BME Associate Professor, Jordan Green, has been named as a Popular Science 2014 Brilliant Ten. The Brilliant Ten are identified as brightest young minds shaping science, engineering and the world. Dr. Green was selected for the honor based on his groundbreaking work in designing biodegradable particles that teach the human immune system how to fight even the most elusive cancers.
Popular Science comments, “Remember their names: they are already changing the world as we know it,” And cite the Brilliant Ten as tomorrow’s Einsteins, Zuckerbergs, and Marie Curies.
Green and his collaborator, Jonathan Schneck, MD, PhD, professor of pathology, medicine and oncology, have been leading the way in enhancing the immune system’s capability to destroy cancer cells — particularly when cancerous cells resemble healthy tissue — through use of tiny biodegradable football-shaped particles. These elongated particles maximize the surface area available for interacting with the immune cells. When given to mice with skin cancer, the elongated particles led to survival of 25 percent of the mice, whereas the more traditional round particles led to no survival. This breakthrough finding is steering researchers to account for particle shape when testing similar cancer therapies. This collaborative research was published in the journal Biomaterials.
“We are training the immune system to recognize what cancer looks like,” Green says.
In addition to creating tiny particles for fighting cancer, Green’s ingenuity has also led to improvements in the prolonged, time-delayed release of drugs and other therapeutic agents. His laboratory team has also created collections of particles optimized for delivering genetic instructions to cells. These discoveries have led to promising results in laboratory animals suffering from a wide variety of ailments, including macular degeneration and cancers of the skin, liver, breast, lung, and brain.