Dr. Pun’s award is in honor of Patricia Zoch Tate who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2005. The study will research treatment of tumors using a targeted non-viral mode of delivery. Tumors exist as dense masses in the body. The physical structure of these solid tumors presents a formidable challenge to drug delivery vehicles that need to penetrate and reach all cancer cells in order to be optimally effective.  

The goal of this research is to develop synthetic nanoparticles that efficiently penetrate solid tumors. I am convinced that the efficacy of gene therapy can be substantially improved by designing delivery systems that overcome physical barriers.