All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

David T Curiel

Advisory Committee Members

Susan Bellis

Maaike Everts

Lisa Schwiebert

Yogesh Vohra

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Heersink School of Medicine


Novel combinatorial strategies need to be explored to achieve tumor eradication. In this regard, viral vector based gene therapy and nanotechnology offer unique possibilities for cancer therapy. As an example, multifunctional adenoviral (Ad) vectors capable of targeting, imaging, and successful cancer gene therapy have been advanced into multiple clinical trials. Similarly, novel multifunctional gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been utilized for drug delivery, targeting, imaging, and hyperthermia tumor therapy. Therefore, to accrue the benefits of both gene therapy and nanotechnology for cancer therapy, we proposed to combine Ad vectors and AuNPs in a single multifunctional nanodevice. Towards this goal, herein, we have developed two methods with universal applications for coupling NPs non-specifically or specifically to Ad vectors. Upon obtaining a specifically AuNP-labeled Ad vector, we analyzed its ability for hyperthermic tumor cell ablation. Due to the technical limits imposed on the amount of AuNPs that can be delivered by Ad vectors, at this time we were unable to utilize AuNP-labeled Ad vectors for hyperthermic tumor cell ablation. However, future efforts to overcome this coupling limitation may achieve the potential of the NP-labeled Ad vector for simultaneous targeting, imaging, and combined gene therapy and nanotechnology for the treatment of tumors.