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NCI recognizes Rice bioengineer for promising
nanotechnology research

By Shawn Hutchins
Rice BIOE News

Rice University Department of Bioengineering doctoral graduate student Emily Reiser Evans won an Outstanding Poster Award at the 2016 Annual Investigator’s Meeting hosted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and its Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer.

Evans was one of five award recipients selected from 46 predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees who represented NCI-funded centers from across the country. Piotr Grodzinski, director of the NCI Office of Nanotechnology Research, presented the awards.

Emily Reiser Evans_poster_web.jpg   
Emily Reiser Evans was selected for an Outstanding Poster Award at the NCI Annual Investigator’s Meeting. Evens is a fourth-year graduate student in Professor Rebekah Drezek's laboratory. 

"I was thrilled to share my work at a meeting that included some of the best nano cancer researchers in the country and key players from the National Cancer Institute,” said Evans, who is a fourth-year graduate student in Professor Rebekah Drezek's laboratory and a predoctoral fellow in the T32 Translational Cancer Nanotechnology program run jointly by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Rice University. “I am grateful that the MD Anderson/ Rice program provided me with this unique experience, and it was an honor to be recognized."

At the 2016 Annual Investigator’s meeting, which was held on Nov. 3 at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, MD, Evans presented new nanotechnology-based techniques in using gold nanoparticles for cancer immunotherapy. One project leverages the biodistribution of gold nanoparticles to the spleen to activate residing immune cells. Another project uses the plasmon resonance properties of hollow gold nanoshells to locally heat a tumor while co-delivering immunotherapies, eliciting both a local and systemic anti-tumor response.

The MD Anderson/Rice T32 program is funded by a five-year $1.8 million NCI grant awarded in 2015 to train engineers and scientists to transfer the great promise of nanotechnology into clinical reality. The collaborative program has two tiers: a predoctoral program that provides mentorship, training and funding; and a postdoctoral program that provides two-year fellowships to recent Ph.D. awardees. Each T32 fellow is co-mentored by a faculty member from MD Anderson and from Rice University.

Application packages for the MD Anderson/Rice T32 program are due May 31, 2017. Learn more.