Mark Kester

Mark Kester

NanoSTAR Institute of the University of Virginia, USA

Title: Nanocolloidsfor Cancer


Mark Kester is a Professor of Pharmacology and the Co-Director of the NanoSTAR Institute of the University of Virginia. He was previously the G. Thomas Passananti Professor of Pharmacology at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine and the inagural Director of the Penn State Center for NanoMedicine and Materials. Kester’s research interests include the design, characterization and validation of nanotechnologies for targeted drug delivery. His laboratory has evaluated nanoliposomes, nanodendrimers and nanocolloids as effective drug delivery vehicles for pharmacological and molecular agents. Recent work focuses on nontoxic nanoscale systemic delivery systems for hydrophobic pro-apoptotic lipids as well as siRNAs that target mutated tumorigenic proteins. Kester has consulted with, or founded, several companies that have the license to his nano”Solutions”. In addition, Kester is a co-author of Integrated Pharmacology, published by Elsevier, Ltd., which was recognized as a "highly commended textbook" by the British Medical Society.


Published work by our team has demonstrated that calcium phosphosilicate nanoparticles (CPSNPs) are nontoxic candidates for bioimaging and therapeutic drug delivery applications. The pH-dependent solubility profiles of CPSNPs make this class of nanoparticles especially useful for in vitro and in vivo delivery of fluoroprobes as well as chemotherapeutics. CPSNPs that encapsulate the near infra-red fluoroprobe, indocyanine green, have both diagnostic imaging and therapeutic efficacy. These “theranostic” attributes can be exploited to enhance photodynamic therapy (PDT), an alternative modality for cancer treatment. ICG-CPSNPs have enhanced optical imaging properties andfunction as stable photosensitizers for PDT. Data will be presented to demonstrate the theranostic potential of ICG-CPSNPs in multiple models of solid and non-solid tumors. In addition tofluoroprobes and chemotherapeutics, CPSNPs can be formulated to encapsulate molecular-based therapies, such as siRNA. Data will also be presented demonstrating the utility of these non-cationic formulations inin vivo models of cancer. Disclosure: MK is cofounder and Chief Medical officer of Keystone Nano, Inc. Penn State Research Foundation has licensed CPSNP technology to Keystone Nano for commercialization.

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