Seminar speaker Dr. Rizia Bardhan (Oct. 17 @ 10:30am in Maryland 110)

October 2, 2019

Topic: Cancer Diagnosis and Response to Treatment with Gold Nanostructures

In the past two decades, gold nanostructures have gained tremendous interest as both diagnostic and therapeutic agents for cancer detection and treatment and are currently in FDA trial for light-based therapies. In this talk I will show the utility of gold nanostar probes designed in my lab for rapid and noninvasive detection of multiple immunomarkers of cancer to enable patient selection for immunotherapies, as well as response to treatment after immunotherapy. We combined a clinical and pre-clinical imaging technique, positron emission tomography with surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (ImmunoPET-SERS) in vivo by labeling gold nanostars with radiolabels, Raman reporter molecules, and targeting antibodies. Multimodal ImmunoPET- SERS seamlessly integrates depth-resolved whole-body imaging and high sensitivity of PET with high spatiotemporal resolution and multiplexing of SERS providing dynamic immunomarker profiling in vivo. Further, ImmunoPET-SERS was used to determine the immunomarker status of mice treated with combinatorial immunotherapy; we demonstrated real-time feedback of CD8+ infiltration in tumors which was confirmed with IHC ex vivo. I will also demonstrate the capabilities of label-free Raman spectroscopy in probing metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells in response to treatment with signal transduction inhibitors. Finally, I will end my talk demonstrating gold/liposomal hybrid nanostructures efficiently convert light to heat and enable highly specific drug delivery combining photothermal therapy with chemo and immunotherapy for enhanced treatment outcome in highly aggressive breast cancer.


Bio: Prof. Rizia Bardhan recently accepted an Associate Prof. position with tenure at Iowa State University and will be moving there in January 2020. Currently she is in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at Vanderbilt University.

Rizia received a B.A. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Westminster College, Fulton, MO. She then moved to Houston, TX to pursue a Ph.D. at Rice University under the supervision of Prof. Naomi Halas. During her graduate work, her research focused on using gold nanostructures for imaging and therapy in mouse models of cancer. Prior to Vanderbilt, Rizia spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

She has received the CDMRP Career Development Award (2018), ORAU’s Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (2014), NSF BRIGE Award (2013), and was also a recipient of Forbes “Top 30 Under 30 : Rising Stars of Science and Innovation” Award (2012). Rizia has published 62 papers in high impact journals including Science, Nature Materials, Nano Letters among others with >7700 citations and h-index of 34.

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