Mayo Clinic opens lab in Florida focused on research for nanomedicine

The Mayo Clinic's Florida campus (Jacksonville, FL) has opened a laboratory for nanotechnology research, with the goal of developing, testing, and applying nanomaterials in diagnosing and treating patients, particularly those with cancer. Findings made in the laboratory—a key part of the clinic's new Translational Nanomedicine Program—will help expand and enhance cancer research, including clinical trials in Florida, the state with the second-highest cancer burden in the nation.

Related: Next-gen sequencing helps Mayo Clinic offer personalized cancer treatment

Many materials change their properties at the atomic level, making nanoparticles potentially useful in delivering therapeutic drugs to cells and helping diagnose, treat, and monitor disease from within. Potential uses for nanomedicine include:

  • Injecting nanoparticles into tumors and heating them via magnetic fields, x-rays, or light to destroy cancer cells using nanoparticles to deliver tiny amounts of chemotherapy drugs or gene therapies directly to cancer cells, thereby minimizing side effects on healthy tissues; and
  • Developing new technologies to help in early detection of cancer and other diseases, and determining whether treatments were effective.

Nanotechnology not only has potential applications for cancer, but also for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other immune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and allergic conditions.

The lab will be directed by Debabrata (Dev) Mukhopadhyay, Ph.D., a world-renowned scientist in cancer and nanotechnology. He was recruited to Mayo Clinic to open the lab with a $2 million grant from the state of Florida.

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