Convergence Science

Convergence science combines the expertise of engineers, chemists, computer scientists, biologists, immunologists and medical doctors. Our team works together to transform the way we think of brain tumor therapy. We also collaborate closely with the Division of Neurotechnology within the Department of Neurosurgery.

Device technology

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Focused ultrasound

We are developing innovative technologies that make brain tumor diagnosis more efficient, improve brain tumor treatment and deepen our understanding of brain function.


Advanced brain mapping

We have developed advanced functional MRI (fMRI) to map the brain at unprecedented resolutions, ultimately allowing us to improve outcomes and reduce complications after brain tumor surgery.

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MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT)

We employ advanced MR imaging and a laser to target and ablate brain tumors that are deep within the brain and can’t be accessed through traditional surgery.

Past breakthroughs
  • Performed the first FDA-approved laser procedure in the brain
  • Discovered that LITT regionally opens the blood-brain barrier
Current projects
  • Developing next-generation laser technologies to improve existing chemo- and immunotherapies
  • Testing a variety of anti-cancer compounds approved for human use in preclinical models
  • Using laser ablation to discover significant synergies

Based on the results of our preclinical studies, we will design and roll out clinical trials that will bring these novel hybrid treatments to patients. Once we reach this stage, the Brain Tumor Center at Siteman will be the first center to use LITT combined with precision agents that are selected for an individual tumor’s genetic and epigenetic fingerprint.

Nanoscale therapeutics

Nanotechnology enables us to discover new ways to diagnose and treat cancer. Nanomedicines can increase payload concentration at the disease site, reduce toxicity and enhance therapeutic effect compared to drugs in their “free” form.

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Gene regulation

We are working to optimize first-generation spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) for more effective gene regulation in tumor cells and cells in the tumor microenvironment.

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By engaging pattern recognition receptors and DNA sensors, we are developing next-generation SNA architectures for potent activation of innate immunity.

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Cancer vaccines

We are developing immunostimulatory SNAs that are conjugated with oligonucleotides to activate antigen-presenting and tumor-targeting effector T cells.

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High-throughput screening and A.I. for nanotherapeutic drug development

In collaboration with Northwestern University, we are developing a pipeline for the systematic, large-scale evaluation of structural features contributing to nanoarchitecturepotency.

Interested in learning more?

Find out more about the Convergence Science Program and the labs that are making research breakthroughs.