Rice University logo Bioengineering, George R. Brown School of Engineering
 
Top blue bar image Bioengineering
 

Rice University bioengineering student Sangheon Han selected for NCI Cancer Close Up 2017

Winning image captures immunotargeted nanoparticles in cancer cells

By Shawn Hutchins
Rice BIOE News

Sangheon Han    
Rice bioengineering doctoral student Sangheon Han conducts research in Professor Konstantin Sokolov’s BOND laboratory at UT MD Anderson.   

A research image by Rice University bioengineering doctoral student Sangheon Han has been selected for the collection gallery of the Cancer Close Up 2017 project held by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The annual competition showcases spectacular images of cutting-edge NCI-supported research. Han’s image will be one of 24 winning images to be prominently displayed at the NCI exhibit booth during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting, April 1-5, in Washington, D.C. and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, June 2-6, in Chicago, IL. Images will also appear on the NCI’s Visuals Online Web site under the Cancer Close Up 2017 collection gallery, and will be shared through NCI's social media channels. 

Han is in his second year of graduate studies at Rice, and carries out research in Professor Konstantin Sokolov’s Biomedical Optics & Nanodiagnostics (BOND) laboratory at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The focus of his research involves the development of clinically translatable plasmonic nanoparticles for detection and treatment of micrometastatic cancer disease. This technology in combination with ultrasound-guided spectroscopic photoacoustic imaging has been shown to detect metastatic foci as small as just few tens of cancer cells in vivo.

    Shangheon Han-NCI
 The above image shows the interaction of receptor-targeted antibody-conjugated nanoparticles with cancer cells resulting in separation of the antibodies (red) and the nanoparticle cores (green) into different cellular compartments (blue color is associated with nuclei). Image courtesy of the BOND laboratory, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center  

Han’s winning image (right) shows the interaction of receptor-targeted antibody-conjugated nanoparticles with cancer cells resulting in separation of the antibodies (red) and the nanoparticle cores (green) into different cellular compartments (blue color is associated with nuclei). The BOND lab has shown that this effect is essential in highly sensitive detection of cancer cells in vivo and it has been currently extended towards the development of novel nanotherapies.

Sangheon captured this spectacular cancer-detecting nanoparticles image at the UT MD Anderson’s Immunology Optical Microscopy Laboratory (IOML), which specializes in advanced fluorescence microscopy modes such as super-resolution, confocal and dynamic microscopy.

Han’s image was obtained with help of IOML Laboratory Manager Anna Zal, M.Sc. and Scientific Director Tomasz Zal, Ph.D. Sokolov, Ph.D., is a professor of imaging physics at UT MD Anderson and a co-director of the Rice-UT MD Anderson Cancer Nanotech T32 program.

Han has an M.S. in chemical engineering from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and a B.S. in environmental engineering from the University of Seoul, South Korea.