NHLBI renews programs for nanotechnology research

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The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded $65 million to renew its Programs for Nanotechnology Research to help researchers develop tools based on materials designed at the molecular level to detect and deliver treatments for heart, lung and blood diseases.

The four contracts, to be funded over five years, will create nanotechnology solutions for projects such as detecting pulmonary infections and repairing heart tissue damage and involve teams spread across 17 institutions.

  • Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston (Ralph Weissleder, MD) leads a consortium of six Boston-area institutions. The group is developing nanomaterials to diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases and create a point-of-care system for the detection of pulmonary infections.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta (Gang Bao, PhD) is collaborating with Emory University in Atlanta and the University of California, Davis to develop nanoparticle-based tools to image and deliver therapeutics to atherosclerotic plaque and for stem cell repair of damaged heart tissue.
  • Washington University in St. Louis (Michael Welch, PhD) and Texas A &M University in College Station, Texas, (Karen Wooley, PhD) head a collaboration that  includes the University of California, Santa Barbara, University of California, Berkeley and the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Their work will include the nanoparticle-based diagnosis and treatment of acute lung diseases, as well as imaging and treating cardiovascular diseases.  
  • Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City (Zahi Fayad, PhD) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., (Robert Langer, PhD) are collaborating with New York University in New York City, Columbia University in New York City and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The group is focused on developing therapies for early- and late-stage cardiac disease, treatment for atherosclerotic plaque to prevent heart attack, and delivery of regeneration factors to repair heart tissue damaged by heart attack.