Nanotechnology and Drug Delivery

Preclinical Research

Our basic research focuses on designing new drugs to block gliomas and noninvasive imaging agents to precisely diagnose different brain pathological conditions. We also precisely targeting and treat brain metastasis from tumors of lung, breast and other organs.

Our aim is to create a new generation of drugs with the ability to:

  • Improve the pharmaceutical and pharmacological properties of anti-cancer drugs
  • Increase the therapeutic efficacy of drug delivery
  • Deliver multiple types of therapeutics for combination therapy of cancer and  neurodegenerative disorders, such as anti-Alzheimer diagnostic and therapeutic
    nano drugs

Major preclinical projects include:

Studying of therapeutic properties of the Polycefin™ family of nano drugs and imaging agents and its delivery through the blood-brain barrier/brain tumor barrier (BBB/BTB). In the experimental models, these drugs were proven to be effective in treating gliomas, breast cancers, and brain metastasis from primary lung and breast tumors. Study of pharmacological properties of these nano drugs showed luck of toxicity, which is going under the FDA guideline. This technology shows promise in blocking a combination of unique markers simultaneously, providing a synergistic treatment effect.

Investigating a natural biopolymer, polymalic acid, from the slime mold Physarum polycephalum as a multifunctional biodegradable and nontoxic molecular platform for a family of anti-cancer and neurodegenerative disorders nano drugs. Creating mini-nanodrugs for easy tissues delivery and numerous brain pathological conditions treatment.

Designing MRI nanoimaging and contrast reagents capable of differentiating brain metastases, based on tumor specific biomarkers, from other MRI enhancements such as infection, inflammation, necrosis and stroke

Studying the molecular mechanisms of nano drug delivery throughout multiple biological barriers and different classes of chemo-therapeutics as a part of the nanodrug in experimental models. So far investigators show delivery of these nano medicines through the BBB for effective diagnostic and therapeutic treatment of brain disorders.


Our nanotechnology research is multidisciplinary, combining collaborations across a number of Cedars-Sinai divisions, including:

Through this collaboration, we design drugs in the laboratory and test them in experimental models.

We have ongoing collaborations with the:

  • Division of Surgical Oncology at UCLA
  • Molecular Biology Institute at UCLA
  • David A. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

We host a biannual Nanomedicine for Imaging and Treatment Conference, which brings together scientists from across the world to discuss the latest in preclinical and clinical advances in the treatment of cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and other pathological conditions.