Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Relations is focused on disseminating current, accurate and useful information to the public via the media. As part of that effort, we are distributing our “COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins” every other Tuesday.

Technion Harvey Prize Honors Pioneers in Chemical Engineering and Medical Sciences

The prestigious prize for 2019-2020 goes to Professor Joseph DeSimone of Stanford University for significant contributions to materials science, chemistry, polymer science nano medicine, and 3D printing; and to Professor Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the discovery of the active molecules in cannabis

Brain’s Immune Cells Promising Cellular Target for Therapeutics

Inspired by the need for new and better therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, Rutgers University researchers are exploring the link between uncontrolled inflammation within the brain and the brain’s immune cells, known as microglia, which are emerging as a promising cellular target because of the prominent role they play in brain inflammation. In APL Bioengineering, the group highlights the design considerations and benefits of creating therapeutic nanoparticles for carrying pharmacological factors directly to the sites of the microglia.

Experiments in Mice And Human Cells Shed Light On Best Way to Deliver Nanoparticle Therapy For Cancer

Researchers in the cancer nanomedicine community debate whether use of tiny structures, called nanoparticles, can best deliver drug therapy to tumors passively — allowing the nanoparticles to diffuse into tumors and become held in place, or actively — adding a targeted anti-cancer molecule to bind to specific cancer cell receptors and, in theory, keep the nanoparticle in the tumor longer. Now, new research on human and mouse tumors in mice by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center suggests the question is even more complicated.

Nanoparticles Deliver ‘Suicide Gene’ Therapy to Pediatric Brain Tumors Growing in Mice

Johns Hopkins researchers report that a type of biodegradable, lab-engineered nanoparticle they fashioned can successfully deliver a “suicide gene” to pediatric brain tumor cells implanted in the brains of mice. The poly(beta-amino ester) nanoparticles, known as PBAEs, were part of a treatment that also used a drug to kill the cells and prolong the test animals’ survival.