An estimated 600 experts on nanobiotechnology —
a science that develops tools and machinery at
the scale of one-billionth of a meter — are expected
to attend this week's second annual Johns Hopkins
Hosted by the Johns
Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology, the event,
Thursday and Friday, May 1 and 2, on the East Baltimore
campus, will focus on Nanotechnology for
Cancer and feature a workshop co-hosted by the Sidney
Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.
The workshop, to be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday
in Owens Auditorium, CRB 1, will offer
presentations by and discussions with several Johns Hopkins
nanobiotechnology experts on promising
new tools for the study and management of cancer.
"Advances in nanotechnology coupled with our
increasing understanding of cancer make it a
uniquely exciting time for both disciplines," said Kenneth
Kinzler, professor of oncology in the School
of Medicine and an INBT executive committee member.
A symposium from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday in
Turner Auditorium will feature talks by
internationally recognized nanobiotechnology experts Donald
E. Ingber, professor of vascular biology
at Harvard Medical School; Andrew D. Maynard, chief science
adviser for the Project on Emerging
Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center
for Scholars; Paras N. Prasad, director
of the Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics at
the University at Buffalo; Jeffery A.
Schloss, of the National Human Genome Research Institute;
and Jennifer L. West, professor of
bioengineering at Rice University.
"Nanoscale technologies are already available to
potentially solve a variety of problems in health
care and medicine," said Peter Searson, INBT director and
professor of materials science and
engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering.
For example, one Johns Hopkins group has been working
on a coated nanoparticle that can slip
past the body's protective mucous barrier to deliver
targeted drugs more effectively. Another has
developed a polymer-coated "nanocurcumin," a nanoscale
version of a therapeutic substance derived
from spice, doses of which are more likely to reach their
disease target when in the smaller,
encapsulated form. And nanoparticles called quantum dots
allow radiologists to produce multicolor
images that can not only locate diseased tissue in a live
animal but provide details on inflammation,
protein concentrations, enzyme activities and much more.
Friday's session concludes with a poster session from
2 to 4:30 p.m. in the Turner Concourse,
describing research conducted at Johns Hopkins and by
government and industry scientists.
"This is a terrific opportunity for those engaged in
nanobiotechnology-related research in an
academic or commercial setting to showcase their research
together," said Denis Wirtz, associate
director of INBT and professor of chemical and biomolecular
engineering in the Whiting School.
For more on the symposium, including a detailed
agenda, go to