Academic Program at Centre College
Daniel Scott joined the Centre College faculty as assistant professor of chemistry in 2017.
Prior to joining Centre, Scott was an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at DePauw University for 4 years, a visiting assistant professor of chemistry here at Centre for a year, and postdoctoral scholar in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Kentucky as part of the NIH funded Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center. His research interests include the development of new anti-cancer drugs as well as improved nanoparticle delivery systems capable of simultaneously delivering the drug as well as diagnosing and monitoring response the therapy.
There are several different projects students can be involved in with the major theme of generating new ways to treat and monitor cancer or other diseases.
Bacteria are used to produce new anti-cancer molecules, which will be further modified to enhance not only the potency, but also the specificity of the drugs toward cancer. These new molecules will be investigated with regard to their ability to selectively kill cancerous tissue (cytotoxicity). We are currently exploring the drugs ability to kill lung cancer cells grown in the lab. Once generated, the new anticancer agents will also have the opportunity to be incorporated into a nanoparticle drug delivery system. The delivery systems will be used to further optimize the delivery to drug to the tumor and reduce non-specific side effects.
Nanotechnology is being utilized to create a tunable drug delivery platform. Unwanted side effects are a major hurdle with current chemotherapy options. A system capable of selectively delivering a drug payload, only when the nanoparticle has accumulated in a tumor, will greatly improve the perspective for new and old anticancer drugs alike. To that end, biomolecules will be combined with inorganic and polymeric materials to create a tunable “theranostic” nanoparticle that will not only deliver multiple drugs at specified intervals but also be used to monitor disease state and therapeutic response. Theranostic is a hybrid word, describing a particle that can combine therapy and diagnostic capabilities in a single entity.
Sensors are also being developed using gold and iron oxide nanoparticles. The sensors will be capable of monitoring different targets, such as DNA, proteins, or small molecules. Of particular interest is the development of a device that would capable of real-time feedback, with applications in analysis situations such as third world countries, operating rooms, and athletic sidelines.
Students will have the option to gain experience with a range of chemical and biochemical techniques including cell and tissue culture, natural product production and isolation, in vitro cytotoxicity assays, molecular biology, sensor development, and nanoparticle synthesis, optimization, and characterization. Students will be prepared for life after Centre whether that includes professional school (medical, pharmacy, etc.), graduate school, or the workforce.
Scott earned a B.S. in chemistry from Georgetown College, and a Ph.D. in bioanalytical chemistry from the University of Kentucky.
File last updated: 03/27/19
EXPERT: Developing improved diagnostic and therapeutic systems with implications across medicine and pharmaceutical sciences using the interface between chemistry, biology/biochemistry nanotechnology.
Combining biomolecules with inorganic and polymeric materials to create a tunable “theranostic” nanoparticle