J. Manuel Perez, PhD

Professor, Neurosurgery, Biomedical Sciences & Imaging

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J. Manuel Perez, PhD

Professor, Neurosurgery, Biomedical Sciences & Imaging

J. Manuel Perez, PhD is a principal investigator at the Nanomedicine Research Center, Department of Neurosurgery. The Perez Laboratory conducts research on the design of nanoparticle technologies for biomedical imaging, diagnostics and therapy. The main focus of Perez’s research is to develop clinically translational nanoparticles for the imaging and treatment of cancers. In particular, the design of activatable imaging agents is an active area of research in his lab. Toward this goal, he has developed a facile procedure for the encapsulation of drugs into polymer-coated iron oxide nanoparticles. These nanoparticles can deliver a drug to tumors, while reporting on drug localization and release in vivo via MRI. When these nanoparticles are conjugated with a targeting ligand, they provide targeted drug delivery to cancer cells, while avoiding normal cells. In addition, the Perez Laboratory has developed hyperbranched polymeric nanoparticles for the delivery of drugs and imaging agents to cancers. This biodegradable polymer nanoparticle platform is particularly suitable for the delivery of therapeutic peptides. Recently, members of the lab have been working with a therapeutic peptide that causes significant mitochondrial aggregation, and cytoskeletal disruption, resulting in cell detachment (anoikis). These findings suggest that the peptide could have the potential to impair cancer cell invasiveness through its actions on the cytoskeleton. Ongoing research using these nanoparticles to deliver a therapeutic peptide to breast and prostate cancer are encouraging, and the plan is to extend our research into other tumors such as gliomas. Another area of interest in the lab is the design of small molecule-nanoparticle conjugates that can be used to interrogate biological system and access binding to various cells surface receptors.

View NIH Biographical Sketch as a PDF

  • Doctorate: Boston Univeristy, 1998
  • Post Doctorate: Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2003

View CV as a PDF

  • Member: American Chemical Society
  • Member: American Association for Cancer Research
  • Member: World Molecular Imaging Society
  • Ad Hoc Member: Nanotechnology Study Section, NIH
  • Kaittanis C, Shaffer TM, Ogirala A, Santra S, Perez JM, Chiosis G, Li Y, Josephson L, Grimm J. Environment-responsive nanophores for therapy and treatment monitoring via molecular MRI quenching. Nat Comm. 2014;5:3384.
  • Lee MW, Bassiouni R, Sparrow NA, Iketani A, Boohaker, RJ, Moskowitz C, Vishnubhotla P, Khaled AS, Oyer J, Copik A, Fernandez-Valle C, Perez JM, et al. The CT20 Peptide Causes Detachment and Death of Metastatic Breast Cancer Cells by Promoting Mitochondrial Aggregation and Cytoskeletal Disruption. Cell Death Dis. 2104;5:e1249.
  • Santra S, Jativa SD, Kaittanis C, Normand G, Grimm J, Perez JM. Gadolinium-encapsulating iron oxide nanoprobe as activatable NMR/MRI contrast agent. ACS Nano. 2012;6(8):7281-7294.
  • Santiesteban OJ, Kaittanis C, Perez JM. Assessment of molecular interactions through magnetic relaxation. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2012;51(27):6728-6732.
  • Santra S, Kaittanis C, Santiesteban OJ, Perez JM. Cell-specific, activatable, and theranostic prodrug for dual-targeted cancer imaging and therapy. J Am Chem Soc. 2011;133(41):16680-16688.
  • Santra S, Kaittanis C, Perez JM. Aliphatic hyperbranched polyester: A new building block in the construction of multifunctional nanoparticles and nanocomposites, Langmuir. 2010;26(8):5364-5373.

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