Women in Cancer Research Fall Mini Seminar Series: Efronsini “Efie” Kokkoli

November 5, 2019 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Croft Hall G40, JHU Homewood campus
Institute for NanoBioTechnology

From Polymers to DNA: Self-Assembled Nanomaterials that Target Cancer

Self-assembly of polymers or biological molecules is an attractive method for engineering supramolecular biomaterials for biomedical applications. Kokkoli’s research focuses on the design and characterization of novel amphiphilic molecules that have the tendency to self-assemble spontaneously in different structures in water. She will discuss two examples, the design and characterization of a new thermosensitive and biodegradable polymer that can be used for the local delivery of targeted nanoparticles or different therapeutics, and the assembly of ssDNA-amphiphiles into nanotubes used to target glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), in vitro and in vivo in an orthotopic mouse model of GBM, in the absence of any targeting moiety.

Efie Kokkoli, a targeted drug delivery specialist, is a professor in the Chemical and Biomolecular Department at the Whiting School of Engineering. Her research focuses on the areas of DNA nanotechnology, multi-targeted gene and drug delivery, and the design of biopolymers and responsive hydrogels. With the goal of directing nanoparticles capable of carrying cancer drugs to tumor sites while sparing non-cancerous areas, her group concentrates on designing biomaterials ranging from polymeric nanoparticles to DNA nanotubes that respond best under certain conditions, like temperature or pH, and have specificity for cancer cells.