Message from the Director

Welcome to the Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems.  

Our Center was formally established in September of 2010. The objective of the Center is to develop new ways to diagnose, monitor and treat chronic diseases. In particular we are interested in helping to devise new technologies for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.  

The Center consists of three divisions: a Basic Science Division, a Translational Research Division and the Nanomedicine Division. We think this organization is very unique- I think it may be one of a very few- that is designed to bring together basic scientists, clinicians, and engineers together under one roof to work on solving some of the biggest medical issues we face here in the United States of America.  The center is now fully staffed. We have appointed three senior scientists to head up each division. Each of the senior scientists oversees a staff of visiting scientists, postdoctoral fellows, technicians, graduate students, and undergraduate students.  

Within the center we currently have sixteen different projects. Each project is centered on a research area that is of national importance and all have a high degree of relevance to Appalachia. We have studies initiated using humans, animals (rats and gerbils), C. elegans and cell lines.  

Areas of inquiry include the elucidation of new "biomarkers" for disease, the development of new nanowire sensors for point of care testing, and the effects that nanomaterials may have on cellular function and the environment. In addition, we also are in the process of developing new ways to "package" (e.g. nanoencapsulation, multi-purpose nanoparticles) and deliver drugs.

Some of our collaborations include researchers from the: Mayo Clinic, University of South Florida, West Virginia University, Ohio State University, University of South Carolina, Marshall University School of Medicine, Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, Michigan Technological University, Robert C. Byrd Institute, and the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety. Other activities include helping to oversee the research activities of the cardiology and endocrine fellowship programs and partnering with researchers in geriatrics.  

Future plans include developing additional collaborations here in the state and elsewhere (both private and academic; several are in various stages of development), the construction of seminar program on nanotechnology, the launching of a new scientific journal and the development of new educational opportunities.  

We have high hopes and are committed to doing what we can to further develop the research enterprise here at Marshall University and within the State of West Virginia.  

Best regards,  


Eric Blough, Ph.D. Director, Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems