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Postdoctoral fellow Elizabeth Nance has been named as one of the world’s “young game changers, movers and makers” in Forbes Magazine’s fourth annual “30 Under 30 in Science” list.
“It is exciting to be recognized in a category of young leaders who are pursuing their passions to better human life by breaking down or overcoming boundaries that might limit the impact we could otherwise have as individuals,” Nance said.
Nance is recognized for her work developing the first drug-delivery nanoparticles that can penetrate deep into the brain.
The brain has a tightly lined set of cells that protect the fluid in the central nervous system from potentially harmful elements circulating in the blood. Historically, doctors have had difficulty applying drug-embedded particles to parts of the brain because they stick to these cells and are unable to migrate deeper into the tissue.
Nance and her research team tested a new model of nanoparticles by coating them with polyethylene glycol (PEG), which were discovered to move and distribute themselves quickly and effectively.
These nanoparticles are currently being testing in the hope to one day better treat diseases including cancer, stroke, autism and cerebral palsy.
The findings were first reported in Science Translational Medicine in 2012.