‘Brilliant’ Luchini to Give Vision Series Lecture

Posted: April 2, 2014 at 5:00 am, Last Updated: April 3, 2014 at 7:12 am

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By Justin Lafreniere

Alessandra Luchini

Alessandra Luchini. Photo by Evan Cantwell

Alessandra Luchini, assistant professor in George Mason University’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM), was named by Popular Science in 2011 as one of the “Brilliant 10,” the top 10 scientists under age 40. On Monday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. she comes to the Hylton Center’s Merchant Hall on George Mason’s Prince William Campus to share some of that brilliance.

In her Vision Series lecture, “Nanotechnology in Biomedicine: Better Diagnosis, Better Treatment in the Era of Personalized Medicine,” Luchini will discuss the exciting developments her team has been a part of in using nanotechnology to read biomarkers. This research may well revolutionize not only how, but how early, doctors can detect cancer in patients. And early detection means early treatment — one of the biggest determining factors in cancer survival.

Luchini’s research is being tested in patient trials, a major step to approval as a detection method. The technology she’s developed also has the potential to be retooled or expanded to catch other major diseases that leave biomarkers in blood and urine, including Lyme disease.

Lance Liotta, the co-director of CAPMM, said in a previous article that Luchini’s work “could reduce suffering and death for millions.”

Luchini’s team developed the Nanotrap technology, which is the intellectual property of the private company CeresNano. The Nanotrap was developed in collaboration between Mason and the Istituto Superiore di Sanita, the Italian equivalent of the National Institutes of Health in the United States.

Luchini earned her PhD in bioengineering from the University of Padova, Italy, and has been a recipient of numerous awards, including the Premio award for the top Italian scientist working in North America, and the Euwiin Gold Innovation in Science Award. She came to Mason on a fellowship sponsored by the Istituto Superiore di Sanita.

The lecture is free and will be followed by an informal reception.

Write to Robin Herron at rherron@gmu.edu

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