Raghuraman Kannan, PhD



Professor of Radiology and Biological Engineering
Michael J and Sharon R Bukstein Chair in Cancer Research



Dr. Raghuraman Kannan combines an entrepreneurial spirit with expertise in chemistry, molecular biology and material science to produce promising cancer treatments.

Traditional oncology therapeutics kill cancer cells, but they also kill healthy cells. However, Kannan has developed a library of drug delivery vehicles, based on nanoparticles, that target tumors without damaging healthy tissue. Using this innovation, he is working to develop treatments for ovarian, breast, pancreatic and liver cancers.

Kannan also leverages nanotechnology tools to better understand drug resistance. Utilizing a biological process called RNA interference (RNAi), his discoveries have paved the way for the creation of new therapeutics to reverse drug resistance. Additionally, his laboratory developed a diagnostic suite, called NSCLC-Suite, to help oncologists devise an effective treatment plan for cancer patients.

Kannan has written more than 55 papers and holds seven patents. His research has led to four startup companies to commercialize nanotechnology that he helped develop. His ultimate goal is to witness doctors using his work to help patients. “Seeing my products getting into clinics — that will be truly satisfying,” he says.

Dr. Raghuraman Kannan is an associate professor and the Michael J. and Sharon R. Bukstein Chair in Cancer Research. He has appointments in radiology in the School of Medicine and bioengineering in the College of Engineering.

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Academic Information

Professor of Radiology and Biological Engineering
Michael J and Sharon R Bukstein Chair in Cancer Research
P. 573-882-5676

Research Interests

  • Cancer biology of resistant NSCLC to elucidate and validate mechanism responsible for drug resistance in lung cancer
  • RNAi - Develop novel nano-particle based siRNA delivery agents to reverse drug-resistance.
  • Targeted nano-therapeutic agents – Peptide-based cancer targeting nanoparticles for effective delivery of chemo-agents
  • Clinical and translational science to develop near infrared (NIR) imaging camera, in-home sensors and continuous monitoring devices

Areas of Expertise

  • Tumor biology of NSCLC
  • Engineering at Molecular levels
  • Translational devices and in-home sensors

Education & Training

Medical School

Indian institution of Science

Awards & Honors

  • J.C. Ghosh Medal & Cash Award for the Best Ph.D. Thesis, Indian institution of Science, Bangalore, India
  • Senior Research Fellow – Awarded by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, India
  • 2009 Michael J and Sharon R. Bukstein Distinguished Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research
  • 2011 Michael J and Sharon R. Bukstein Distinguished Faculty Professor in Cancer Research