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Prakash Rai

Prakash Rai, Ph.D. Assistant Professor


Theranostic Nanomedicine

Research Interest

Nanotechnology; Targeted Drug Delivery; Nanomedicine; Medical Imaging; Molecular Imaging; Cancer Research; Theranostics; Breast Cancer; Nanobiotechnology; Cancer Biology; Biotechnology; Biomedical Engineering; Bioengineering; Biomaterials; Tissue Engineering

Educational Background

B.E.         Chemical Engineering, University of Mumbai, India, 2003
M.S.        Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 2007
Ph.D.       Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 2007
PostDoc.  Chemical/Biological Engineering, Massachusetts General Hospital, 2008-2012


In my research group we employ a multi-disciplinary approach towards problem solving. By combining the expertise in engineering, life sciences and clinical sciences we intend to address and solve some of the biomedical problems where there is a huge unmet need, like cancer. We are currently interested in developing image-guided prevention and treatment strategies for cancer using nanoparticle-based drug delivery vehicles. Imaging is used to guide the therapy protocol for optimal treatment responses against cancer. Different cocktails are being developed for different cancer sub-types, such as hormone receptor positive and triple negative breast cancer. Following synthesis and optimization of these THERApeutic+diagNOSTIC ("Theranostic") nanoconstructs, my group intends to evaluate their treatment efficacy in cell culture and orthotopic mouse models of human cancers. If these constructs show sufficient promise in these preclinical models we can further pursue their translation to the clinic where they could significantly impact patient care by lowering mortality rates and enhancing overall quality of life. Although my primary research interest is in the field of translational nanotechnology/nanomedicine for the treatment of diseases especially cancer and infectious diseases. Other research interests of my lab include drug delivery, biomaterials, optical/molecular imaging, and biomedical optics. The long-term career goal of this lab is to develop multifunctional theranostic nanomedicine for clinical applications, which can diagnose, deliver targeted therapy and monitor the response to therapy. The integration of diagnostic imaging capability with therapeutic interventions is critical to addressing the major challenges to cancer treatment. Imaging tools to monitor treatment response early in the course of therapy can help enhance tumor destruction and inhibit long-term adverse effects such as tumor re-growth and metastasis before they occur. Accurate and timely monitoring of treatment response is thus critical for optimal management of cancer patients.We are also interested in using these tools as well as employ mathematical modeling for tissue engineering applications.


  • Material Balances (Fall 2012, 2013, 2014) - Will be teaching this Fall 2015
  • Biomedical Applications of Nanotechnology (Spring 2014, 2015)