LOS ANGELES (Jan. 14, 2015) - Nobel laureate Martin Chalfie, PhD, will be the keynote speaker at Cedars-Sinai's Nanomedicine for Imaging and Treatment Conference, where two dozen experts from around the world will discuss emerging trends in the study and treatment of diseases at the molecular and atomic levels.
The March 13-14 event will bring together academic researchers, clinicians, representatives from the National Institutes of Health and scientists from private biotech industries to present lectures and abstracts about advances in nanomedicine and the development of imaging and drugs in this specialized field.
"This conference will give many top scientists and physicians an opportunity to share insights as the field of nanomedicine matures and we home in on new ways to diagnose, treat and cure diseases," said Keith Black, MD, chair and professor of Cedars-Sinai's Department of Neurosurgery.
Chalfie, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his part in the discovery and development of green fluorescent protein, found in a species of jellyfish. The protein glows when excited by light. Because it can be attached to many biological substances to make them readily visible, it has become a fundamental tool in a wide range of medical and scientific fields.
This year's program will focus on three issues:
- Nanomedicine and imaging: How far are we from patient care?
- Latest preclinical and clinical advances in the treatment of cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and other pathological conditions.
- The role of the National Institutes of Health in nanodrug and nano-imaging development.
The conference also will address issues relevant to the biotech industry and the legal profession.
Speakers and presenters will discuss research taking place at Cedars-Sinai; the California Institute of Technology; Harvard Medical School; Houston Methodist Hospital; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry, Germany; the National Cancer Institute; the National Institutes of Health; Northeastern University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Saarland University, Germany; Stanford University; UCLA; the University of Central Florida; the University of Chicago; the University of New Mexico; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; the University of Southern California; and the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
Nanomedicine is conducted at microscopic levels - at a scale of about one to 100 nanometers. A nanometer is equal to one billionth of a meter. A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick.
Julia Ljubimova, MD, PhD, the nanomedicine conference's leading organizer, has worked with colleagues at Cedars-Sinai and UCLA to develop an experimental nanodrug - 20 to 30 nanometers in size - to deliver antitumor therapies to brain and breast cancers. Ljubimova, professor of neurosurgery and biomedical sciences, is director of the Nanomedicine Research Center in the Department of Neurosurgery and director of the Nanomedicine Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
"By engineering nanoscale particles, we have the potential to target diseases and deliver therapies in ways never before possible," Ljubimova said. "Nanotechnology is rapidly shifting from experimental to clinical applications, making this an exciting time to bring together many of the brightest minds in the field."
The conference is presented by Cedars-Sinai's Department of Neurosurgery, Biomedical Imaging Research Institute and Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. It is supported by Arrogene, a biotech company licensed to develop the anticancer nanodrug engineered at Cedars-Sinai; Leica Microsystems, a company specializing in microscopes and scientific instruments; Beckman Coulter, a company that develops products for biomedical testing; and RECOOP HST Association, a research consortium co-founded by Cedars-Sinai and universities and academic organizations in Europe and the Balkans region.
The nanomedicine conference is held every two years; this is the third. It will be at Cedars-Sinai's Harvey Morse Auditorium. Additional information is available at http://www.