Vanessa Bellat, Ph.D., Awarded $2 Million NIH MERIT Award (R37) for "Customized nanofibers with preferential lung-targeting properties for treating metastatic pulmonary tumors"

Congratulations to Vanessa Bellat, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry in Radiology, of the Molecular Imaging Innovations Institute (MI3) on her recent $2 million NIH MERIT Award (R37): "Customized nanofibers with preferential lung-targeting properties for treating metastatic pulmonary tumors."

Current nanotechnology cancer therapies predominantly address primary-tumor treatment, neglecting nanomedicine's potential in combating metastatic cancers. Lung metastases, a highly aggressive and complex disease, present a formidable challenge, and current treatments are largely ineffective, with chemotherapy remaining the primary option for extending patients' clinical prognosis. Despite alternative strategies, including targeted therapy and immunotherapy, metastatic lesions remain largely untreated, and urgent action is required to advance efforts toward curing lung metastases and reducing patient mortality. 

“It’s a great honor to receive this prestigious award," says Dr. Bellat. "The engineering of precision nanoparticles with controlled in vivo distribution, preferential organ uptake, and limited off-target accumulation has immense potential to improve local drug delivery and promote safer and more effective therapies for metastatic cancers. This NIH grant will allow us to pursue our research on lung-targeting nanofibers and enhance their ability to carry and deliver chemotherapeutics to pulmonary metastatic lesions to promote the antitumor response. If successful, the nanofiber technology may provide an effective alternative therapeutic solution with clinical impacts on the treatment and management of lung metastases”.

Dr. Bellat's lab aims to pioneer a novel therapeutic approach designed to deliver a higher concentration of drugs to metastatic lung tumors, optimizing on-site retention to release a broad-spectrum antitumor medication. For an in-depth article on Dr. Vanessa Bellat’s research, please head to the WCM Newsroom 

Weill Cornell Medicine
Department of Radiology
525 East 68th Street New York, NY 10065