Addressing Delivery Challenges through Controlled Materials Design

Speaker Details:

Jianjun Cheng
Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Lecture Details:

April 26, 2018
12:30-1:20 p.m.
Foege N130A, Wallace H. Coulter Seminar Room


Controlled materials design and synthesis play a significant role in addressing various drug delivery challenges in vitro and in vivo. In this seminar, I will present our work on the development of helical charged polypeptides for cell penetration, gene and siRNA delivery. By controlling polypeptide side-chains, we developed ionic helical polypeptides capable of mediating efficient membrane penetration, addressing cellular trafficking challenges. I will also describe our work on silica nanomedicine and size controlled nanomedicine in tumor penetration and identification of optimal size of nanomedicine in cancer therapy. Finally, I will present sugar molecular mediated in vivo cancer targeting. We successfully developed azido-sugar derivatives that can label triple negative breast cancer and enable successful in vivo targeting.

Speaker Bio:

Jianjun Cheng is the Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He obtained a B.S. degree in Chemistry at Nankai University, China, in 1993, a M.S. degree in Chemistry at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1996, and a Ph.D. degree in Materials Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2001. He was a Senior Scientist at Insert Therapeutics, Inc. from 2001 to 2004, and was a Postdoctoral Scientist at MIT from 2004 to 2005. He joined the faculty of UIUC as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2005, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011 and Full Professor in 2015. Cheng is the co-inventor of 37 patents and patent applications, and co-authored over 170 publications. Cheng’s research has made translational impact. Two nanomedicine systems he developed/co-developed have made to clinical trials. He received a Prostate Cancer Foundation Competitive Award in 2007, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2008, a Xerox Award for Outstanding Research at UIUC in 2010, a NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2010, the Willett Faculty Scholar Award in 2013, and the UIUC Distinguished Promotion Award in 2015 (among 5 out of 80 faculty being promoted). He was appointed as an Associate of Center for Advanced Study at UIUC in 2014.

He has also been on the list of Teacher Ranked As Excellent By Their Students five times at UIUC. Cheng is currently an Associate Editor of Biomaterials Science, Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, American Chemical Society-Division of Polymer Chemistry, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.