The Ellis Island Medals of Honor are awarded to individuals who have made it their mission to share their knowledge, courage, compassion and talents while maintaining the traditions of their ethnic heritage. Since the award was first given in 1986, the medal has been recognized by Congress as one of the United States’s most prestigious awards. The award is presented during a ceremony on Ellis Island. Dr. Farokhzad currently serves as the director of the Laboratory of Nanomedicine and Biomaterials, where his research is focused on the development of therapeutic nanoparticle technology. The nanotechnologies that Farokhzad has helped pioneer have formed the basis for a new class of targeted nanoparticles for treatment of major human diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, his research has also been used in the formation of a new class of nanoparticle vaccines and a class of integrative combination nanomedicines that help to treat cancers, inflammation and infectious diseases.
RNAi gene silencing technologies have shown significant potential for treating various diseases, including cancer. However, clinical success in cancer therapy remains elusive, mainly owing to suboptimal in vivo delivery of RNAi therapeutics. We developed a library of ultra-pH-responsive polymers and demonstrated the utility of these materials in targeted and deep tumor-penetrating nanoparticle (NP) for in vivo RNAi. The new NP platform is mainly composed of the following key components: i) internalizing RGD (iRGD) to enhance tumor targeting and tissue penetration; ii) polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains to prolong blood circulation; and iii) sharp pH-responsive hydrophobic polymer to improve endosome escape.
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the arteries and the leading cause of death worldwide. Therapeutics that can temper inflammation using the body’s innate mechanisms are powerful complementary strategies to existing treatments. Our research team in collaboration with Prof. Ira Tabas from Columbia University have developed a polymeric nanoparticle using a rapid microfluidic platform enabling the production of small and robust nanoparticles effectively entrapping IL10 protein (an anti-inflammatory cytokine), in a matter of minutes. The nanoparticles also have a targeting ligand for plaque retention and therefore the ability to release IL-10 in a spatiotemporal manner. These findings were recently published in ACS Nano.
The recent Worldview feature by Scientific American features a list of 100 Biotech leaders and recognizes leading researchers for their fundamental insights into biological processes, as well as those who develop these insights to create biology-based goods and services that are the essence of biotechnology. The honorees also include entrepreneurs and business experts who have been highly influential in enabling biotechnology to flourish, in addition to key media figures who have helped spread this message to the wider community. Dr. Farokhzad was named an honoree on this list for his work on developing and commercializing nanoparticle based drug delivery systems for the treatment of a range of diseases.
[Read more from Scientific American]
Omid Farokhzad and Robert Langer were jointly awarded this year’s RUSNANOPRIZE for their work on clinically translatable nanomedicines. The prize is awarded to researchers and scientists who have produced outstanding scientific or technological discoveries in the field of nanotechnology, and to the company involved in industrializing these technologies for product development and human impact. The prize is 3 million rubles ($94 000) and has been awarded since 2009 to 8 laureates who have laid the foundations for new nanotechnologies, and is one of the largest nanotechnology prizes worldwide.
[Read more from Rusnano]