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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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NCI investment in nanotechnology: achievements and challenges for the future

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Nanotechnology offers an exceptional and unique opportunity for developing a new generation of tools addressing persistent challenges to progress in cancer research and clinical care. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recognizes this potential, which is why it invests roughly $150 M per year in nanobiotechnology training, research and development. By exploiting the various capacities of nanomaterials, the range of nanoscale vectors and probes potentially available suggests much is possible for precisely investigating, manipulating, and targeting the mechanisms of cancer across the full spectrum of research and clinical care. NCI has played a key role among federal R&D agencies in recognizing early the value of nanobiotechnology in medicine and committing to its development as well as providing training support for new investigators in the field. These investments have allowed many in the research community to pursue breakthrough capabilities that have already yielded broad benefits. Presented here is an overview of how NCI has made these investments with some consideration of how it will continue to work with this research community to pursue paradigm‐changing innovations that offer relief from the burdens of cancer. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2015, 7:251–265. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1318

Annual spending per fiscal year by NCI on research and training to support the development of nanotechnology. Note: NCI may fund projects that they do not directly administer, accounting for the discrepancy with Table . Data were collected using the following search terms in NIH RePORT (http://projectreporter.nih.gov): nanoparticle(s); nanocrystal(s); nanoscale; nanotechnology; nanoscience; nanostructure(s); nanostructured; nanopore; nanowire(s); nanotube(s); nanosensor(s); nanoarray; nanomaterial(s); nanomedicine; nanofabrication; and nanovehicle.
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The distribution of awards associated with the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, broken down by Phase 1 (2005–2010) and Phase 2 (2010–2015).
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Mauro Ferrari

Mauro Ferrari

started out in mechanical engineering and became interested in nanotechnology with his studies on nanomechanics and nanofluidics. His research work and involvement with setting up some of the premier nano centers and alliances in the world, bringing together universities, hospitals, and federal agencies, showcases interdisciplinarity at work.

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