Department Seminars: Exploiting Nanomaterial-induced Autophagy for Cancer Therapy: More Than One way to Skin A Cat

Speaker Prof. Wen Longping South China University of Technology, China

Host Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Date/Time 20 Mar - 20 Mar, 10.00AM

Venue E5-02-32 , Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore


Autophagy is a key cellular degradation process and plays critical roles in many physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Since the first report on nanoparticle-induced autophagy over 10 years ago, a variety of nanomaterials, including carbon, metal, metal oxide and rare earth nanoparticles, have been demonstrated to induce elevated level of autophagy in different cell types. Interestingly and ironically, nanomaterial-induced autophagy can be both pro-survival and pro-death for the affected cells, depending on the material, cell type and the environment in which the cells are maintained. The drastically different outcome on cancer cell fate constitutes the basis for different approaches that take advantage of the autophagy-inducing property of nanomaterials for cancer therapy. In this talk, I will give an overview on our current understanding on autophagy modulation by nanomaterials and summarize the various strategies that we have taken in an effort to exploit nanomaterial-induced autophagy for enhancing cancer therapy.


Dr. Wen Long-ping graduated from Xiamen University in 1982 (BS) and obtained his PhD from University of California, Los Angeles, USA in 1988. He has over 30 years of experience in biomedical research at various academic institutions including Stanford University, NUS, Xiamen University and University of Science & Technology of China. He is currently a full professor at South China University of Technology, with a research interest focusing on nanobiology and nanomedicine. During the last 10 years he has published 51 corresponding author papers in the various SCI journals, including Nature Biotechnology and Nature Materials. He was one of the recipients of Lee Kuan Yew Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1991, and his work on transdermal-enhancing peptide was given the distinction as one of the Top 10 News in Basic Research in China in 2006.