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McNair Scholars Program

José Covarrubias, Ph.D.


Education: Bachelor of Science in biochemistry (May 2017)

Doctor of Philosophy in chemistry from Kansas State University

McNair Project: Surface-tethered Nanoparticles on Tumor Homing Cells (2015)

Mentor: Deryl Troyer, Ph.D.

Several systems and strategies have been tested to develop a better way to deliver therapeutic drugs to cancer tumors. Unfortunately, the results obtained have been disappointing. A current method that has been developed is the use of monomer streptavidin neural stem cells (MSA-NSC) which can attach biotinylated therapeutic particles on the surface for targeted delivery, but a disadvantage is that the cells have to be genetically engineered. The goal of this project is to develop a new delivery drug method using neural stem cells (NSC). Biotinylated cholesterol polyethylene glycol (Biotin-Chol-PEG) will be attached to the cell, where the cholesterol will help stabilize the cell leaving the biotin on the surface. Then, the biotin on the surface will be used to attach avidin along with polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) particles loaded with therapeutic drugs, such as doxorubicin and salinomycin, to the surface of tumor homing neural stem cells for targeted delivery.