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Nanomedicine and Key Enabling Technologies

Leaders: Professor Yuri Volkov & Dr Adriele Prina Mello.

TTMI has an established international reputation in the areas of basic and advanced research in Nanomedicine and its applications built on PI’s, Clinicians, Basic Scientists and Industrial SME’s. The research conducted in this area will further tackle the pressing societal needs to achieve early and more sensitive diagnostics in clinically relevant areas where translational approaches based on the delivery of safe Nanomedicine would lead to breakthroughs. Among these are Cancer, Cardiovascular and Neurodegenerative diseases, Diabetes, Inflammation and Immune disorders.

In some of these fields the Nanomedicine PI’s at TTMI have been already pioneering key strategic pilot projects at the national and European scale in a number of areas including Nanodiagnostics and Nanotherapeutics in Cancer, Nanotechnology platform for screening in Neuropsychiatry, Delivery of nanodrugs for Lung cancer and Safety screening of Nanobiomaterials for Cardiovascular Diseases remediation (Professor Yuri Volkov, Professor James O’Donnell & Professor Paul Browne).

The concepts behind the Nanomedicine and Key Enabling Technologies for Translational Medicine have been featured among the main supporting mechanisms to the three pillars of the Framework Programme Horizon 2020 which are: Societal Challenges, Excellence in Science and Industrial Leadership. The European Commission also provides a strong support for the European Technology Platform in Nanomedicine (ETP-N) aiming at the development of Translational Nanomedicine towards the industrial innovation and leadership in this field.

Leveraging of innovation in such emerging field in addition is envisaged through the establishing of EU-wide Nano-Characterization Infrastructure for KETs translation in Nanomedicine. It has been identified that personalized medicine based on nanomedicine products originates from the growing understanding of heterogeneity of diseases and patients, and therefore the need for individualised treatment approaches. Therefore, nanomedicine products will be tailored as patient specific treatment solutions as one of the future investment directions taken by Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices industry. Breakthroughs derived from the clinical efficacy of ad hoc designed nano-products are enabling the development of a new generation of personalized medicine tools leading to the next innovation revolution.

Through the active engagement of TMMI in the ETP-N initiative as a TCD representative (Dr. Prina Mello), TTMI has been identified as one of the potential core sites where the nanocharacterization of nanomedicine products for the clinical applications and pharmaceutical market. TTMI offers the ideally suitable infrastructure for this programme due to the close affiliation with clinical research facilities for the assessment of safety and treatment efficacy of innovative nanomedicines.

Professor Volkov and Dr. Prina Mello have established a number of large scale pan-European collaborative research initiatives under the European Commission Framework Programmes (FP6, FP7 and Horizon-2020) related to innovative diagnostic and treatment approaches empowered by nanotechnology, along with the on-going European training network programmes (COST, Marie Curie an others).

The advancement of Nanomedicine and KETs for Translational Medicine theme at TTMI will be highly complementary not only to the 3 over-arching research priority foci described above, but will also provide a unique strategic opportunity for clinical translation of key enabling technologies developments offered at different TCD Schools and CRANN Institute in Diagnostics, Medical Imaging, Therapeutics and Regenerative Medicine. As active Principal Investigators of CRANN and recently established AMBER (the SFI-funded centre in Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research), Professor Yuri Volkov and Dr. Adriele Prina-Mello can strategically utilize their expertise in nanomedicine, nanotoxicology and molecular imaging areas for clinical translation of fundamental discoveries relevant to nanomedicine made by CRANN and AMBER researchers, thereby facilitating the completion of nanomedicine drug discovery pipeline by TTMI.

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