The Frederick National Lab has begun to assist several major pharmaceutical companies in adopting nanotechnologies in early stage drug development, when the approach is most efficient and cost-effective.

For some time, the national lab’s Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) has worked with pharmaceutical companies on reformulating cancer drugs that failed in human clinical trials because of toxicity or other issues. By reformulating the drugs using nanotechnologies, the drugs reentered clinical trials with success.

Sixteen-year-old Celina Paudel solidified her career interest in biomedical engineering after winning a scholarship through the national Girls in Technology (GIT) program. Then, thanks to Rachel Bagni, she got to see what it really means to be a scientist.

Bagni, Ph.D., head scientist of the Target Biology Group, Cancer Research Technology Program, played the role of mentor for a day to Paudel, who said she was eager to learn about the world of biomedical research. 

European nanotechnology experts visited the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) to observe best practices and methods and to share their own knowledge with NCL scientists as they prepared to launch an NCL-like operation in Europe.

The European Union Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory (EU-NCL) plans to open for business in mid-2016 with funding from the European Commission and support from the NCL and organizations in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

RAS Symposium Draws Hundreds of Attendees

Published: 1/6/2016Tagged:

They call themselves “rasologists”: scientists who study the RAS family of genes and the cancers that can arise due to mutations within them. This field of research is at the heart of some sobering numbers. Almost a third of all human cancers, including 95 percent of pancreatic cancers, are driven by mutated RAS genes. The American Cancer Society estimates there were 48,960 new cases of pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2015 and 40,560 deaths from the disease. A high proportion of lung and colorectal cancers are also driven by mutations in RAS.

A research team of scientists from the National Cancer Institute and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research recently identified the structure of a key protein of the virus that causes the highly lethal Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The team is now using that discovery in the search for new drugs.

The Molecular Characterization Laboratory at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research lies at the heart of an ambitious new approach for testing cancer drugs that will use the newest tools of precision medicine to select the best treatment for individual patients based on the genetic makeup of their tumors.

Researchers at the Frederick National Lab (FNL) have collaborated in solving the three-dimensional structure of a key protein in Alzheimer’s disease, providing new insight into the basic mechanisms that give rise to the devastating illness.

The protein—amyloid-beta(1-42)—is the initial and most common protein that builds up layer by layer in spaces between nerve cells of the brain in patients with Alzheimer’s. This buildup contributes to a progressive loss of brain function that is ultimately fatal.

A new breed of lab animals, dubbed “glowing head mice,” may do a better job than conventional mice in predicting the success of experimental cancer drugs—while also helping to meet an urgent need for more realistic preclinical animal models.

The optical expression pattern of the transgene in glowing head (GH) mice, as visualized by bioluminescence imaging. Reporter activity was detected in the anterior pituitary gland of both genders and the testes of male mice. Image adapted from PLOS ONE.

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