Congratulations to Drs. Katharina Stapelmann and Yevgeny Brudno, recipients of the 2021-22 UNC Linberger Innovation Award. Their project, “Non-Thermal Plasma Immunogenic Cell Death in Pancreatic Cancer Cells”, will investigate the cause-effect relationship between specific plasma-generated reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and cellular responses related to immunogenic cell death. Non-thermal plasma has shown promise as an immunostimulatory anticancer agent, yet the underlying mechanisms are still under investigation. This project aims to explore the role of specific reactive species (nitric oxide, atomic oxygen, and the hrdroxyl radical) in enhancing immunogenicity of plasma-exposed pancreatic cancer cells.
Dr. Stapelmann is an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at NC State University. She studies the interactions of technical plasmas with biological systems on a macromolecular level. Her focus is on the characterization and optimization of plasma discharges used for biomedical applications and the understanding and improvement of plasmas used, for example, in medicine.
Dr. Brudno is an assistant professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State University – UNC at Chapel Hill. He develops technologies to deliver drugs directly to disease sites. His labs exploit cutting edge chemical, biomaterial, and nanomedicine technologies to understand physiological responses during disease and regeneration.
The UNC Lineberger Innovation Award supports the development of cancer research programs and serves as a stimulus for new research initiatives aimed at obtaining sufficient preliminary data to allow new applications for extramural funding. One of the leading cancer centers in the nation, it is one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. The Center brings together some of the most exceptional physicians and scientists in the country to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer.