About the NCL
Mission - Cancer Nanotechnology Plan - Management & Administration
Staff - Facilities - Career Opportunities
Dr. McNeil serves as the Director of the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) for Leidos Biomedical Research and Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, where he coordinates preclinical characterization of nanotech cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. At the NCL, Dr. McNeil leads a team of scientists responsible for testing candidate nanotech drugs and diagnostics, evaluating safety and efficacy, and assisting with product development -- from discovery-level, through scale-up and into clinical trials. NCL has assisted in characterization and evaluation of more than 300 nanotechnology products, several of which are now in human clinical trials. Dr. McNeil is a member of several working groups on nanomedicine, environmental health and safety, and other nanotechnology issues. He is an invited speaker to numerous nanotechnology-related conferences and has several patents pending related to nanotechnology and biotechnology. He is also a Vice President of Leidos Biomedical Research.
Prior to establishing the NCL, he served as a Senior Scientist in the Nanotech Initiatives Division at Leidos where he transitioned basic nanotechnology research to government and commercial markets. He advises industry and State and US Governments on the development of nanotechnology and is a member of several governmental and industrial working groups related to nanotechnology policy, standardization and commercialization. Dr. McNeil's professional career includes tenure as an Army Officer, with tours as Chief of Biochemistry at Tripler Army Medical Center, and as a Combat Arms officer during the Gulf War. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Portland State University and his doctorate in cell biology from Oregon Health Sciences University.
Dr. Patri joined the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) as a Senior Scientist in February 2005. He directs the physico-chemical characterization and standardization of nanomaterial for the NCL and actively collaborates with NIST and FDA.
Dr. Patri received his B.Sc., from Osmania University and M.Sc., in organic chemistry from Aligarh Muslim University, India. He then worked for two years as a lecturer in chemistry in India and then obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of South Florida under the guidance of Prof. George Newkome. After a one-year post-doctoral training with Dr. Donald Tomalia at the University of Michigan, he joined the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology as a staff scientist. In this position, he developed dendrimer based nanomaterial for targeting, imaging and drug delivery applications.
Dr. Stern is actively involved in applied nanomaterial research, and has published numerous articles on nanomaterial toxicology and pharmacokinetics in leading scientific journals. In his position at the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL), Dr. Stern is involved in the design and implementation of pharmacology and toxicology studies used to characterize nanoparticle disposition and assess nanoparticle biocompatibility. Data generated is used to support IND regulatory filings and aid in environmental risk assessment. Additional responsibilities include representing NCL at local and national nanotechnology meetings and the education of study personnel regarding nanoparticle safety issues.
Prior to joining the NCL, Dr. Stern was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill in the Division of Drug Delivery and Disposition, and Curriculum in Toxicology. In this position, his research focused on examining the role of intestinal metabolism in modulating the gastrointestinal toxicity of chemotherapeutic agents. His areas of expertise include biochemical toxicology of the liver and kidney, analytical methodology and drug metabolism/pharmacokinetics. He received his B.S. degree in biochemistry from the University of Rochester and his Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Connecticut at Storrs. Dr. Stern is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.
At the NCL, Dr. Dobrovolskaia directs characterization related to a nanomaterials' interaction with components of the immune system. She monitors acute/adverse effects of nanoparticles as they relate to the immune system, both in vitro and in animal models. Dr. Dobrovolskaia is also responsible for the development, validation and performance qualification of in vitro and ex vivo assays to support preclinical characterization of nanoparticles, and for monitoring nanoparticle purity from biological contaminants such as bacteria, yeast, mold and endotoxin. Additionally, she leads structure activity relationship studies aimed at identifying the relationship between nanoparticle physicochemical properties and their interaction with macrophages, components of the blood coagulation cascade, and complement systems.
Prior to joining the NCL, Dr. Dobrovolskaia worked as a Research Scientist in a GLP laboratory at PPD Development, Inc. in Richmond, VA. She was responsible for the design, development and validation of bioanalytical ligand-binding assays to support pharmacokinetic and toxicity studies in a variety of drug development projects. She received her M.S. degree from the Kazan State University in Russia, her Ph.D. from the N.N. Blokhin Cancer Research Center of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow, Russia, and completed two postdoctoral trainings in immunology at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, MD and the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD. Her areas of expertise include cell signaling, innate immunity, immunogenicity and analytical methodology.
Dr. Panaro joined the NCL in January 2008. His responsibilities include the management of contracts for Leidos Biomedical Research and technical and scientific oversight of National Cancer Institute (NCI) programs including the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. He also serves as the liaison between NCL and the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer.
Prior to joining NCL, Nick conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania, where he focused on the design and fabrication of microelectromechanical systems for genetic analysis and development of nylon nanostructures for clinical assays. Dr. Panaro was also a postdoctoral fellow at NCI where his research focused on tumor angiogenesis. He holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Drexel University and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Rice University Biomedical Engineering Laboratory. He has extensive laboratory experience in microfluidics, cell and molecular biology, analytical techniques, and tissue engineering. Nick has also worked as a patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office where his work focused on the evaluation of patent applications in the areas of biosensors, microarrays and nucleic acid technologies.
At the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, Dr. Adiseshaiah will be responsible in the experimental design, implementation and analysis of in vivo oncology studies to characterize nanomaterials for therapeutics and diagnostics.
Prior to joining the NCL, Dr. Adiseshaiah was a scientist at Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Maryland and was involved in the in vivo pharmacology experiments – preclinical testing of small molecule anticancer drugs, gene expression and protein biomarker and efficacy studies. Dr. Adiseshaiah did his postdoctoral fellowship from the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD. His research focus at the Johns Hopkins was to elucidate the role of Fos-related antigen 1 (FRA-1) in lung tumorigenesis. His areas of expertise include transcriptional regulation, signal transduction pathways, cell-based functional and biomarker assays, recombinant DNA technology, transgenic mouse model development and in vivo pharmacology studies. He received his M.S degree in life sciences from the University of Hyderabad, India and Ph.D. degree from the Department of Biological Sciences, the National University of Singapore, Singapore.
Dr. Clogston joined the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) as a Scientist in March 2006. In his position, Dr. Clogston conducts physico-chemical characterization and standardization of nanoparticles intended for cancer therapeutics and diagnostics.
Dr. Clogston received his B.S. in chemical engineering from Manhattan College and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from The Ohio State University. His research dissertation was on the application of the lipidic cubic phase for drug delivery, wastewater remediation, and membrane protein crystallization. His areas of expertise include physico-chemical characterization of and in vitro release from lipid-based drug delivery systems, analytical methodology, and protein and lipid biochemistry.
Dr. Mahmud joined the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) as a Formulation Scientist in October 2011. His responsibilities include development and reformulation of existing anticancer drugs using novel nanotechnology based delivery technologies. His areas of expertise include pharmaceutical sciences, polymer chemistry, and biomedical engineering with extensive laboratory experience in synthesis and functional modification of polymers, analytical method development, spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques, fluorescent microscopy, and cell culture bio- assays. He possesses several patents (US and European Union) and publications in the field of nanotechnology based drug delivery.
Prior to joining NCL, Dr. Mahmud was a post-doctoral researcher with Prof. Dennis Discher at the University of Pennsylvania where he developed self-assembled polymeric nanostructured materials (worm micelles, vesicles, and ring micelles) for aerosolized drug delivery and agrochemical applications. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, specializing in polymer based drug delivery, under the supervision of Dr. Afsaneh Lavasanifar from the University of Alberta, Canada in 2008. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dr. Mahmud also has industry experience having worked at two different pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Grossman joined the NCL in 2006. She analyzes NCL's preclinical data on nanomaterial cancer therapeutics and coordinates the NCL's interactions with collaborators and production of NCL deliverables -- reports, publications, and presentations. Prior to joining the NCL, Jennifer conducted research in Physical Chemistry at the University of Maryland, where she focused on modeling and measuring protein motion under the guidance of Dr. David Fushman, Professor of Biochemistry. She holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, an M.S. in Chemical Physics and a B.S. in Physics. Her research interests include nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), biophysical modeling of nanoparticle structures and interactions, and integrated databases/technologies for organizing nanomaterial characterization data. Jennifer consults with NCL collaborators on issues related to nanotech drug development and regulation and is a member of several working groups related to nano-bioinformatics.
Dr. Crist joined the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) in 2009, serving in the roles of data coordinator and scientific writer. She is responsible for coordinating research data between the three divisions of the NCL (physicochemical characterization, in vitro immunological and toxicity studies, and in vivo animal studies) and preparing a fully inclusive scientific document for the client, NCL's main deliverable. In addition to the generation of Client Reports, she aids in the production of a variety of other scientific documents, technical reports, and presentations for the many scientific conferences in which NCL staff participate.
Prior to joining the NCL, Dr. Crist was a post-doctoral fellow with the HIV Drug Resistance Program, National Cancer Institute-Frederick, where she performed basic research towards elucidating the mechanism and requirements of the retroviral assembly process. She received her Ph.D. degree in bio-organic chemistry from Michigan State University, studying the underlying rationale for color vision, i.e., studying protein/substrate interactions, and her B.S. degree in chemistry from Miami University, investigating conformational tendencies of small polyamides for rational drug design. Her research experiences include protein chemistry, molecular biology, virology, organic synthesis, and computational chemistry.
Dr. Ilinskaya joined Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory in August, 2011 as a postdoctoral fellow. At the NCL Dr.Ilinskaya conducts studies aimed at understanding the mechanisms of nanoparticle thrombogenic and inflammatory properties. She is also involved in several projects investigating relationship between nanoparticle physicochemical properties and particle interaction with plasma proteins and bacterial endotoxins. Prior to joining the NCL, Dr. Ilinskaya was a postdoctoral fellow at the HIV Drug Resistance Program of the National Cancer Institute at Frederick, where she studied intracellular traffic of HTLV-1 envelope and effect of tetherin on cell-cell transmission of HTLV-1. She received her master degree in medical biology from Moscow State Medical University (Russia) and her Ph.D. in immunology from National Research Center Institute of Immunology (Russia). Her areas of expertise include innate immunity, effects of pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMP) on human dendritic cells and macrophages, and analytical methodology.
Chris McLeland joined the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory in October of 2004 as a Senior Research Associate. Mr. McLeland functions as the laboratory manager by providing logistical, financial, and technical support to team members. Additionally, he supervises technical staff including high school and college interns.
Prior to joining Leidos Biomedical Research, Mr. McLeland was employed at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, MD, where he served as a Research Biochemist on the Biodosimetry Team. In this capacity, he and his colleagues developed quantitative real-time PCR assays for assessing exposure to radiation. He has collaborated with many NCI investigators and is co-authored on several peer-reviewed publications. Mr. McLeland received his B.S. in biology from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC and his M.B.A. from the University of Maryland University College.
Mr. Potter is the primary tissue culture technician for the NCL, maintaining human and animal primary and immortalized cells. His duties include running a variety of cell-based toxicity and immunology assays and working closely with other NCL personnel in assay development.
Tim began working at the NCI at Frederick in 1989 in the Laboratory Animal Sciences Program. In early 1990, he transferred to the In Vitro Cell Line Screening Program (IVCLSP) of the Screening Technology Branch. In the IVCLSP, he developed extensive cell culture experience as a technician in the 60 cell line human tumor panel, the AIDS-related Lymphoma Screen and the Cellular Differentiation Screen. He was later assigned to the Molecular Target Screening Program, where he helped develop and run a variety of molecular target screens, including the B/ZIP and nucleocapsid screens. The wide range of experiences and responsibilities in his assignments in the Screen Technology Branch has given Tim valuable skills in cell culture and assay development.
Mr. Neun is the Radiation Area Supervisor and is responsible for establishing the Radiological Program for the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL). He is also the primary technician responsible for animal studies in working with the Laboratory Animal Sciences Program (LASP) and the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) to develop animal studies which will help the NCL with its mission. Other duties include running various toxicity and immunological assays to help with the characterization of the nanoparticles submitted to the NCL.
Barry has been employed continuously at the NCI-FCRF campus since November of 1987. He comes to the NCL having worked in the In Vitro Cell Line Screening Program (IVCLSP), part of the Screening Technologies Branch (STB). He has extensive experience in mammalian cell culture having helped maintain the 60 cell line human tumor panel used in the IVCLSP. He then branched out into high throughput molecular targeted anti-cancer screens. One screen Barry helped develop involved Thymidine Phosphorylase, an enzyme involved in angiogenesis signaling. Working on the development, optimization and implementation of high throughput molecular targeted screens has also given Barry valuable experience in recombinant protein expression and isolation.
Ms. Skoczen joined the NCL in September of 2005, as a Research Assistant. She is responsible for helping maintain human and animal primary and immortalized cells. Her duties also include running a variety of toxicity and immunological assays that aid in the characterization of nanoparticles submitted to the NCL. In addition to the biological assays, she provides support for a variety of physico-chemical characterization assays.
Sarah received a B.S. in biology from Shippensburg University and a M.S. in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University in December of 2005. She began working at Leidos Biomedical Research in June of 2002 in the In Vitro Cell line Screening Program (IVCLSP) of the Screening Technology Branch. As a technician on the 60 cell line human tumor panel, she gained valuable experience in mammalian cell culture and aseptic technique. She has also worked in the Radiation Modifiers Evaluation Module (RAMEM), where she screened for radiosensitivity and chemosensitivity of human tumor cell lines.
Sonny Man joined the NCL in August of 2008 as a research associate. He is involved in the synthesis of nanomaterials intended for cancer therapeutics and diagnostics.
Sonny received a B.S. in Chemical Biology from the University of California at Berkeley in May 2005 and a M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in July 2008. His thesis was on the efficient synthesis of polyglycerol dendrimers by azide-alkyne cycloaddition.
Matthew Hansen joined the NCL in July 2008 as a research associate. He works in support of physicochemical characterization of nanoparticles, working primarily with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to quantify metal concentrations in blood and tissue samples from biodistribution studies.
Matt received a B.A. in chemistry from Wabash College in 2004, and a M.S. in chemistry from Purdue University in 2006. While at Purdue, he conducted research on the functionalization and characterization of gold nanorods for development as contrast imaging agents.
Alpana Dongargaonkar joined the NCL as a Research Associate in August 2011. Ms. Dongargaonkar’s research efforts with the NCL are focused on collaboration the NCL has with NIEHS; she will assist in the thorough physicochemical characterization of a number of commercially relevant engineered nanomaterials towards the ultimate goal of correlating physicochemical properties to biological consequences. In addition to NIEHS and NCL, this collaboration also involves more than a dozen other research institutions across the country.
Alpana received a B. Tech in Biotechnology from ICFAI Institute of Science and Technology, India in 2007 and a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA in 2010. Her thesis was on the synthesis and characterization of electrospun gelatin/dendrimer nanofiber scaffolds encapsulated with silver as a potential antimicrobial wound dressing.
Mrs. Rodriguez joined the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory as a Research Technician in January 2007. She is continuing her research and tissue culture experience by working with and maintaining human and animal primary and immortalized cells. Mrs. Rodriguez is also responsible for performing a variety of blood contact assays that involve hemolysis, platelet aggregation, complement activation, and coagulation for nanoparticle screening.
After graduating in December 2005 with a B.S. in biology and a minor in engineering from Shepherd University, she worked as a Senior Research Laboratory Technician for Advanced Product Enterprises (APE), a biotechnology company involved in the identification, testing, development, and production of bimolecular and molecular biology products. At APE Mrs. Rodriguez dealt with the production and purification of recombinant proteins and antibodies using cell culture bioreactors and chromatography methods, respectively. There she also established her aseptic technique and knowledge of mammalian and insect cell culture. Mrs. Rodriguez received a NASA scholarship during her junior and senior years at Shepherd University and has been a member of the Society of Women Engineers since 2005. She enjoys working with youth and has participated in numerous science fairs, judging mostly grade-school-level projects.
Dr. Haines is a boarded, Staff Pathologist with the Veterinary Pathology Section, Pathology/Histotechnology Laboratory, Leidos Biomedical Research. She provides comprehensive pathology assistance, including scientific and collaborative research support, for NCL scientists.
She has over 30 years experience in veterinary pathology having worked with a variety of laboratory animals and been involved with cancer, toxicology, as well as infectious disease research projects. Dr. Haines is author or co-author of over 40 scientific manuscripts and book chapters, as well as having given lectures at local and national venues.
She has served as a member of several Mouse Models of Human Carcinogenesis Consortium subcommittees, as an expert on NTP Pathology Working Groups, and as an auditor for NTP/NCI carcinogenesis bioassay studies including conducting laboratory site visits.
Dr. Haines obtained her bachelor's degree in biology from Tulane University and her doctoral degree from Louisiana State University's School of Veterinary Medicine. She received her pathology training while serving as a Captain in the Army stationed at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease, Ft. Detrick, Frederick, MD.
Dr. Baxa joined Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. in November 2009 as head of the Electron Microscopy Laboratory (EML). Dr. Baxa is responsible for cryo-electron microscopy, electron tomography, and projects involving image processing and 3D reconstructions.
Prior to joining Leidos Biomedical Research, Dr. Baxa was a research fellow in the Laboratory of Structural Biology, NIAMS, NIH under the guidance of Dr. Alasdair Steven, working on the structure of yeast prion proteins. He used electron microscopy and other biophysical and biochemical methods to study the structure of the infectious form of these prion proteins. Dr. Baxa received his diploma degree in biology (equivalent of M.Sc.) and Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of Regensburg in Germany. He worked two years as research associate at University of Potsdam, Germany, on the characterization of host-virus interactions of the Shigella flexneri phage Sf6.
Mr. Parmiter joined the NCL in January 2007 as a research technician. He is the NCL's primary electron microscopy technician and works with transmission and scanning electron microscopes and energy-dispersive spectroscopy equipment in support of the analysis of nanomaterial physicochemical properties and their histological and immunological impact on cells and tissues.
David received a B.A. in biology from the University of Virginia in 2003, and is currently pursuing a M.S. in biomedical science.
Gloryvee joined the Pathology/Histotechnology Laboratory (PHL), Leidos Biomedical Research in July 2007 as a dedicated research associate for the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL). Currently, her duties include the organization of NCL studies within PHL, delegation of NCL-related tasks, and performance of all necropsy and histology processes for pathology analysis of NCL animal studies. She is also responsible for maintaining communications between both labs during ongoing studies.
In 2006, Gloryvee received her bachelor's in biomedical engineering from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. She is currently pursuing a dual Master's degree in biotechnology management and business administration through University of Maryland University College's online Masters Program.
Wendi Custer joined the Pathology/Histology Laboratory (PHL), Leidos Biomedical Research, in October of 2009, and serves as a dedicated research technician, providing necropsy and histology support for the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL). Prior to joining PHL, she obtained her bachelor's degree in biology from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Her professional career includes an internship at PHL during her studies at Brunswick High School, and a research assistant position at Hood College where she studied the heat tolerance of sea anemones.
Sarah Anderson joined the Electron Microscopy Laboratory (EML) Leidos Biomedical Research in November 2010 as a dedicated research technician for the NCL. She is responsible for cryo-electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, as well as support in physicochemical assays. In 2008, Sarah received dual B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Financial Economics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). She is also currently pursuing a M.S. degree in Biomedical Science from Hood College.
Kelly joined the Pathology/ Histopathology Laboratory (PHL) at Leidos Biomedical Research in August 2011 as a dedicated research technician for the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL). She provides necropsy and histology support for all NCL studies.
She has over 10 years of necropsy and histology experience, and is a member of the National Society of Histotechnology. Just prior to joining Leidos Biomedical Research, Kelly worked for a contract research organization (CRO) as a Lab Supervisor. She received an Associate's degree from Frederick Community College in 2002.
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