Scientists Collaborate on Nanomedicine Research

Posted: July 13, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Patty Snellings

George Mason and Geo-Centers Inc., a Massachusetts-based firm specializing in scientific and technological research, are pursuing collaborative research efforts in nanomedicine. Plans include studying biological processes utilizing innovative crystal imaging techniques and seeking federal funding for additional research. Work has begun at the Prince William Campus.

“Initially, the university will provide support to Geo-Centers on existing federally funded research projects,” explains Larry Czarda, vice president, Prince William Campus, “and Geo-Centers will bring expertise in imaging and nanotechnology. Using these complementary skills, researchers will pursue federal funding for additional joint research projects.”

Nanomedicine, an emerging branch of nanotechnology, is medical intervention at the molecular level that cures diseases or repairs damaged tissues. According to information available from the National Institutes of Health, results of nanomedicine research programs may someday enable doctors to detect and destroy cancer cells before tumors develop, and molecular-sized devices may be created to accurately deliver lifesaving drug therapies.

“Our collaboration with Geo-Centers enhances our joint capability to follow biological problems using novel approaches,” says Vikas Chandhoke, associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences who leads George Mason’s life sciences initiatives at the Prince William Campus. “In addition, the university will have access to state-of-the-art resources for liquid crystal imaging of biological processes.”

Geo-Centers recently announced plans to locate a new research facility at Innovation@Prince William, joining George Mason, American Type Culture Collection, Eli Lilly and Co., and other life sciences and technology companies at the Prince William County-developed business park. Ranganathan Shashidhar, Geo-Centers’ corporate research director, explains that one of the reasons the site was chosen was “the close proximity and access to the life sciences facilities at George Mason University, and the ability to work collaboratively with its students and faculty.”

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