Rajagopal Ramesh, PhD
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Targeted IMAT Multifunctional Nanoparticles for Bronchioloalveolar Lung Cancer
Targeting drugs efficiently to the tumor cells is an important aspect of treatment. Dr. Rajagopal Ramesh is investigating a novel technology not only for efficient drug delivery but also for imaging. He will use tiny particles called nanoparticles that are not visible to the naked eye. The targeted imaging and therapeutic (IMAT) nanoparticles are composed of an iron core coated with gold, which is useful for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The EGFR-targeted drug, cetuximab, is coated on the surface of the nanoparticles which should attack EGFR-expressing lung cancer cells and produce a therapeutic effect that can be monitored noninvasively by MRI.
Dr. Ramesh has completed testing the nanoparticles in vitro. He and his team have demonstrated that the EGFR-targeted nanoparticles can specifically inhibit the growth and proliferation of human lung tumor cells with minimal effect on normal cell lines, with the most profound effect in cells harboring EGFR mutations. Based on preliminary studies implicating DNA-damage repair proteins, Dr. Ramesh hypothesizes that combining EGFR-nanoparticles with other DNA-damaging agents (radiotherapy or chemotherapy, specifically platinum drugs) will result in enhanced therapeutic effect.
Dr. Ramesh has been awarded over $120,000 to continue his research, and has submitted an R01 grant to the NIH for continued funding. In addition, Dr. Ramesh has moved to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as the new Chair in Cancer Developmental Therapeutics. Dr. Ramesh has presented this project at six international conferences, and published his work in Clinical Cancer Research and Pulmonary Nanomedicine, Diagnostics, Imaging and Therapeutics.