Project Details
The laboratory has various projects based on a platform technology making use of small nanoparticles to provide high-level contrast with medical scanners such as MRI, CT and Ultrasound. In addition, the particles are porous and can serve as a reservoir for loading of bioactive drugs. Our group performs experiments on campus and off campus where we developed a biotech company, NanoMedTrix (NMTx). Our mesoporous silica nanoparticles (the MSNs) are advanced nanotechnology material which dramatically enhance bladder cancer diagnostics for much earlier detection as well as uniquely serve as a vehicle for targeted drug delivery. Current technology is expensive, insensitive and is therapeutically indiscriminate and ineffective. Our nanoparticles specifically target only bladder cancer cells to improve detection significantly and have also been impregnated with anti-mitotic drugs to deliver high concentrations of these drugs only to the cancer cells thereby sparing the surrounding bladder tissue and patient from excessive side effects. The unique experimental and commercial opportunity our products resides in the breadth of clinical applications and the ease of usage.

Position Details
The chosen student will be involved in a project which focuses on the ability of nanoparticles to deliver bioactive drugs into diseased organs. In this research, we use tissue engineering technologies which include the development and applications of nanoparticles. Teams in my laboratory address specific aspects of the project. We basically interface biomedical technology with computational image processing. Undergraduate students are given tasks at their level. As they learn new techniques and take more appropriate courses, they will take on new tasks.

A number of projects are available in our labs. The chosen student will determine a direction within the scope of our research. He/she will investigate specific properties of nanoparticles in desired protocols. We have daily meetings and a journal club when the student will have to present and articulate his thoughts and results. The student will interact with all students: graduates and undergraduates.

Website

Qualifications
Appropriate majors for application include Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Chemistry, Biology, Human Physiology.

Time Commitment
During the semester: 10 hours per week, During the summer: 20-40 hours per week

Start Date
Immediate 
Near future

Project Duration 
Ongoing or potential to be a continuous position

Compensation
Volunteer (Optional 0-credit hour course for transcript recognition)
Academic Credit (1-4 semester hours)

How to Apply
Email jose-assouline@uiowa.edu with a resume attached.