Dr. Sunil Krishnan
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Radiation Oncology
The Krishnan laboratory focuses on: (i) identifying strategies for and mechanisms of sensitization of tumors to radiation therapy using metallic nanoparticles to generate radiation dose-enhancement and/or hyperthermia, (ii) developing nanoparticle-based molecular imaging probes to facilitate image-guided therapy, and (iii) evaluating mechanisms of radiosensitization by biological agents and repurposed FDA approved drugs used for other diseases. Current nanoparticle research is geared towards understanding, optimizing, and modeling radiation dose enhancement with tumor- specific bioconjugated gold nanoparticles; dose enhancement with on-demand triggered release payloads of gold nanoparticles and siRNA; and image-guided surgical margin assessment and treatment with theranostic nanoparticles. On the clinical translational side, the laboratory is actively pursuing identification of molecular and imaging biomarkers of response to chemoradiation therapy for gastrointestinal cancers.
A tutorial in the nanotechnology wing of my laboratory will provide the student with experience in nanoparticle bioconjugation, in vitro and in vivo imaging and image-analysis, nanoparticle pharmacokinetic and biodistribution analysis, thermal therapy techniques, and the entire spectrum of radiation therapy options (kilovoltage, megavoltage, brachytherapy and proton therapy). A tutorial in the molecular biology wing of my laboratory will provide the student with experience in cancer/cell biology, radiation biology, signal transduction, immunochemical, biochemical and molecular biology techniques.