• Development of novel biomarkers. Development of novel biomarkers and mechanistic studies are needed to find novel therapies. I mostly focus on the development of novel biomarkers for Multiple Myeloma. Based on the advancement of nanotechnology, I aim to develop non-invasive imaging modalities for early detection of Multiple Myeloma as well as for monitoring the treatment efficacy of novel therapeutics for Multiple Myeloma.

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  • Development of nanoplatforms for drug delivery. While multiple monotherapies or combination therapies have been proposed and tested clinically, most of these compounds never reach the clinical stage due to unforeseen toxicity and efficacy complications. Using multiple nanoparticle platforms, the goal of this research is to develop novel method for the delivery of highly potent drug while minimizing side effects.

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  • Development of nanotheranostics for image-guided radiation therapy. Image-guided radiation therapy is an established tool in cancer treatment. However, effective treatment is often limited by poor tumor visualization and collateral damage to healthy tissues. Agents that improve these limitations will play an important clinical role in the future. Gadolinium-based nanoparticles and gold nanoparticles are excellent candidates due to inherent MRI/CT contrast and a large cross-section for photoelectric interactions. Using different in vivo tumor models, we showed that nanoparticle mediated radiation therapy can induce specific vascular disruption and cell damage improving radiation outcomes. This strategy will significantly improve tumor treatment in locally destructive and hard-to-treat tumors which poorly respond to standard therapies. These finding led to the first Phase I Clinical Trial of a theranostic nanoparticle for radiation therapy (NCT02820454).

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