USF Center for Research and Education in Nanobioengineering
Who We Are
The CREN is based at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, and membership is open to all persons from the Colleges of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering interested in collaborating on nanomedicine projects. The Director of the CREN is Shyam S. Mohapatra, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine Division of Translational Medicine, and College of Pharmacy Associate Dean of Graduate Progams. The main mission of the CREN is to bring together a dedicated, creative, interdisciplinary group of faculty and staff to conduct research on the application of nanoengineering methods and materials to the development of novel, highly effective and useful therapies and diagnostic methods for human diseases.
Nanomethods have wide applicability for developing new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of virtually all human diseases. Research at CREN focuses in three major areas: nanomedicine, tissue engineering and cell technology. Nanomedicine includes such goals as the optimization of targeted drug delivery vehicles to minimize harmful side effects, the application of microelectronics/microfluidics platforms for early detection of disease conditions, and the development of point-of-care devices for field use. Tissue engineering research at CREN has to do with the nanoscale construction of specialized cell scaffolds and artificial matrices. These biocompatible tissue hybrids have the potential to revolutionize treatment of a number of diseases from cardiovascular to neurodegenerative. Cell technology covers a range of novel applications such as using specific cell types as nanoparticle carriers and studying the potential of progenitor cells in regenerative medicine.
Goals of the CREN
The main mission of the CREN is to bring together a dedicated, creative, interdisciplinary group of faculty and staff to conduct research on the application of nanoengineering methods and materials to the development of novel, highly effective and useful therapies for human diseases.
Areas of Interest
The members of the CREN have wide-ranging research interests and an exciting, creative approach to applying nanomethods. Targeted drug delivery is one of the main research areas of the CREN, and progress in this field is a critical need in cancer treatment and severe respiratory illness. Infectious diseases are spreading at ever-increasing rates in many areas of the world and new nanomaterials being tested at CREN show great promise in fine-tuning the immune response to destroy microbial invaders without harming the body’s own tissue. Regenerative medicine is another important focus of research.
Educational Programs at the CREN
The CREN sponsors a number of nanomedicine speakers during the year as well as an annual international nanomedicine conference. The USF College of Medicine offers a Masters Degree program with a focus on interdisciplinary nanomedicine research taught and mentored by faculty members of the CREN.