The University of Kentucky Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center (UK CNTC), supported by the NCI/NIH and part of the National Cancer Institute Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, provides advanced multidisciplinary training for advanced graduate students and postdoctoral fellows toward the goal of creating a new type of cancer nanotechnology researcher who will fully appreciate the breadth of disciplines involved in translating novel laboratory findings to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Trainees acquire a clear understanding of the molecular basis of cancer and the unresolved clinical problems plus sufficient expertise in nanotechnology to envision, articulate, and carry-out research to find realistic nanotechnology solutions to these problems. This is accomplished through immersion in cross-disciplinary mentored laboratory training projects, individualized problem-based instruction and focused laboratory training, participation in seminars, and outreach activities designed to educate the public. Our 35 participating faculty consist of 20 nanotechnology researchers or biomedical scientists and 15 clinical oncologists with expertise covering a broad range of scientific areas in gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, gliomas, radiation medicine, surgery, cancer screening, imaging, pharmaceutical chemistry, materials science and pharmacokinetics and dynamics.
Based on existing research collaborations, our cancer nanotechnology projects are composed of multidisciplinary focus teams in the following four areas (see figure below):
- Early Detection and Diagnosis in Lung, Colon, and Ovarian Cancer
- Gastrointestinal Tumors and Metastases Therapy
- Lung Cancer Therapy
- Glioma therapy
Mentored research in these areas will encompass a wide range of emphases, including early detection and diagnosis, in vivo imaging, targeted delivery of therapeutics, and combination therapy.