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GEN’s editorial staff interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.
Scientists at Georgia Tech have developed a potential new treatment against cancer that attaches magnetic nanoparticles to cancer cells, allowing them to be captured and carried out of the body. The novel therapeutic approach, which has been tested in the laboratory and will now be looked at in survival studies, was detailed online on July 9th in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
During this week's GEN podcast, Dr. John McDonald, one of the paper's authors, talks about how the idea for this method of treating cancer came about and developed. He discusses which types of cancer are more amenable to this therapy and provides the details on the actual experiment that was carried out in mice. Dr. McDonald points out the importance of using a small peptide to modify the nanoparticle to target it directly to the tumor cells and offers suggestions on how this technology be packaged to make it a feasible cancer cell removal system for human applications.
John McDonald is Chair of the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Chief Scientific Officer of the Ovarian Cancer Institute in Atlanta. Prior to assuming his current positions, Dr. McDonald was a faculty member in the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia , serving as Department Head from 1998-2004. He received his PhD in Genetics from the University of California (Davis) in 1978 and was an NIH Post-doctoral at The University of California, San Diego from 1979-1981 (La Jolla) before taking a faculty position at Iowa State University (Ames) in 1982. Dr. McDonald is former editor of the journal Genetica and of several books including two on the biological significance of endgenous retroviruses. He is author of over 150 scientific publications and co-author of the genetics textbook The Science of Genetics (Saunders). In 2005, Dr. McDonald was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his “…pioneering work in the field of repetative DNA elements … .” His current research efforts are focused on microRNAs, cancer epigenetics and the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic methods for the treatment of cancer.