Justin Hanes

Justin Hanes, Ph.D., is the Lewis J. Ort Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, with secondary appointments in biomedical engineering, chemical & biomolecular engineering, environmental health sciences, neurosurgery and oncology. He is a leader of research at the interface of nanotechnology and medicine and is the director of the Center for Nanomedicine. Dr. Hanes is internationally recognized for designing and synthesizing new biodegradable plastics to create nanoscopic, drug/gene-filled particles, capable of targeted delivery to specific sites in the body. His lab recently discovered methods to make drug and gene-loaded particles that efficiently penetrate mucus barriers, which may allow for more effective therapies for eye diseases.

The Center for Nanomedicine has pioneered the use of high-resolution particle tracking; this technique provides insight into the barriers faced by nanoscopic drug and gene carrier particles. Research goals include characterizing the barrier properties of the mucus layer coating the eyes, designing new nanomedicines that bypass the mucus barrier of the eyes, producing safe, synthetic nanoparticles that efficiently deliver therapeutic genes to various cell types within the eye, including the back of the eye and the surface, and testing these various new systems in animal models of eye disease with collaborators from Wilmer Eye Institute and elsewhere.

Dr. Hanes received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from MIT and he completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in oncology and neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins prior to his initial faculty appointment in 1998. He joined the Wilmer faculty in 2009.