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Keck Foundation funds study of biological interactions with nanomaterials
Date:9/11/2007

The University of Oregon has received a $1.6 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to explore the biological effects of exposure to precisely engineered nanoparticles that are being designed for diagnostic and therapeutic uses.

The three-year grant from the Keck Foundations medical research program will involve six researchers: Mark Lonergan, Jim Hutchison and Andy Berglund, all UO professors of chemistry; UO biology professors Karen Guillemin and Eric Johnson; and Robert Tanguay, a professor of environmental and molecular toxicology at Oregon State University.

All are members of the Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Initiative (SNNI), directed by Hutchison and part of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI).

This award from the Keck Foundation puts us at the forefront of this quickly developing and promising field of nanotechnology, said UO President Dave Frohnmayer. Nanotechnology has been described as being in its discovery phase. This newly funded project means the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and the state, through ONAMI Oregons first Signature Research Center can help build a green roadmap for the field.

The interdisciplinary project is designed to help researchers understand potential biological interactions of engineered nanomaterials and develop design rules for the development of nanoparticles with enhanced biological properties. The researchers will produce specific structures of nanomaterials, investigate their interactions with biological systems and then design new materials and nanoparticle libraries that have specific biological responses.

The biological testing will involve laboratory experiments using zebrafish, an invertebrate animal model system that was first developed for research at the University of Oregon. With zebrafish, researchers can monitor tissue-specific interactions with nanoparticles, developmental and acute toxicity, and the im
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Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert

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