Congressional Briefing – April 7, 2017

Using Nanotechnology to Target Disease

On April 7, 2017, AIMBE hosted another Congressional Lunch Briefing in cooperation with the Congressional Research and Development Caucus on Using Nanotechnology to Target Disease. Recent breakthroughs in innovative, disease-fighting tools has ushered in a new era of health care. Bioengineers are now able to create nanotechnologies that go into the body to target and eliminate disease.

What’s possible with Nanotechnology in health care? New cancer treatments, therapeutics for treating cystic fibrosis and asthma, as well as next-generation vaccines for malaria and pneumonia.

AIMBE Fellows Daniel S. Kohane M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School, Senior Associate in Pediatric Critical Care at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Senior Associate in the Lab of Robert Langer at MIT, and Warren Chan, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Nanobioengineering in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, briefed congressional staff about their work developing nanotechnology for treating and diagnosing cancer and infectious diseases.

Dr. Kohane discussed his work using nanotechnology to ease pain after surgery without the risk of addiction. This method may work to combat the opioid epidemic by offering an alternative treatment for pain.

Dr. Chan highlighted how nanotechnology can provide a specific pathway in the body for medicine or treatment to reach and counteract disease within the body, like a highway. Instead of circulating cancer drugs throughout the entire body, nanotechnology allows the drug to only target a specific region affected by the disease.

Approximately 40 congressional staff and scientific partners participated in this highly successful event.