Skip Navigation
National Cancer Institute
National Cancer Institute U.S. National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute
 
OverviewMission and GoalsCancer Nanotechnology PlanFactsheet & Overview PresentationProgram Office PublicationsRelated NCI InitiativesMeet UsContact Us
 

Meet Us - NCI Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research

  Piotr Grodzinski, Ph.D. Stephanie A. Morris, Ph.D.
  Scott E. McNeil, Ph.D. George Hinkal, Ph.D.
  Nick Panaro, Ph.D. Lynn Hull, Ph.D.
  Dorothy F. Farrell, Ph.D. Christopher M. Hartshorn, Ph.D.
  Natalie Fedorova Abrams, Ph.D.  

 

Piotr Grodzinski, Ph.D.
Director
NCI Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research

Dr. Piotr Grodzinski is a Director of Nanotechnology for Cancer programs at NCI. He coordinates program and research activities of the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer which has dedicated $144M over 5 years (2004–2009). These funds have supported the formation of interdisciplinary centers as well as individual research and training programs targeting nanotechnology solutions for improved prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.

Dr. Grodzinski is a materials scientist by training, but found bio- and nanotechnology fascinating. In the mid-nineties, he left the world of semiconductor research and built a large microfluidics program at Motorola Corporate Research & Development in Arizona. The group made important contributions to the development of integrated microfluidics for genetic sample preparation with its work being featured in Chemical & Engineering News and Nature Reviews. After his tenure at Motorola, Dr. Grodzinski joined the Bioscience Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory where he served as a Group Leader and an interim Chief Scientist for the Department of Energy Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT).

Dr. Grodzinski received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles in 1992. He is an inventor on 15 patents and has authored over 100 technical publications and conference presentations.

Dr. Grodzinski has been an invited speaker and has served on the committees of numerous bio- and nano-Micro-Electromechanical Systems conferences.

 

Scott E. McNeil, Ph.D.
Director, Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory
National Cancer Institute

Dr. McNeil serves as the Director of the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) for SAIC-Frederick 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 SAIC-Frederick.

Prior to establishing the NCL, he served as a Senior Scientist in the Nanotech Initiatives Division at SAIC 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 Ph.D. in cell biology from Oregon Health Sciences University.

 

Nick Panaro, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory
National Cancer Institute

Dr. Nick Panaro joined the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) in January 2008. His responsibilities include the management of contracts for SAIC-Frederick 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, Dr. Panaro conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania, where he focused on the design and fabrication of micro-electromechanical 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. Dr. Panaro 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 and microarrays.

 

Dorothy F. Farrell, Ph.D.
Program Manager
NCI Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research

In her role as a program manager for the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, Dr. Dorothy Farrell oversees and manages nanotechnology development projects, implements new nanotechnology development initiatives, and evaluates the effectiveness of Alliance programs. She acts as a technical resource for Alliance members by promoting collaboration among researchers and assisting industry representatives in identifying opportunities for collaboration with the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Farrell received her doctorate in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University, where her thesis project focused on the synthesis and characterization of self-assembled arrays of magnetic nanoparticles. She then spent two years at University College London on a Royal Society USA Research Fellowship, where she worked on the preparation of nanoparticle-antibody conjugates for use in cancer therapy. She returned to the United States to work at the Naval Research Laboratory, as part of the National Research Council's Research Associate Program, developing a poly(ethylene glycol) based ligand to prepare biocompatible iron oxide nanoparticles. Dr. Farrell received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

 

Stephanie A. Morris, Ph.D.
Program Manager
NCI Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research

Dr. Stephanie A. Morris serves as a program manager for the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer program in the Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research (OCNR). She manages nanotechnology research projects overseen by the program and participates in the development of new research initiatives.

Prior to joining OCNR, Dr. Morris performed her postdoctoral work at NCI focusing on the genome-wide activity of chromatin remodeling enzymes involved in the regulation of hormone nuclear receptor function and oncogenesis, and was funded by a UNCF-Merck Postdoctoral Fellowship. In addition to her postdoctoral research, Dr. Morris led the development of a chromatin postdoctoral seminar series. She also served as the Senior Editor of the NIH Fellows Editorial Board. In 2007, she received her Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied the function of histone-modifying enzymes during transcription elongation. Prior to pursuing her graduate studies, Dr. Morris worked at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she analyzed the conformational changes of proteins and nucleic acids by analytical ultracentrifugation. She graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut with a B.A. in biology, and neuroscience and behavior.

 

George Hinkal, Ph.D.
Program Manager
NCI Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research

Dr. George Hinkal is program manager for NCI's Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research. There he manages a portfolio of grants within the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, implements new nanotechnology policy initiatives with the National Nanotechnology Initiative, and evaluates the effectiveness of Alliance programs. He first came to the office as an Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow.

Prior to joining the OCNR, Dr. Hinkal's research interests focused on genetically modifying animal models of cancer and mammalian aging. His postdoctoral work at the Centre Léon Bérard in Lyon, France developed a proof of principle model showing how aberrant expression of embryonic transcription factors creates a tumor permissive environment. He received his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Baylor College of Medicine where he elaborated on the hypothesis that gross aging phenotypes are the result of tumor suppressor function.

 

Lynn Hull, Ph.D.
AAAS Fellow
NCI Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research

Dr. Lynn Hull is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow working as a projects manager for NCI's Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research. She is also working on clarifying the US Food and Drug Administration approval process for nano drug delivery for researchers who are ready to translate their discoveries from the bench to the bedside.

Lynn completed her graduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, earning her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology, in August 2009. Her dissertation work examined two separate enzymatic mechanisms which play a role in opioid tolerance. Lynn then joined the Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies at VCU for her Postdoctoral training where she researched clinical assessments and interventions for alcohol and substance abuse.

 

Christopher M. Hartshorn, Ph.D.
Program Manager
NCI Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research

Dr. Christopher M. Hartshorn serves as a program manager in NCI's Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer program. In this role, he manages the nanotechnology research projects, evaluates the effectiveness of the Alliance programs, and maintains the proper stewardship over federally funded research. He serves as a technical expert to Alliance members and participates in the development and direction of new research initiatives.

Prior to joining the OCNR, Dr. Hartshorn worked for the National Institute of Standards and Technology on the research and development of novel high-speed non-invasive nonlinear optical imaging modalities for tumor histopathology as well as for in situ material and pharmaceutical characterization. In addition to his research, he co-founded and led the NIST Material Measurement Laboratory Post-doctoral Association and served on the Washington Editorial Review Board. Dr. Hartshorn earned his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Washington State University where his research studies focused on modeling the physical effects of nanomaterials upon lipid membranes and membrane bound proteins as well as developing nanoparticle-DNA oligomer conjugates for the single-molecule measurement of HIV-RT binding kinetics. Moreover, he was a member of a multidisciplinary team developing a multi-antigen biosensor that utilized distance-based luminescence schemes; he also worked on the collaborative discovery of the modulus-density scaling relationship and framework model of nanoporous silicates. He earned his Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and Biology from the University of New Mexico. Over his academic and research career, Dr. Hartshorn has co-authored many research publications including several in Nature journals within the disciplines of nanomaterials, photonics, and biology as well as co-authoring several funded grants. He has been the recipient of two national fellowships, several awards, and is a member of Sigma Xi and the American Chemical Society.

 

Natalie Fedorova Abrams, Ph.D.
Program Manager
NCI Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research

Dr. Abrams serves as a project manager for NCI's Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research. She manages nanotechnology projects and grants, participates in the development of new initiatives, and evaluates the effectiveness of programs within the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer.

Most recently, she was a manager and scientific lead at the Informatics Core at the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research. Prior to this position, Dr. Abrams was an assistant professor at the J. Craig Venter Institute where she led several research projects in the areas of eukaryotic genomics and infectious disease. She is well published, having written over 50 peer-reviewed publications and eight book chapters. Dr. Abrams was also involved in grant review and has served on the editorial boards of three biomedical journals. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from the Institute of Molecular Biology in Moscow.