Dipanjan Pan is presently a Dorothy Foehr Huck & J. Lloyd Huck Chair Professor in Nanomedicine and Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering. He is the director of Laboratory for Materials in Medicine (MatMed) at the Pennsylvania State University (previously at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Maryland). MatMed’s mission is to develop next generation translatable materials to improve human health by uniquely merging ‘molecule making’ and ‘device making’, and through innovations in nanomedicine tools.
This faculty member is associated with the Penn State Intercollege Graduate Degree Program (IGDP) in Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE) where a multitude of perspectives and cross-disciplinary collaboration within research is highly valued. Graduate students in the IGDP in MatSE may work with faculty members from across Penn State.
Pan laboratory is interested in converging ‘molecule making’ with ‘device making’ to solve complex biological problems. The philosophy of my research program is that integrated solutions to problems can be formulated by in silico-to-in vivo approach and synergistic developments in four major areas: drug delivery (e.g., stem like cancer cells and transcription factors), molecularly specific contrast probes and their applications in preclinical and clinical models and bio-sensing (chemical and electro-chemical sensing of disease). At the laboratory for materials in medicine (MatMed) our research is multifaceted to make nanomedicine patient specific using an ‘omics’ approach.
Our research is broadly aimed at the understanding and creating defined materials for molecular imaging, drug delivery and non-viral gene delivery applications with a focus on structure, function and engineering processes. We are also dedicated to developing ‘immuno-nanomedicine’ approaches to cancer and other biomedical problems. In close collaboration with clinical scientists, we integrate basic science and engineering with medicine emphasizing image guided drug delivery for cardiovascular, infectious and oncologic application. Initiated originally at Washington University, expanded at Illinois and then in Maryland, at Penn State we continue to focus on building individual proficiencies in these areas and advancing specific applications towards clinical translation, personalized nanomedicine and developing biosensors for ‘sensing’ biological processes using machine learning tools. With a demonstrated track record of translating academic research to market/clinic and working closely with clinicians, we thrive to diminish the gap between exploratory science and clinical research and bring technologies from ‘bench-to-bed-side’.
Some of the recent activities include:
Utilization of emerging specxray or photon counting detector for in vivo multiplexing; using CRISPR-based gene editing techniques for therapy and diagnostics; infectious disease diagnostics; nuclear nanomedicine and developing nano-therapies for blood diseases.
Translational research and entrepreneurship activities Pan laboratory is developing translatable technologies for biomedical applications. Technologies developed in our laboratories have been licensed 11 times and led to the formation of 4 startups, i.e. KaloCyte, Inc., Innsight Tech, Inc., VitruVian Bio, and most recently RNA Disease Diagnostics, Inc.
- Fundamentals: nanomaterials synthesis, drug discovery and targeted delivery, molecular imaging, biosensing and diagnostics
- Applications: translational nanomedicine, cancer stem cell, immune-therapeutics, drug-free antimicrobial, disease diagnosis/monitoring, image-guided prototyping, molecular diagnostics, infectious disease diagnostics, geno-sensing
- COVID19 Healthcare Hero, Daily Record, Maryland (2022)
- Elected Senior Member, National Academy of Innovators (NAI) (2022)
- Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) Award (2021)
- Elected Fellow, International Association of Advanced Materials (2021)
- Distinguished Alumni Award, Vidyasagar University Alumni Association (2021)
- Associate Editor, WIREs Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology (Wiley) (2019-present)
- Gold Medal Award, Chirantan Rasayan Sanstha®, WB, India (2019) -Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research (Associate Professor), UIUC (2018)
- Elected Fellow, American College of Cardiology (FACC) (2017) -Young Innovator Award CMBE, Biomedical Research Society (2017)
- Teachers ranked as excellent, College of Engineering, UIUC (2017) -Nano-Micro Letters Researcher Award (2016)
- Elected Fellow, American Heart Association (FAHA) (2016)
- Teachers ranked as excellent College of Engineering, UIUC (2016)
- Associate Editor, Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) (2016-2019)
- Engineering Council Outstanding Advisor Award, UIUC (2015)
- Translational Research Award, Michael Reese Foundation (2015)
- Editorial Advisory Board, Molecular Pharmaceutics (ACS) (2014-2019)
- Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) (2014)
- Management Award: GE Global Research, JFWTC (2006)