Posted: March 10, 2010

New Center for Applied NanoBioscience in Arizona targets personalized medicine

(Nanowerk News) Diseases will be diagnosed more effectively and sooner through the work being done at the new Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University.
Led by internationally noted biochemist and physicist Frederic Zenhausern, PhD, MBA, the center, the first at the College of Medicine - Phoenix will focus on personalized medicine, changing the way individuals are diagnosed and treated for the most deadly and debilitating diseases.
Biochemist and physicist Frederic Zenhausern
Biochemist and physicist Frederic Zenhausern, PhD, MBA who will lead the new Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University.
"This world-class center is key to creating a thriving academic health center in Phoenix with cutting-edge research," said Stuart Flynn, MD, dean of the College of Medicine - Phoenix. "Dr. Zenhausern and his team have made impressive advancements in developing tools to help our future physicians practice personalized medicine and improve health care for all Arizonans."
With more than two dozen interdisciplinary researchers and support staff, the center will work to create new ways to diagnose disease, monitor health and build equipment by merging new technologies from areas so new they could prompt far-ranging options.
Among the center's goals is to develop novel molecular-based diagnostic tests that can be used by individuals and public health systems to facilitate personalized medicine, the emerging area that calls for using genomic and molecular data to better target health care to individuals. The practice will help determine a person's predisposition to a particular disease or condition and in treatment.
"Change in health care requires innovation in early diagnosis but also information, communication and overall medical practices," said Dr. Zenhausern. "The emerging molecular profiling of diseases is revolutionizing the future of medicine. Nanobiotechnology is a key enabler in providing unprecedented clinical tools to physicians and patients that will uncover the molecular mechanisms of diseases and drug therapies, helping to guide personalized treatment."
Much of the center's research focuses on combining physical sciences and molecular assay techniques from genomics and proteomics into device platforms that can be translated into improved systems to diagnose diseases more specifically and sooner for a better quality of life.
The center's infrastructure also provides a unique framework from discovery to large-scale prototyping and clinical validation that allows private industry and government research agencies to partner in developing these advanced platform technologies into compliant products.
The center already is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for regulatory review of some of its technology initiatives. The center is also applying its nanotechnology expertise to address other great challenges in biosciences and also in energy systems.
Dr. Zenhausern trained at the University of Geneva in his native Switzerland, earning degrees in biochemistry and applied physics before entering the biomedical field in 1993. In 2000, he obtained his MBA in finance from Rutgers. He since has worked in private industry research with IBM and Motorola before coming to Arizona State University in 2003, as professor, at the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. He founded the Biodesign Institute's Center for Applied Nanobioscience and led the flexible Display Initiative in 2004. Dr. Zenhausern also has a faculty appointment as a senior investigator at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Last November, Dr. Zenhausern's team moved to the Phoenix Biomedical Campus to establish its new center to expand translational research activities in medicine.
Source: University of Arizona