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Assaf Zinger, PhD

Assaf Zinger, PhD

Grant Status

Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

Grant Type
Research Career Development Award

Project Title
Modulating Triple Negative Breast Cancer Microenvironment Using Biomimetic Nanoparticles

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Breast Cancer, Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Named Grant:

The David and Jane Polak Foundation Research Career Development Award

About the Investigator:

Dr. Zinger’s group develops bioinspired nano-technologies for translational purposes, by using nanoparticles to mimic the natural ways in which white blood cells target cancer and inflammation. Dr. Zinger received his BSc in Biomedical Engineering and PhD in Chemical Engineering at the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology. In 2021, following postdoctoral training in Houston Methodist Academic Institute and Houston Methodist Hospital at the largest medical center in the world (Houston, TX, USA), he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Technion.

About the Research:

Triple-negative breast cancer is a very aggressive subtype of breast cancer. Unfortunately, despite significant advances in knowledge, there has been limited progress in its treatment over the last several decades. Tumor-associated macrophages are cells that infiltrate the cancer microenvironment and promote tumor development. Greater infiltration directly correlates with poor patient prognosis. This suggests that inhibition of macrophage recruitment specifically to the tumor and the tumor environment sites might limit tumor progression.

Dr. Zinger plans to develop new biomimetic nanotechnology that will compete with macrophages infiltrating the tumor microenvironment. This novel nanotechnology-cellular competition is predicted to inhibit macrophage recruitment and limit tumor propagation, which he and his team will test in a mouse model for triple negative breast cancer. More generally, this research will provide the foundation for biomimetic nanoparticles that may be used to treat other types of cancer.


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