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Julia Ljubimova, MD, PhD

Director, Nanomedicine Research Center in the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Research Institute

Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Professor, Neurosurgery

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Julia Ljubimova, MD, PhD

Director, Nanomedicine Research Center in the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Research Institute

Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Professor, Neurosurgery

Julia Ljubimova, MD, PhD, is director of the Nanomedicine Research Center in the Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurosurgery. Her main interests are differential cancer gene expression as a tool for finding novel and early markers of cancer growth and development, and the design of new nanomedicine drugs against tumor targets. The Nanomedicine Research Center has developed several nanobioconjugates that selectively target brain and breast cancer and thus could have less dose-limiting toxicity than existing therapies. Dr. Ljubimova joined the faculty at Cedars-Sinai to direct studies combining basic cancer and translational research for discovering specific tumor markers. One of the novel markers, the structural tumor vessel wall protein laminin-411, is in a clinical trial as a prognostic and diagnostic marker for human glial tumor progression. This discovery led to the development of new technologies for drug delivery and engineering of the new class of imaging and anti-cancer nanomedicines for MRI cancer-specific diagnostics and inhibition of tumor-specific molecular targets. Dr. Ljubimova also is studying the influence of air pollution on activation of molecular markers in the brain that can lead to differential expression of genes that play an important role in tumorigenesis. Her studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals including Cancer Research, Cell, The American Journal of Pathology, Angiogenesis, Nanomedicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Her research is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health along with state and private funds. Current investigations include the drug delivery system passing through the blood-brain barrier to deliver drugs to brain tumors and having the ability to block several cancer-specific tumor markers by using biodegradable nanoconjugate for brain and breast tumors; cancer-specific drug targeting; and development of nano-imaging agents for the brain tumor "virtual biopsy" using MRI.

  • Medical School: National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 1986
  • Post Doctorate: Baylor College of Medicine, 1990
  • Invited speaker 4th International School of Nanomedicine, course Precision Nanomedicine. Title: "Nano immunology medicine drugs to treat primary and metastatic tumors", Sicily, Italy, 2019
  • Organizer and moderator at the Annual Controlled Released Society and Exposition meeting, session "Crossing Challenging Biological Barriers (Focus on BBB)", Valencia, Spain, 2019
  • Symposium Organizer and Chair, Annual Controlled Released Society and Exposition meeting, “Society neuro-oncology benefits from advanced nano immunotherapy and delivery approaches”, New York, NY, 2018
  • Keynote Speaker, Organizing Committee member, Nanotech and Nanobiotech Conference, Paris, France, 2018
  • Member of Physician Perspectives on Current and Future Drug Delivery Needs, Drug Delivery West, The Partnering Event, San Francisco, CA, 2018
  • Society for Neuro-oncology Chairman. Selected talk from the abstract: "Nanobioconjugates crossing BBB for delivery of checkpoint inhibitors and activation of local brain tumor immune systems for glioma treatment", San Francisco, CA, 2017
  • Session Chair “Blood-Brain Barrier Delivery and Targeting” NIH/DOD Trans-Agency Blood Brain Interface Workshop, Bethesda, MD, 2016

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Click here for a list of peer-reviewed publications.

  • Galstyan A, Markman JL, Shatalova ES, Chiechi A, Korman AJ, Patil R, Klymyshyn D, Tourtellotte WG, Israel LL, Braubach O, Ljubimov VA, et al. Blood-brain barrier permeable nano immunoconjugates induce local immune responses for glioma therapy. Nat Commun. 2019 Aug 28;10(1):3850.
  • Israel LL, Braubach O, Galstyan A, Chiechi A, Shatalova ES, Grodzinski Z, Ding H, Black KL, Ljubimova JY, Holler E. A combination of tri-leucine and Angiopep-2 drives a poly-anionic polymalic acid nanodrug platform across the blood brain barrier. ACS Nano. 2019, 13(2):1253-1271.
  • Patil R, Sun T, Galstyan A, Butte P, Mamelak A, Carico C, Kittle D, Shatalova E, Ding H, Black KL, Ljubimova JY, et al. Polymalic acid chlorotoxin nanoconjugate for near-infrared fluorescence guided resection of glioblastoma multiforme. Biomaterials. 2019 Jun;206:146-159.
  • Sun T, Patil R, Galstyan A, Klymyshyn D, Ding H, Chesnokova A, Cavenee WK, Furnari FB, Ljubimov VA, Shatalova ES, Wagner S, Li D, Mamelak AN, Bannykh SI, Patil CG, Rudnick JD, Hu J, Grodzinski ZB, Rekechenetskiy A, Falahatian V, Lyubimov AV, Chen YL, Leoh LS, Daniels-Wells TR, Penichet ML, Holler E, Ljubimov AV, Black KL, Ljubimova JY. (2019) Blockade of a laminin-411-Notch axis with CRISPR/Cas9 or a nanobioconjugate inhibits glioblastoma growth through tumor-microenvironment crosstalk. Cancer Res. 79(6):1239-1251.
  • Anchordoquy TJ, Barenholz Y, Boraschi D, Chorny M, Decuzzi P, Dobrovolskaia MA, Farhangrazi ZS, Farrell D, Gabizon A, Ghandehari H, Godin B, La-Beck NM, Ljubimova J, et al. Mechanisms and Barriers in Cancer Nanomedicine: Addressing Challenges, Looking for Solutions. ACS Nano. 2017 Jan 24;11(1):12-18.
  • Ljubimova JY, Braubach O, Patil R, Chiechi A, Tang J, Galstyan A, Shatalova ES, Kleinman MT, Black KL, Holler E. (2018) Coarse particulate matter (PM2.5-10) in Los Angeles Basin air induces expression of inflammation and cancer biomarkers in rat brains. Sci Rep.8(1):5708.
  • Ljubimova JY, Ding H, Galstyan A, Chiechi A, Sun T, Penichet ML, Ljubimov AV, Holler E, Black KL. Nanobioconjugates crossing BBB for delivery of checkpoint inhibitors and activation of local brain tumor immune system for glioma treatment. Neuro Oncol, 2017;19:272-273.
  • Ljubimova JY, Sun T, Mashouf L, Ljubimov AV, Israel LL, Ljubimov VA, Falahatian V, Holler E. (2017) Covalent nanodelivery systems for selective imaging and treatment of brain tumors. Adv Drug Deliv Rev, 113:177-200.

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