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January 15, 2014


Jianjun Cheng
Associate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Willett Faculty Scholar
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“Design of Drug and Gene Delivery Nanomedicines through Controlled Chemistry”
Stevenson Center, 5326
12:00 p.m.
Lunch will be provided

Abstract: Controlled synthesis may play a significant role in the design of functional nanomedicine drug and gene delivery systems.  I will first present ring-opening polymerization of amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides for the controlled synthesis of linear and branched polypeptides.  By controlling polypeptide side-chains, we developed ionic helical polypeptides capable of delivering DNA and siRNA effectively in vitro and in vivo.  I will also present our work on the development of polymer-drug conjugated nanoparticles via drug-initiated, controlled ring-opening polymerizations of cyclic esters followed by nanoprecipitation, and formulations of sub-100 nm polymeric nanoconjugates with well-defined drug loading, quantitative drug loading efficiency, controlled release profiles, and excellent in vitro and in vivo efficacy.  I will briefly describe our work on silica nanomedicine and development of chain-shattering polymeric therapeutics.

Biosketch: Jianjun Cheng obtained a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Nankai University, China, in 1993, a M.S. degree in chemistry from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1996, and a Ph.D. degree in materials science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2001 with Professor Timothy Deming. He was a senior scientist at Insert Therapeutics, Inc. from 2001 to 2004, and a postdoctoral fellow at MIT with Professor Robert Langer from 2004 to 2005. He joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 2005 and is currently an Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and a Willett Faculty Scholar of UIUC. Cheng is the co-inventor of 18 patents, seven of which are in active use in industry. He has co-authored 90 publications. He received a Prostate Cancer Foundation Competitive Award in 2007, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2008, Teaching Excellence Awards at UIUC for five times in 2008-2010, a Xerox Award for Outstanding Research at UIUC in 2010, and a NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2010.  He is appointed as an Associate of Center for Advanced Study, UIUC, in 2014.  Dr. Cheng is currently an Associate Editor of Biomaterials Science, Royal Society of Chemistry.

Host: Dr. Qi Zhang

Dr. Jianjun Cheng
Vanderbilt University