New Postdoc Program in Nanotechnology for Cancer Medicine Launched at Johns Hopkins

New postdoc program in nanobiotechnology at Johns Hopkins University. Credit: HIPS/JHU.

The Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT) has recently launched a postdoctoral fellowship in Nanotechnology for Cancer Medicine (NTCM). Funded by the National Cancer Institute, the goal of this new postdoctoral training program is to ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to assume leadership roles in biomedical, behavioral and clinical research. This is the first T-32 grant awarded in the Whiting School of Engineering. Applications are now being accepted for this one-of-a-kind program that will allow two new postdoctoral fellows to enter the program each year.

Denis Wirtz, professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering, and Kenneth Kinzler, professor of Oncology at the School of Medicine will co-direct the NTCM training program. Wirtz is associate director of INBT and Kinzler is a member of INBT’s executive committee.

Postdoctoral fellows will learn new methods for molecular imaging, develop high-throughput diagnostic tools, and engineer novel drug, antibody, or genetically based delivery systems to treat human cancers, Wirtz explains. “They will be laying the foundations for technologies that will enable an inside-view of cancer cell functions, as opposed to the limited ‘blackbox’ input-output techniques currently used,“ Wirtz says.

NTCM fellows will view interactions between nanostructures and biological systems in physical, biological, and biomedical terms and will become adept at emerging concepts in biomolecular engineering, protein engineering, materials synthesis and surface modification. Fellows will be able to take advantage of research and clinical resources at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the National Cancer Institute-designated Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Center, and the In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center, as well as the educational resources and experimental facilities available through INBT.

Each fellow will be supported for two years and will be co-advised by a faculty member in oncology or medicine and a faculty member in engineering. (There are 20 participating faculty members, please go to to view the full list.) Fellows will take a core lecture course in either nanotechnology or cancer biology, a core laboratory course in nanobiotechnology for cancer medicine, and will attend a weekly journal club. In addition, fellows will participate in an annual retreat in the fall and the annual NanoBio Symposium in the spring. After two, 6-week rotations in the laboratories of participant faculty, fellows will embark on co-advised research in nanotechnology for cancer medicine.

Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for the NTCM program. Requirements for admission include a PhD in an engineering discipline or biological/oncology discipline or an MD degree. A concentration in cancer is helpful. Interested applicants should send their C.V. and two letters of recommendation to: Ashanti Edwards / Prof. Denis Wirtz, Institute for NanoBioTechnology, Johns Hopkins University, NEB 100, 3400 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21218. For more information, e-mail

The Institute for NanoBioTechnology at Johns Hopkins University brings together internationally renowned expertise in medicine, engineering, the sciences and public health to foster the next wave of nanobiotechnology innovation. Faculty members affiliated with INBT are members of the Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Whiting School of Engineering, School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health and Applied Physics Laboratory. For more information about INBT, go to

Story by Mary Spiro

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