Nanomedicine-based Approaches to Address Immune Suppression and Resistance

Date(s) - 08/23/2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Virtual via Zoom

Fan Zhang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Florida

Virtual via Zoom & projected in Communicore, C1-15

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Recent advances in immunotherapy have focused largely on drugs targeting adaptive immunity; however, only a small fraction of patients and diseases benefit from these approaches. Developing new approaches to modulate innate immunity can enhance current T-cell-based immunotherapeutic approaches by inducing a multilayered immune response. Nanotechnology-based approaches provide the opportunity to prime the immune response, due to the intrinsic properties of nanoscale materials to target both the disease regions and the immune cells there. In this study, I will introduce a few examples of how nanomedicine-based approaches can be used to address the suppressive tumor microenvironment and enhance the efficacy of current cancer immunotherapy.


Fan Zhang, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida. He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in Materials Science & Engineering. His graduate work established the guiding principles for designing nanomedicines to target neuroinflammation. To expand the clinical impact of his research, he then undertook postdoctoral training at the clinical research division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. This experience solidified his foundation in immuno-oncology, cell & gene therapy, and experimental tumor models. As an American Brain Tumor Association Research Fellowship awardee, he developed a polymer-based platform that genetically programs immune cells for cancer treatment, which is under clinical translation. His work has led to four patents and contributed to the foundation of two start-up companies.