Fighting Cancer with Nanoparticle Medicines ― Mark E. Davis

Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience

2011 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting

GIVEN THE LONG HISTORY OF DIFFICULTIES in developing cancer therapies, why is there excitement about nanoparticle medicine (nanomedicines) for fighting cancer?

This was the topic of the Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience, given by Dr. Mark E. Davis at the Fall 20011 Meeting of the Materials Research Society. In his lecture, Dr. Davis presented the current understandings of why these engineered, nanosized medicines that are highly multifunctional chemical systems have the potential to provide game-changing ways to treat cancer. Dr. Davis illustrated this point by demonstrating how physical insights at the nanoscale allow for the development of nanoparticles that can function as intended in animals and humans. The data from humans were used to show how we have translated two independent nanoparticle cancer therapeutics from laboratory curiosities to experimental therapeutics in human clinical trials.

Mark E. Davis, California Institute of Technology

Professor Mark E. Davis is the Warren and Katharine Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, and a member of the Experimental Therapeutics Program of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the City of Hope. His research efforts involve materials synthesis in two general areas: namely, zeolites and other solids that can be used for molecular recognition and catalysis; and polymers for the delivery of a broad range of therapeutics. He is the founder of Insert Therapeutics Inc., a company that was focused on the use of cyclodextrin-containing polymers for drug delivery applications, and Calando Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a company that created the first RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutic for treating cancer to reach the clinic. He has been a member of the scientific advisory boards of Symyx (Nasdaq: SMMX) and Alnylam (Nasdaq: ALNY).

He has over 375 scientific publications, two textbooks, and over 50 patents. Davis is a founding editor of CaTTech and has been an associate editor of Chemistry of Materials and the AIChE Journal.

He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Colburn and Professional Progress Awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineer (AIChE), and the Ipatieff, Langmuir, Murphree and Gaden Prizes from the American Chemical Society (ACS). Davis was the first engineer to win the National Science Foundation (NSF) Alan T. Waterman Award. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2006.


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