Concordia University

Guest speakers

Dr. Kattesh V. Katti

Professor of Radiology and Physics
Director, Institute of Green Nanotechnology
University of Missouri

“Nano-Ayurvedic Medicine”—An Immunomodulatory Holistic Medicine Approach For Cancer Therapy—Through Green Nanotechnology

Cancer continues to be a major public health problem worldwide and there were an estimated 18 million cancer cases around the world in 2018 of which 9.5 million patients died. By 2040, the global burden is expected to grow to 27.5 million new cancer cases and 16.3 million cancer deaths simply due to the growth and aging of the population. The future burden will probably be even larger due to increasing prevalence of factors that increase risk, such as smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and fewer childbirths, especially in economically transitioning countries. A number of new therapeutic interventions to combat various forms of human cancer have been developed over the last several decades. However, cures and lifesaving arrestation of this disease have been rare because tumors bear innate characteristics to become resistant to various forms of treatment. It is becoming increasingly clear that various chemotherapeutic, immunotherapeutic and radiation-based treatment modalities activate NF-κB transcription factors, which are responsible for triggering various pro-tumorigenic cascade of processes within the tumor microenvironment. Tumor progression and the evasion of systemic immune surveillance are all dictated by significantly high levels of various immunosuppressive factors, such as IL-10, IL-6, and TGF-β. Tumor progression is further catalyzed by the immune cells, including regulatory T cells, dendritic cells, MDSCs and TAMs, which are known to express a low level of MHC class I molecules within the tumor microenvironment. Most cancer drugs, in current use which belong to specific targeted or cytotoxic agents, rely on “one gene, one target, one disease” approach despite the fact that cancer is a very complicated multi-target and multi-gene defective disease. However, several examples of phytochemical-based therapeutic approaches have shown the power of cocktail of phytochemicals in traditional Indian Ayurvedic (Chinese and African) medicines to be multi targeted by enhancing the CD4+/CD8+ T cell ratio in the tumor microenvironment. Herbal-based Ayurvedic medicine are also known to reeducate the macrophage by promoting the M1 differentiation of TAM, suggesting the poly-pharmacological and poly-targeted nature of phyto agents

This lecture will discuss application of innovative Green Nanotechnology discoveries, made in Dr. Katti’s laboratory, to develop novel nanomedicine agents derived from combination of tumor specific phytochemicals encapsulated onto biocompatible gold nanoparticles. The longstanding objective of this approach focuses on providing credible scientific rationale to phytochemical-based herbal (Ayurvedic) medicine—all aimed at developing new Precision Medicine modality referred to as ‘Nano-Ayurvedic Medicine. Green Nanotechnology also allows the development of reproducible formulations of herbal and classical Ayurvedic medicines thus providing a pathway for clinical trials for internal/external validity, to allow the safety and efficacy of specific herbal medicines in a more accurate and scientifically verifiable way. This lecture will discuss details on how green nanotechnology can be used to develop  small-molecule phytochemical(s)-functionalized gold nanoparticles to simultaneously achieve: (i) Inhibition of NfkB activation; (ii) Targeting TAM; and (iii) Inhibition of TNF-α induced p65 phosphorylation; and concomitant immunomodulatory therapeutic action. Details on the new invention of a medical modality, referred to as ‘Nano-Ayurvedic Medicine’, recently approved by the US Patents and Trade Marks Office will be presented. The lecture will also highlight the importance of clinical translation in medical research through recent results from human clinical trials on cancer patients of Nano-Ayurvedic Nanomedicine drugs derived through green nanotechnology. The overall importance of green nanotechnology in graduate education and toward developing nanomedicine agents for use in oncology and antibiotics with specific examples of recently commercialized pharmaceuticals would be presented. 

Dr Timothy Geary

Globally recognized as the ‘Father of Green Nanotechnology’, Professor Kattesh V. Katti, MSc Ed, PhD, DSc, FRSC, FNAI, Curators’ Professor of Radiology, Director, Institute of Green Nanotechnology, within the Medical School, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA—is internationally renowned as a leader in the interconnecting fields of—chemistry, radiopharmaceutical sciences, nanotechnology/green nanotechnology and nanomedicine—for biomedical applications, specifically for molecular imaging and therapy of living subjects. Dr. Katti is considered to be a pioneer in the field of Nano-Ayurvedic Medicine—a new medical modality which he has discovered by the application of Green Nanotechnology to Ayurvedic-Holistic Medicine. The US Patents and Trade Marks office has approved the use of ‘Nano-Ayurvedic Medicine’ name in the products of this new medical modality. For the ground breaking discoveries in medicine, Dr. Katti has been awarded a number of international awards and citations, which include: 2019 WHOs WHO Marquis “Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award; 2018 Professor of the European Union in Green Nanotechnology;”; 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Missouri for his life time achievements; Winner of the 2016 ‘Person of the Year in Science’ award. Dr. Katti was selected for this coveted award for his pioneering research in Green Nanotechnology with applications to Nanomedicine. Dr. Katti has won the International Hevesy Medal Award (2015)—A Global award for excellence in Nuclear Sciences and Nuclear Medicine—considered equivalent to a Nobel Prize in Nuclear Sciences; Elected to the fellowship of the National Academy of Inventors (2015) recognizing the discovery of ‘Katti Peptides’—a group of peptides used in biomedical sciences and nanomedicine research. In recognitions of his ground breaking discoveries of radioactive gold nanoparticles in cancer therapy with implications in theranostics and plethora of original research in SPECT imaging, Dr. Katti has been recognized as One of the ‘25 Most Influential Scientists In Molecular Imaging in the World’ by RT Image. Dr. Katti has received the ‘Father of Green Nanotechnology’ citation by the Nobel Prize Winner Norman Borlaug, and has been bestowed with the Gauss Professorship—Hall of Fame—from the Gottingen Academy of Sciences. Dr. Katti is the first immigrant American to win the ‘Outstanding Missourian Award’—the highest civilian award from the Governor of the State of Missouri; former awardees of this highly coveted award include Walter Elias “Walt” Disney, Mark Twain, and Walter Cronkite…Dr. Katti has won the ‘Outstanding Scientists Fellows’ award and inducted as a Fellow of the St Louis Academy of Science—one of the oldest scientific academies of the world and many more. In 2013, Dr. Katti was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science with a citation “for distinguished contributions encompassing nanoscale chemistry, particularly for ground breaking discoveries enabling application of nanotechnology concepts for biomedical applications”. His unprecedented discoveries of the production of tumor specific gold nanoparticles through 100% green processes have been cited as the Editor’s choice in Nature, Future Medicine, in Science (AAAS), in Popular Science, and by the Discovery Channel.

Dr. Katti is credited with discovering and commercializing over a dozen cancer therapy and antibiotics drugs through Green Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine approaches.

Dr. Katti’s researches in Cancer Treatment through Nanomedicine and Green Nanotechnology have been highlighted in scientific/medical programs of the Voice of America (January 2017):;
and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC, London).

Dr. Katti is the chief editor, editorial board member or member of advisory boards of a number internationally reputed peer reviewed scientific journals.

Dr. Katti has published over 300 publications, reviews, and book chapters and is the principle inventor on over 150 inventions and over 50 patents. He has delivered over 500 Inaugural/Plenary/Invited lectures in 25 countries.

Dr. Alfonso Mucci

Professor; Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
University of McGill

Ocean acidification: The indisputable problem and the dissolution of deep-sea carbonates.

In the context of climate change, ocean acidification (OA) is seen as the other carbon dioxide (CO2) problem. Oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2 decreases the pH, carbonate ion concentration and saturation state of surface ocean waters with respect to calcium carbonate (CaCO3) minerals. OA is a potential threat to the health of marine ecosystems, notably to calcifying organisms whose ability to secrete their CaCO3 skeletons might be hindered. OA also triggers the dissolution of carbonate minerals on the seafloor, neutralizing man-made CO2, but estimates are yet available of the extent and foci of this dissolution.

We combined recent databases of bottom-water chemistry, benthic currents, and CaCO3 content of deep-sea sediments with a new rate model to derive the global distribution of benthic calcite dissolution rates and obtained primary confirmation of an anthropogenic component. By comparing pre-industrial with present-day rates, we determined that significant anthropogenic dissolution now occurs in the western North Atlantic, accounting for 40-100% of the total seafloor dissolution at its most intense locations. At these locations, the calcite compensation depth has risen ~300 m. Increased benthic dissolution was also revealed at various hot spots in the southern extent of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

According to the IPCC RCP8.5 or “business as usual” emission model, the oceans will acidify further by the end of this century. Nevertheless, results of a range of Earth System and climate models challenge the paradigm that seafloor CaCO3 dissolution will grow in extent and intensify as ocean acidification persists. We find that while CaCO3 dissolution will increase over the 21st century in some areas of the deep ocean, such as the eastern central Pacific Ocean, it is projected to decrease in the Northern Pacific and abyssal Atlantic Ocean.

Dr Timothy Geary

Mucci completed a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemistry at Université de Montréal and obtained a Ph.D. in Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Miami in 1981. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Argonne National Laboratory (Chicago, Illinois) and Texas A&M (College Station, Texas) before joining the oceanography department at Université du Québec à Rimouski in 1985 as a NSERC Research Fellow. He moved to McGill in 1985 where he is a Professor of Geochemistry and Oceanography and the former chair of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

He is one of the world’s leading authorities on the carbonate chemistry of natural aquatic systems and the geochemical behaviour of trace elements during early sediment diagenesis. He came to prominence in the oceanographic community during the 1980’s when he provided the first set of reliable solubility constants for calcite and aragonite in seawater. These constants are fundamental to our understanding of the chemistry of seawater as they characterize its saturation state (level of acidification) and the fine equilibrium that buffers the ocean pH over decadal to millennial time scales. Two of his recent publications on the development of hypoxic conditions and bottom-water acidification in the St. Lawrence Estuary were chosen by the Quebec-Science magazine as one of the ten most important discoveries by Quebec researchers of, respectively, 2005 and 2011. Prof. Mucci received the 2001-Hutchison and 2011- Michael J. Keen Medals of the Geological Association of Canada, was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada in 2008, was awarded the François Saucier Prize in Applied Oceanography from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society in 2017 and the Michel-Jurdant ACFAS (Association Francophone pour l’Avancement de la Science) Award in Environmental Sciences in 2018. He has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and (co-) supervised more than 75 HQP. According to Google Schlolar, his publications have been cited more than 14,000 times.

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