2013 Keynote Biography
Assistant Professor in the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences
College of Pharmacy University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Keynote Title and Abstract: Biomimetic Nanotechnology to Tackle Cancer: Targeted Drug Delivery and Tumor Cell Isolation
Despite the ongoing fight against cancer, the debilitating disease remains the second most cause of death in the US. This presentation will highlight our current research in an effort to intervene cancer development through marriage of nanotechnology and biomimicry, focusing on 1) novel nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery and 2) biomimetic devices for effective detection and separation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). For targeted drug delivery, dendrons have been utilized as a component of a novel nanocarrier system to impart highly localized peripheral functional groups enabling virus-mimicking multivalent binding and distinct reactivities of core and surface groups allowing preparation of various amphiphilic block copolymers. By engineering the amphiphilic dendron copolymers, we have prepared a novel micellar system that demonstrates enhanced thermodynamic stability, high surface coverage by the PEG layer, and high drug payload. The dendron-based nanocarriers provide a platform technology for targeted delivery of multiple drugs to cancer cells at high specificity. For CTC capturing, we have developed a novel separation method using a biomimetic approach combined with nanotechnology. The biomimetic combination of dynamic rolling and multivalent binding via dendrimers significantly enhances the surface capture efficiency of target tumor cells by up to ~150 fold, compared to a surface with a single cancer cell marker such as aEpCAM. This unique combination technique has great potential to be translated into a device with enhanced separation and detection of CTCs.
Seungpyo Hong is Assistant Professor in the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He graduated from Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea with M.S. and B.S. degrees in polymer engineering in 1999 and 2001, respectively. After working as a researcher at Korea Institute Science and Technology (KIST), he started his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan working with his advisors Profs. Mark Banaszak Holl and James Baker. Dr. Hong graduated with his PhD in Macromolecular Science and Engineering in 2006 and joined MIT as a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Prof. Robert Langer. Since 2008, he has led a research group at UIC under the major research theme of “Biomimetic Nanotechnology” for cancer treatment. To date, Prof. Hong’s research has culminated in over 45 peer-reviewed articles, 4 book chapters, and 10 issued or pending patents, while presenting over 50 invited talks and over 100 conference proceedings. His academic/research achievements have been recognized by the related scientific communities, resulting in him receiving a number of awards including 2012 AAPS New Investigator Award and 2012 UIC Researcher of the Year - Rising Star Award. Recently, Dr. Hong was selected by National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to participate in the 2013 EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium that invites only 60 engineers under the age of 45 in a broad field of engineering in both US and Europe.