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Dr. Jacob Berlin 

Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope

Dr. Berlin received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in chemistry from Harvard University where he worked in the Jacobsen lab. He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology where he worked with Nobel Laureate Bob Grubbs. He did a postdoc with Greg Fu at MIT. In all three cases, he worked on enantioselective catalysis. He then shifted fields to the use of nanomaterials for health applications during a postdoc at Rice University with James Tour.

Dr. Berlin joined the Department of Molecular Medicine, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope (Duarte, CA) in 2010 as an Assistant Professor and he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2016. His group’s work on using nanomaterials to discover new therapeutics and to detect and treat cancer has been featured on the covers of several journals, including Advanced Healthcare Materials and Bioconjugate Chemistry. Dr. Berlin was noted as one of the “Rising Stars and Young Nanoarchitects in Materials Science” by the Royal Society of Chemistry and was nominated for the Kabiller Young Investigator Award in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine. His group’s research has been supported by a number of grant agencies, including NCI, NINDS, Mary Kay, Margaret Early, STOP Cancer, Markel Foundation and the Gilbert Foundation.








Dr. Gabriel Lopez-Berestein 

Professor, Department of Experimental Therapeutics
MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC)

Dr. Gabriel Lopez-Berestein is a Professor in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC). He is internationally known for this research pertaining to development of nanomedical applications of anticancer and antimicrobials that has resulted in more than 200 patents and clinical trials and the TDA-approved drug, Abelcet (liposomal amphotericin-B). His effort is now concentrated on the enhanced gene editing and targeting nucleic acids and gene coding tools for cancer uses.




Dr. Anil Sood 

Surgeon & Professor, MD Anderson

Dr. Anil K. Sood is Professor and Vice Chair for Translational Research in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. He holds a joint appointment in Cancer Biology and is co-director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. He is also Director of the multi-disciplinary Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program and co-leads the Ovarian Cancer Moonshot Program.

Dr. Sood received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A major and consistent theme of his scientific research has been on understanding human cancer biology and converting lab discoveries into novel therapeutics. His research group has made several seminal research contributions in the fields of tumor microenvironment, nanomedicine, and neuroendocrine effects on cancer biology. Dr. Sood has received recognition for his research accomplishments including the Hunter Award, the Margaret Greenfield/Carmel Cohen Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Prize, and the GCF/Claudia Cohen Research Foundation Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Researcher. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Association of American Physicians (AAP). Dr. Sood was selected as an American Cancer Society Research Professor in 2017.




Dr. Hossein A. Ghanbari 

CEO, President & Chief Scientific Officer, Panacea Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Hossein A. Ghanbari is a co-founder of Panacea Pharmaceuticals and now serves as its CEO, President, Chief Scientific Officer, and Chairman of the Board.  The Company has three drug candidates for cancer (immunotherapy), one of which is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials, and another candidate for treating neural damage (treatment of chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment).  Panacea has developed diagnostic tests for prostate cancer (PC Detect®), breast cancer (BC DetectSM), lung cancer (LC Detect®), and colorectal cancer (CC DetectSM).  LC Detect was selected as one of 2007’s Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs by Timemagazine.  Panacea also has a late-stage pre-clinical cancer imaging program to complete its integrated cancer management approach.




Dr. James Tour 

T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry Professor of Computer Science Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, Rice University

James M. Tour, a synthetic organic chemist, received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Syracuse University, his Ph.D. in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue University, and postdoctoral training in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University. After spending 11 years on the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina, he joined the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University in 1999 where he is presently the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Computer Science, and Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering. Tour’s scientific research areas include nanoelectronics, graphene electronics, silicon oxide electronics, carbon nanovectors for medical applications, green carbon research for enhanced oil recovery and environmentally friendly oil and gas extraction, graphene photovoltaics, carbon supercapacitors, lithium ion batteries, CO2 capture, water splitting to H2 and O2, water purification, carbon nanotube and graphene synthetic modifications, graphene oxide, carbon composites, hydrogen storage on nanoengineered carbon scaffolds, and synthesis of single-molecule nanomachines which includes molecular motors and nanocars. He has also developed strategies for retarding chemical terrorist attacks. For pre-college education, Tour developed the NanoKids concept for K-12 education in nanoscale science, and also Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero science packages for elementary and middle school education: SciRave( which later expanded to a Stemscopes-based SciRave. The SciRave program has risen to be the #1 most widely adopted program in Texas to complement science instruction, and it is currently used by over 450 school districts and 40,000 teachers with over 1 million student downloads.

Tour has over 640 research publications and over 120 patents, with an H-index = 129 (107 by ISI Web of Science) and i10 index = 538 with total citations over 77,000 (Google Scholar). He was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2015. Tour was named among “The 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today” by in 2014; listed in “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” by Thomson Reuters in 2014; and recipient of the Trotter Prize in “Information, Complexity and Inference” in 2014; and was the Lady Davis Visiting Professor, Hebrew University, June, 2014. Tour was named “Scientist of the Year” by R&D Magazine, 2013. He was awarded the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching, 2012, Rice University; won the ACS Nano Lectureship Award from the American Chemical Society, 2012; was the Lady Davis Visiting Professor, Hebrew University, June, 2011 and was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2009.

Tour was ranked one of the Top 10 chemists in the world over the past decade, by a Thomson Reuters citations per publication index survey, 2009; won the Distinguished Alumni Award, Purdue University, 2009 and the Houston Technology Center’s Nanotechnology Award in 2009. He won the Feynman Prize in Experimental Nanotechnology in 2008, the NASA Space Act Award in 2008 for his development of carbon nanotube reinforced elastomers and the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society for his achievements in organic chemistry in 2007. Tour was the recipient of the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching in 2007. He also won the Small Times magazine’s Innovator of the Year Award in 2006, the Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Innovator Award in 2006, the Alan Berman Research Publication Award, Department of the Navy in 2006, the Southern Chemist of the Year Award from the American Chemical Society in 2005 and The Honda Innovation Award for Nanocars in 2005. Tour’s paper on Nanocars was the most highly accessed journal article of all American Chemical Society articles in 2005, and it was listed by LiveScience as the second most influential paper in all of science in 2005. Tour has won several other national awards including the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award in Polymer Chemistry and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in Polymer Chemistry.




Professor and Department Chair, Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University College of Engineering

Thomas J. Webster’s (H index: 81, Google Scholar) degrees are in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh (B.S., 1995) and in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (M.S., 1997; Ph.D., 2000).

Prof. Webster is the current director of the Nanomedicine Laboratories (currently at 23 members) and has completed extensive studies on the use of nanophase materials in medicine. He pioneered the use of nanomaterials to increase tissue growth, inhibit infection, and decrease inflammation. He was appointed Department Chair of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University in 2012 in which the Department recently broke the record for the fastest increase in ranking over a five-year period from the U.S. News and World Report.

In his 17 years in academics, Prof. Webster has graduated/supervised over 149 visiting faculty, clinical fellows, post-doctoral students, and thesis completing B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. students. To date, his lab group has generated over 13 textbooks, 68 book chapters, 376 invited presentations, at least 503 peer-reviewed literature articles and/or conference proceedings, at least 767 conference presentations, and 42 provisional or full patents. His research has led to the formation of 12 companies with 4 FDA approved nanomedicine products. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Nanomedicine (the first open-access, international journal in nanomedicine which has a 5-year impact factor of 5.03). Prof. Webster currently directs or co-directs several centers in the area of biomaterials: The Center for Natural and Tropical Biomaterials (Medellin, Colombia), The Center for Pico and Nanomedicine (Wenzhou China), and The International Materials Research Center (Soochow, China). He was named the Art Zafiropoulo Chair at Northeastern University for his contributions to nanomedicine in 2013.

Prof. Webster has received numerous honors including but not limited to: 2012, Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE, representing the top 2% of all medical and biological engineers); 2013, Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society; 2015, Wenzhou 580 Award; 2015, Zheijang 1000 Talent Program; 2016, International Materials Research Chinese Academy of Science Lee-Hsun Lecture Award; 2016, International College of Fellows, Biomaterials Science and Engineering; and 2016, Acta Biomaterialia Silver Award. He also served as the President of the U.S. Society For Biomaterials. He has appeared on BBC, NBC, ABC, Fox News, the Weather Channel, the Discovery Channel, and the recent special ‘Year Million’ TV series on National Geographic talking about the future of medicine and science.