Jianwei Li granted 700 000 € in funding to develop nanomaterial for cancer therapy


Sigrid Jusélius Foundation has announced the outcome of the application of Senior Researcher grants in 2021. Dr. Jianwei Li, a group leader at the MediCity Research Laboratory, is one of the five awardees, and will receive 700 000 € to develop nanomaterials for cancer therapy from a systems chemistry perspective.

Systems chemistry is a new subject in chemistry studying a mixture of molecules rather than a single one. These molecules are not isolated, but can react with each other by exchanging chemical components. The result of the reaction is a dynamic network.

– By changing the condition of the environment or adding external molecules, the concentration distribution of the molecules in the chemical network will be shuffled. If one of the original network members has a strong association with the alien molecule, the concentration of this network member will be increased significantly. Once its concentration exceeds a critical number, the network member will aggregate and give rise to nanomaterials with the encapsulation of the external molecule, Jianwei Li says.

Very recently, Jianwei and his group have used an anti-cancer drug to direct the response of a complex chemical system. As a result, the group explored an efficient nanocarrier that delivered the drug molecule against drug-resistant cancer in cells and animals.

This technology could reduce the side effect of the drug molecule as well. These results have been published in Angewandte Chemie, a top journal in chemistry, under the support of the previous funding from the Juselius Foundation and the Academy of Finland.

With the new funding from the Juselius Foundation, Dr. Li’s group will continue to advance their unique technology i.e. by precisely programming and controlling the delivery process and by transporting antigen for immune therapy.

Created 14.12.2021 | Updated 14.12.2021