(i) Nanomedicine and Nanobiology, including nanomaterial therapeutic devices and the study of nanomaterial properties that lead to biocompatible and biohazardous interactions in humans and the environment.
(ii) The role of air pollutants in asthma, with particular emphasis on the role of ultrafine particle-induced oxidative stress in the generation of airway inflammation and asthma.
The research is funded by personal RO1 grants from the NIH, the NIAID-funded Asthma and Immunology Disease Clinical Research Center, an EPA STAR award, a $24 million NSF award for a NSF Science Engineering Center. Dr Nel is Director of the UC Center for the Environmental Impact of Nanotechnology (CEIN), Director of the UCLA Asthma and Immunology Disease Center, Co-Director of the Southern California Particle Center, and Co-Director of the UCLA Nanomacchine Center. The Nanomacchine Center (four co-PI’s) develops and utilizes smart nanoparticle delivery systems that can target and control drug release at cancer and disease sites. The mission of the multi-campus UC CEIN is to develop an early warning system for nanomaterial hazards and safe design, particularly as it relates to inteactions with biological systems and ecological life forms.
Recent Representative Publications
1. Xiao, M. Wang, N. Li, J. A. Loo, A. E. Nel, "Use of Proteomics to Demonstrate a Hierarchical Oxidative Stress Response to Diesel Exhaust Particles in a Macrophage Cell Line", J. Biol. Chem. 278, 50781-50790 (2003).
2. N. Li, C. Sioutas, A. Cho, D. Schmitz, C. Misra, J. Sempf, T. Oberley, J. Froines, and A. Nel, "Particulate Air Pollutants, Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Damage", Environ. Health Perspect. 111, 455-460 (2003).
3. A. Nel. Atmosphere. Air pollution-related illness: Biomolecular effects of particles. Science 308: 804 (2005).
4. Nel, T. Xia, L. Maëdler, and N. Li, "Toxic Potential of Materials at the Nanolevel?" Science 311, 622-627 (2006).
5. T. Xia, M. Kovochich, J. Brant, M. Hotze, J. Sempf, T. Oberley, C. Sioutas, J.I. Yeh, M.R. Wiesner, and A.E. Nel, "Comparison of the Abilities of Ambient and Manufactured Nanoparticles to Induce Cellular Toxicity According to an Oxidative Stress Paradigm". Nanoletters 6, 1794-1807 (2006).
6. Gong, K.W., Zhao, W., Li, N., Barajas, B., Kleinman, M., Sioutas, C., Horvath, S., Lusis, A.J., Nel A., and Araujo, J.A. Air-pollutant chemicals and oxidized lipids exhibit genome-wide synergistic effects on endothelial cells. Genome Biol. (2007). 8(7):R149
7. Xia, T., Kovochich, M., Liong, M., Zink, J.I., and Nel A.E. Cationic nanoparticle toxicity depends on cell-specific endocytic and mitochondrial injury pathways. ACS Nano. 2: 85-96 (2008).
8. Araujo, J.A., Barajas, B., Kleinman, M., Xuping Wang, X., Bennett, B.J., Gong, K.W., Navab, M., Harkema , J., Sioutas, C., Aldons J. Lusis, A.J., Nel, A.E. Ambient particulate pollutants in the ultrafine range promote early atherosclerosis and systemic oxidative stress. Circulation Research. 102:589-96. (2008).
9. Chatila, T.A, Li, N., Garcia-Lloret, M., Kim, H-J., and Nel, A.E. T cell effector pathways in Allergic Diseases: Transcriptional Mechanisms and Therapeutic Targets. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 121: 812-23. (2008).
10. Li, N., Xia, T., Nel, A.E. The role of oxidative stress in ambient particulate matter-induced lung diseases and its implications in the toxicity of engineered nanoparticles. Free Radical Biology & Medicine. 44:1689-99. (2008).
11. Zhang, L., Wang, M., Kang, X., Boontheung, P., Li, N., Nel, A.E., and Loo, J.A. Oxidative stress and asthma: N-acetylcysteine inhibits increased expression of proteins related to lung inflammation from ovalbumin-challenged mice. J. Proteome Research. 8:1631-8 (2009).
12. Nel, A.E., Maedler, L., Velegol, D., Xia, T., Hoek, E.M., Somasundaran, P., Klaessig, F., Castranova, V., and Thompson, M.Understanding biophysicochemical interactions at the nano-bio interface. Nature Materials. 8:543-57 (2009).
13. Li, N., Wang, M.,. Bramble, L.A., Schmidt, D., Sioutas, C.,. Harkema,, J.R., Cho, A., Nel, A.E. Establishment of an Animal Allergen Sensitization Model in which the Adjuvant Effect of Ambient Particulate Matter is Closely Reflected by Particulate Oxidant Potential. Environ Health Perspect. 117:1116-23 (2009).
14. Xia, T., Li, N., and Nel, A.E. Potential health impact of nanoparticles. Annual Review of Public Health. 30:21.1-21.14 (2009).
15. Xia, T., Kovochich, M., Liong, M., Meng, H., Kabehie, S., George, S., Zink, J.I., Nel, A.E. Polyethyleneimine Coating Enhances the Cellular Uptake of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles and Allows Safe Delivery of siRNA and DNA Constructs. ACS Nano. Sep 9. [Epub ahead of print] (2009).
16. Nel, A.E., Maedler, L., Velegol, D., Xia, T., Hoek, E.M., Somasundaran, P., Klaessig, F., Castranova, V., and Thompson, M.Understanding biophysicochemical interactions at the nano-bio interface. Nat Mater. 8:543-57 (2009)
Link to the PubMed site.