University of Louisville Magazine

FALL 2013

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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EVEN THE MOST CURSORY EXAMINATION OF the workings of the human body reveals intricate systems of startling complexity and interdependence. Yet Huang-ge Zhang, a senior scientist at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville, a part of KentuckyOne Health, is pioneering research in cancer treatment that is so remarkable in its simplicity and efficiency that his colleagues describe it as "genius" and "beautiful." This year, Zhang and his team of researchers discovered the first known evidence that edible plants, such as grapes and grapefruit, possess exosome-like nanoparticles previously only found in mammalian tissue. Furthermore, they've shown that these nanoparticles could be used to deliver cancer drugs more effectively, less expensively and with fewer adverse effects than drugs delivered via synthetic nanoparticles. FRUITS LABOR OF HIS UofL scientist discovers common produce could deliver cancer drugs without side effects These findings "have immense potential therapeutically," said Donald Miller, director of the Brown Cancer Center and co-author of Zhang's studies. "The use of exosomes as a delivery system has been talked about, but it has not been feasible because it's extremely difficult to get enough mammalian exosomes to use in a clinically relevant way. He's opened up an opportunity to use these plant-based exosomes therapeutically in a very inexpensive and practical way." FA L L UO F L M A G A Z I N E | 2 7

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