NIH recently announced completion of its national network of eight Nanomedicine Development
Centers (NDCs). The final four centers were funded at Georgia Institute of Technology,
Purdue University, University of California at Los Angeles and the University of California Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
NIH funded four centers last year at Baylor College
of Medicine, the University of Illinois Urbana-
Champaign, the University of California at San Francisco and Columbia University.
NDCs are staffed by multidisciplinary scientific teams including biologists, physicians, chemists,
physicists, mathematicians, engineers and computer scientists. In addition to conducting research into the physical properties of structures
inside cells to determine how biology’s molecular machines are built, these teams will begin training the next generation of students in this emerging field of medical science.
The Nanomedicine Initiative applies an engineering
approach to the study of cellular and subcellular systems in an effort not only to understand, but also to precisely control molecular
complexes that operate at the nanoscale. This will allow for development of new technologies
to prevent or cure disease and to repair damaged tissue.
The Nanomedicine Initiative, part of the Roadmap for Medical Research, is led by NEI director Dr. Paul Sieving; Dr. Jeffery Schloss, NHGRI’s program director, technology development;
and Dr. Richard Fisher, program director, corneal diseases at NEI, in collaboration
with a program team representing institutes
and centers across NIH.
“Future progress in medicine will depend on our understanding and modulating the complexity of biological systems,” said Sieving. “The NIH Roadmap, including the Nanomedicine Initiative,
will advance our knowledge of biological systems. This will provide the scientific foundation
for new strategies for diagnosing, treating and preventing disease.”—