August 17th 2015 – Irene Andreu, Simon Fraser University

Hi there! I am a postdoctoral fellow at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada. My topic of research is the use of nanoparticles as nanotherapeuticals. I did my undergrad, my masters and my PhD at the University of Zaragoza (Spain). I have to say that I am a bit of an intruder-although my nanoparticles are for biomedical applications, my academic background is purely in Physics. I am pretty sure you guys will help me a lot to understand the biological implications of my research during the week I will be hosting the account. In exchange, I offer to show you state of the art nanotechnology research and maybe we can think together of novel biological applications?

The topic of my PhD dissertation was the use of magnetic nanoparticles as magnetic hyperthermia agents. Magnetic hyperthermia is a novel oncological therapy in which magnetic nanoparticles are used to increase the temperature of the tumour area using an externally-applied alternating magnetic field. During my thesis, I focused on the role that magnetic interactions play in the heating performance of the magnetic nanoparticles. I did a research stay at the University of British Columbia where I studied the use of magnetic nanoparticles as drug delivery agents and their toxicity. I even got to grow my own cells, which is something pretty cool considering that I didn’t hear about mitochondria since I was in high school.

I started my new position as a postdoctoral fellow at the Gates research group (@Gates_Group) in 4D Labs (@4D_labs) just last June, so I am still getting used to the lab dynamics and equipment. In the Gates we do all kind of cool nanodevices for a myriad of applications, including, of course, biomedical applications. I hope I can show some of our recent results to get you as excited as I am about the promising applications of nanotechnology! I also enjoy getting involved in sci comm activities, such as Science Alive, where we show real research labs to grad 12 kids.

Hit me up on Twitter at @iandreunano, where I tweet about nanoscience, day-to-day research problems, and other topics that concern me- such as cute animals. I am looking forward to sharing my week with you!

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