Making a case for the use of nano-medicine in the drug development process

Dr. Afsaneh Lavasanifar

Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta; Scientific Chief Officer and Vice President, Meros Polymers Inc.

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Nanomedicine is commonly developed to either correct the undesired effects of therapeutic agents already in clinic or enhance the delivery of challenging molecules, such as proteins and genes, to their cellular targets. In this project, our aim is to harness the benefits of nanomedicine in the drug development process towards making “new drugs” for cancer therapy.

In this context, polymer as well as lipid-based nano-delivery systems for the solubilization and delivery of new small molecule inhibitors of a DNA repair enzyme, known as polynucleotide kinase 3′-phosphatase (PNKP), have been developed. Our preclinical assessments, so far, have provided evidence for the success of a polymer-based nano-formulation of a hit PNKP inhibitor, A83B4C63, as novel synthetically lethal nano-therapeutics in the treatment of colorectal cancers (CRC) deficient in Phosphatase and TENsin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN). Successful use of this formulation as a radiosensitizer has also been shown in wildtype PTEN positive CRC models. Research on the evaluation of the biological activity of a liposomal formulation of another “hit” PNKP inhibitor, A83B47C63, and its head-to-head comparison with polymeric nanoparticles of A83B4C63 is ongoing.

Dr. Afsaneh Lavasanifar

Dr. Afsaneh Lavasanifar is Professor in the Pharmaceutical Sciences division of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta. She is also the Scientific Chief Officer and Vice President of Meros Polymers Inc., a spinoff company established on basis of technology developed her lab.

Her research is focused on the design and development of polymer-based delivery systems that can increase solubility, modify the pharmacokinetic pattern, reduce toxicity and increase the efficacy of different therapeutic agents. The ongoing research projects in her laboratory include development of novel polymeric nano-carriers and stimulus responsive gels for application in cancer chemo and immunotherapy or deliver of anti-inflammatory agents. She is an inventor in 5 patent/patent applications on novel polymer-based formulations for drug and siRNA delivery.

Dr. Lavasanifar is the Associate Editor of Molecular Pharmaceutics and a member of the Editorial Board of Materials Sciences and Applications and Iranian Polymer Journal.

The NMIN Lecture Series focuses on the activities and successes of NMIN investigators and/or Network research. These lectures provide opportunities for Network participants and stakeholders to stay up to date with Network research, and promote collaboration between Network labs. Attendance is open to any interested parties.

NMIN

NMIN Lecture Series

The nanoparticle biological identity & protein corona: Challenges, opportunities, & future research directions

Dr. Warren Chan

Professor, Canada Research Chair in Nanobioengineering & Director, Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME), University of Toronto

Dr. Chan will discuss the role of the biological identity (e.g. protein corona) in mediating cellular interactions. The presentation will delve in the current state of research and reflect on future research directions and commercial opportunities for this burgeoning area of nanomedicine.

Monday 12 April 2021

1:00 – 2:00 pm PDT | 4:00 – 5:00 pm EDT

Dr. Chan’s Integrated Nanotechnology & Biomedical Sciences Laboratory is interested in studying and understanding the proteomic and genomic changes associated with abnormal cells (e.g., cancer cells or virally-infected cells) and tissues. His lab aims to elucidate the cell’s molecular dynamics by using recent developments in nanotechnology (e.g., inorganic nanostructures), microtechnology (e.g., micro-electromechanical systems and capillary flow systems), and molecular engineering (e.g., phage-display) as well as engineering new instrumentation and techniques to address biological questions. Dr. Chan and colleagues seek a fundamental understanding of molecular processes with technology developments toward the designing of novel diagnostic schemes and therapeutic strategies.

Dr. Warren Chan

Warren Chan, PhD, is Director of the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering; Distinguished Professor of Nanobioengineering; and Canada Research Chair in Nanobioengineering – all at the University of Toronto. He is also an NMIN Principal Investigator in Theme 3: Diagnostics.

The NMIN Lecture Series focuses on the activities and successes of NMIN investigators and/or Network research. These lectures provide opportunities for Network participants and stakeholders to stay up to date with Network research, and promote collaboration between Network labs. Attendance is open to any interested parties.

NMIN

Pieter Cullis Invitational Lecture Series

Biomaterials for the Delivery
of Nucleic Acids, Genome Editing Tools and Cells

Dr. Daniel G. Anderson

Professor of Chemical Engineering, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology at MIT

Daniel G. Anderson is a Professor at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology (MIT) in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology.

The research done in Prof. Anderson’s laboratory is focused on developing new materials for medicine. He has pioneered the development of smart biomaterials, and his work has led to advances in a range of areas, including medical devices, cell therapy, drug delivery, gene therapy and material science.

Prof. Anderson received a B.A. in mathematics and biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of California at Davis. His work has resulted in the publication of over 400 papers, patentsand patent applications. These advances have led products that have been commercialized or are in clinical development, as well as to the foundation of companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and consumer products space.

Dr. Anderson is a founder of Living Proof, Olivo Labs, Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP), Sigilon Therapeutics, Verseau Therapeutics, Orna, and VasoRx.

Dr. Daniel G. Anderson

The Pieter Cullis Invitational Lecture series features individuals working at the frontiers of nanomedicines research and innovation and showcases remarkable examples of scientific and commercial progress in the field. 

NMIN

NMIN Lecture Series

If I Wasn’t a Scientific Entrepreneur

We Wouldn’t Have Enabled the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Dr. Pieter Cullis

Scientific Director & CEO, The NanoMedicines Innovation Network

Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, The University of British Columbia

During the inaugural NMIN Lecture, Dr. Pieter Cullis recounted the history of the research that led to the lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery system enabling the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and discussed why being a scientific entrepreneur was vital to this success.

He also spoke about future opportunities and challenges in nanomedicines, and suggested ways Canada might remain at the forefront of this field.

Tuesday 23 February 2021

9 – 10:00 am PST | 12 – 1:00 pm EST

Dr. Pieter Cullis

The NMIN Lecture Series focuses on the activities and successes of NMIN investigators and/or Network research. These lectures provide opportunities for Network participants and stakeholders to stay up to date with Network research, and promote collaboration between Network labs. Attendance is open to any interested parties.

Questions: contact Leah Graystone, NMIN Events & HQP Program Coordinator, at: leahgraystone@nanomedicines.ca