A Johns Hopkins faculty member made Popular Science's annual "Brilliant Ten" list, which puts a spotlight on young scientists who are revolutionizing their fields.
The magazine honored Jordan Green, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, which is shared by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the university's Whiting School of Engineering, among "the most inspired young scientists and engineers—researchers whose ideas will transform the future."
Green, 33, uses tiny, biodegradable particles to teach the immune system to recognize cancer cells. Others have tried this with round particles, but Green decided to make them football-shaped to maximize the surface area available for interacting with immune cells.
When given to mice with skin cancer, the elongated particles reduced tumor growth by an additional 25 percent and the mice lived longer than those that got round particles. Now, researchers in his field know to take shape into account when testing similar therapies.
In addition to creating tiny particles for fighting cancer, Green's ingenuity has also led to improvements in the prolonged, time-delayed release of drugs and other therapeutic agents. His laboratory team has also created collections of particles optimized for delivering genetic instructions to cells. These discoveries have led to promising results in laboratory animals suffering from a wide variety of ailments, including macular degeneration and cancers of the skin, liver and brain.
The "Brilliant Ten" list appears online and in the October edition of Popular Science.