University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Medical Student Education

Taatjes Serves as Co-Editor for New Book on Nano Cell Biology

Doug Taatjes, Ph.D.
Doug Taatjes, Ph.D., Professor of Pathology and Director of the Microscopy Imaging Center at the University of Vermont College of Medicine

Over the past 20 years, advances in nanotechnology – the science of manipulating matter at the molecular and atomic level – and imaging have led to an increased understanding of how a single molecule functions. Douglas Taatjes, Ph.D., professor of pathology and director of the Microscopy Imaging Center at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, is co-editor of a new book that details recent advances in nano cell biology, nano medicine and imaging modalities, and discusses the implications for medicine and health care.

Co-edited by Bhanu Jena, Ph.D., the George E. Palade University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Physiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine, NanoCellBiology: Multimodal Imaging in Biology & Medicine was published in September 2013 by Pan Stanford Publishing.

The National Nanotechnology Initiative states that current healthcare-related nanotechnology studies include clinical trials to examine the use of nanoparticles to deliver toxic anti-cancer drugs targeted directly to tumors, and the use of nanotechnology to make medical imaging tools, like MRIs and CAT scans, work better and more safely.

According to Pan Stanford Publishing, Taatjes’ and Jena’s 400-page book “provides a comprehensive understanding of the discovery of a new cellular structure the “porosome,” which is the universal secretory machinery in cells; the protein assembly, biomineralization, and biomolecular interactions; the molecular evolution of protein structure; the use of magnetic nanoparticles for transformative application in medicine and therapy, and the new and novel imaging approach of electrical impedance spectroscopy in biology.” Taatjes and colleagues from the Montefiore Medical Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine contributed a chapter to the book on visualizing the repair of nanodefects in a two-dimensional anticoagulant crystal using atomic force microscopy, continuing their ongoing molecular investigations into the human thrombotic disorder, the antiphospholipid syndrome.

In addition, the publisher calls this book the first chronicling developments in the new and growing fields of nano cell biology and nano medicine. Ongoing research in these fields explores drug delivery methods to specific cells that may reduce side effects. Understanding cells at the molecular level may also have implications for imaging and diagnostic techniques.

The book should find an audience amongst those using nano techniques in the areas of biotechnology, biomedicine and cell biology.

Taatjes, who joined the UVM faculty in 1987, and has been director of the Microscopy Imaging Center in the College of Medicine since its inception in 1993, is currently involved in studies using multimodal molecular imaging techniques in multiple areas of investigation, including cardiovascular disease and cell secretion. According to Taatjes: “The development and availability of state-of-the-art molecular imaging technologies, such as those housed in the Microscopy Imaging Center in the College of Medicine and addressed in the book, will provide the tools necessary for further advancements in biomedical research at the “nano-scale” level.