National Cancer Institute establishes centers of cancer nanotechnology excellence Oct. 3, 2005 – The National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced that it has made first year awards totaling $26.3 million to help establish seven Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence. The centers are: Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. This center will focus on the fabrication of “smart” or targeted nanoparticles and other nanodevices for cancer therapy and imaging. Center of Nanotechnology for Treatment, Understanding, and Monitoring of Cancer at University of California in San Diego, Calif. This center will focus on a smart, multifunctional, all-in-one platform capable of targeting tumors and delivering payloads of therapeutics. The principal investigator is Sadik Esener of UCSD. Emory-Georgia Tech Nanotechnology Center for Personalized and Predictive Oncology in Atlanta, Ga. This center will aim to innovate and accelerate the development of nanoparticles attached to biological molecules for cancer molecular imaging, molecular profiling and personalized therapy. The principal investigators are Shuming Nie of Emory and Jonathan Simons of Georgia Institute of Technology. MIT-Harvard Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence in Cambridge, Mass. This center will focus on diversified nanoplatforms for targeted therapy, diagnostics, noninvasive imaging, and molecular sensing. The principal investigators are Robert Langer of MIT and Ralph Weissleder of Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital. Nanomaterials for Cancer Diagnostics and Therapeutics at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. This center plans to design and test nanomaterials and nanodevices to improve cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment. The principal investigator is Chad Mirkin of Northwestern. Nanosystems Biology Cancer Center at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. This center will focus on the development and validation of tools for early detection and stratification of cancer through rapid and quantitative measurement of panels of serum and tissue-based biomarkers. The principal investigator is James Heath of California Institute of Technology. The Siteman Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. This center has a comprehensive set of projects for the development of nanoparticles for in vivo imaging and drug delivery, with special emphasis on translational medicine. The principal investigator is Samuel Wickline of Washington University. In addition, the National Cancer Institute announced that it would be announcing twelve other 5-year awards this month. Known as Cancer Nanotechnology Platform Partnerships, the awards are intended to support the development of new products in a variety of cancer technology areas.