University of Pennsylvania · Department of Bioengineering

The Tsourkas Lab at the University of Pennsylvania combines chemistry, nanotechnology, and protein engineering to create novel targeted imaging and therapeutic agents designed to improve the detection and treatment of cancer. Specific research interests include (i) developing new nanoformulations that are capable of carrying extremely high payloads of drugs, radiosensitizing agents, photosensitizers, and/or contrast agents; (ii) investigating new targeting strategies that maximize specificity and sensitivity; and (iii) developing new bioconjugation techniques that enable the highly efficient, site-specific attachment of targeting ligands to nanoparticles or the creation of antibody-drug conjugates and bispecific antibodies. Our approaches are designed to enable true personalized medicine through improved diagnoses, more informed treatment planning, the ability to predict or monitor therapeutic efficacy, and the tailoring of treatments for individual patients. The ability to reach this potential requires overcoming practical, financial, and regulatory barriers. Therefore, when designing new agents, we have placed a particular emphasis on scalability, modularity, cost, biodegradability and safety.