Research – The Johns Hopkins CCNE brings together a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and doctors to develop nanotechnology-based diagnostic platforms and therapeutic strategies for comprehensive cancer care.


Research Projects

Pilot Projects

Every year JHU CCNE solicites proposals for pilot projects in cancer nanomedicine. Proposed projects should be innovative and must involve collaboration between two or more faculty with complementary expertise. Support of up to $50,000 per year direct costs may be requested for graduate student support, postdoctoral fellows or technicians, equipment, and/or for consumables. Recipients of pilot grants will be expected to submit a grant application to a federal funding agency or foundation through JHU CCNE.


  • Shaun Lupold and Martin Pomper, “A model system to determine the influence of active and passive systemic tumor targeting”
  • Jonathan Powell and Michael Edidin, “Selectively enhancing tumor immunotherapy by constraining anti-PD-1 on the surface of a nanoparticle”
  • Sangeeta Ray and Martin Pomper, “Targeted µ-Particle Therapy for Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen Expressing Cells Using Multimodality Nanoparticle Platform”
  • Martin Ulmschneider and Peter Searson, “Towards an integrated model of drug delivery and tumor growth”


  • Robert Ivkov and James Herman, “Magnetic Iron Oxide Formulation for Treatment of Pancreas Cancer”
  • Seulki Lee and Justin Hanes, “Novel Systemic Gene Delivery System for Cancer Therapy”
  • Stephen Meltzer and Jeff Wang, “Highly Sensitive, Multiplex MicroRNA Analysis Using Molecule Coding and Detection”
  • Peter van Zijl and Martin Pomper, “Development of receptor imaging for MRI using biodegradable non-radioactive nanoparticles”


  • ICG-nanocapsules for Aggressive Cancer Detection by Targeting Cell Surface Glycan Biomarker – Xingde Li
  • In Situ Shape Transformation of DNA/Polymer Nanoparticles for Tumor-Targeted Delivery – Hai-Quan Mao, Honggang Cui, and Martin G. Pomper
  • Sridhar Nimmagadda and Zaver Bhujwalla, “Theranostic imaging of prostate cancer”
  • Regulation of the Invasive Transition by Nanoscale Adhesive Features in the Tumor Microenvironment – Jennifer Elisseeff and Andrew Ewald
  • A Targeted Theranostic Nanoprobe for Real-time Imaging of HSV1-tk in Brain Tumors – Assaf A. Gilad, Arvind P. Pathak, Yoshinori Kato


  • Thermo-chemoembolization for treatment of liver cancer. PI: Eleni Liapi, MD; Interventional Radiology, School of Medicine. Co-Inv: Robert Ivkov, PhD; Radiation Oncology, School of Medicine
  • Biodegradable, Shape Shifting Nanoparticles as Artificial Antigen Presenting Cells. PI: Jonathan Schneck, MD, PhD; Pathology and Oncology; School of Medicine. Co-Inv: Jordan Green, PhD; Biomedical Engineering; School of Medicine
  • A model system to determine the influence of active and passive systemic tumor targeting. PI: Shawn Lupold, PhD; Urology and Oncology, School of Medicine. Co-Inv: Martin Pomper, MD, PhD; Radiology, School of Medicine

Challenge Grants

  • Project 1: The role of cell shape on nanoparticle uptake in the presence/absence of taxol. Personnel: Wei-Chiang Chen (PhD candidate) and Denis Wirtz (PI).
  • Project 2: Biomechanics of α4β1-VCAM-1-dependent adhesion and migration. Personnel: Wei-Chien Hung (PhD candidate and Kostas Konstantopoulos (PI).
  • Project 3: In-situ Shape-transformation of DNA Nanoparticles for Tumor-specific Interleukin-12 Delivery. Personnel: John-Michael Williford (PhD candidate) and Hai-Quan Mao (PI).