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K-State Today

June 16, 2014



Robert DeLong to present public forum in university cluster hire interview

By Lori Gilmore

Robert DeLong is a candidate for assistant professor as part of the university cluster hire initiative with the Nanotechnology Innovation Center at Kansas State, or NICKS, and the Institute of Computation Comparative Medicine, or ICCM.

He will participate in a public forum at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 17, in the ICCM/NICKS Conference Center, P223 Mosier Hall.

He received his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York, Buffalo; master's degree in chemistry from the University of Rochester; doctorate in biochemistry and biophysics from Johns Hopkins University; and postdoctoral training at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Currently, he is an associate professor of biomedical sciences at Missouri State University.

His seminar is "Progress in Targeting the Melanoma Proteome and RNA with Poly I:C, Splice Switching Oligomer and Aptamer Nanoparticle Conjugates."

The abstract is:
Our group and collaborators study the binding, stabilization and delivery of RNA and proteins by nanomaterials. We are particularly interested in metal nanoparticle (MNP) and metal oxide nanoparticle (MONP) derived of bio-elements which naturally mediate nucleic acid and protein interactions in cells and tissues. Initially we investigated manganese oxide (MnO) in comparison to standard gold nanoparticle (GNP), forming nanoconjugates of protamine and PAMAM dendrimer derivatives for gene and RNA delivery into cancer cells. More recently we have focused on nanoconjugates containing designed splice switching oligomer (SSO) and chimeric aptamer RNA (carNA). These are engineered against several model targets (Luciferase, β-Galactosidase, Thrombin and Raf), with commercial, industrial and therapeutic application. Currently, we are exploring composite materials of manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn) and several other MONP, second and third generation chemistries and surface modifications to tune the nanomaterials enzyme specificity and cancer-killing selectivity, and their effect on the melanoma proteome and RNA.