Translational Nanomaterials for In Vivo Cancer Diagnostics and Renal Disease Therapy

Wed, Feb 19, 2020 - 12:15 PM — Wed, Feb 19, 2020 - 01:30 PM
Event Address
Steinman Hall, 275 Convent Ave, NY 10031
Event Location
Event Details

Research Information Series Lecture

Translational Nanomaterials for In Vivo Cancer Diagnostics and Renal Disease Therapy 

Prof. Ryan Williams 

Department of Biomedical Engineering


Clinically translational nanomaterials exhibit rationally-designed functionalities with applications including biosensing, imaging, and drug delivery. We engineered an optical nanosensor that non-invasively quantifies the ovarian cancer protein biomarker HE4 in vivo. Using the fluorescent properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes, we developed a sensor with high affinity and strong specificity for HE4, demonstrating its use in vitro and in clinical specimens. We incorporated this sensor into an implantable device to detect ovarian cancer in live mice using near-infrared imaging and spectroscopy. Separately, we developed a biodegradable polymeric mesoscale nanoparticle system that targets the kidneys with 26-fold specificity compared to other organs. When loaded with small molecule drugs, these nanoparticles are therapeutically efficacious against chemotherapy-induced acute kidney injury. Together, these nanomaterials serve as platform technologies for the continued development of clinically translational tools for disease diagnostics and treatment.  


Dr. Williams is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering in The City College of New York Grove School of Engineering. He was an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the Cancer Nanomedicine Lab of Dr. Daniel Heller from 2013 until August 2019. Dr. Williams earned a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from West Virginia University in 2013 and a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia in 2008. At CCNY, Dr. Williams’ lab focused on the design and characterization of nanotechnologies for implantable optical diagnostics and targeted drug delivery systems.

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