Stephenson Cancer Center Research Scholar to Serve in NIH Leadership Role

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Oklahoma City -- Rajagopal Ramesh, Ph.D., Oklahoma TSET Cancer Research Scholar and director of Experimental Therapeutics and Translational Medicine, Stephenson Cancer Center, has been elected chairman of the Nanotechnology Study Section of the National Institutes of Health.

      The Nanotechnology Study Section reviews applications focused on research in bioengineering and technology development, as it relates to nanomaterials. Nanotechnology draws from the disciplines of bioengineering, materials science, chemistry physics and relevant biological/ biomedical areas.                                                                

     “I look forward to this leadership opportunity in such a critical area of biomedical research, and I’m honored by this demonstration of confidence by my peers,” said Ramesh. “Serving as chair of the Nanotechnology Study Section requires strong commitment for overseeing a committee of 20-25 members who are experts in their respective areas of research, and in ensuring fair review of grant applications. Being selected for this role not only affords me a great sense of personal accomplishment, but also attests to the significant regard in which the Stephenson Cancer Center is held at a national level.”  

      Robert S. Mannel, M.D., director, Stephenson Cancer Center, said leadership opportunities like these advance the work of Stephenson on multiple fronts. “Dr. Ramesh brings considerable expertise to the field of nanotechnology. This position offers greater opportunity to harness available resources to discover technologies and therapies for frontline treatments that may ultimately improve outcomes.” 

      A nanometer is a measurement that equals one billionth of a meter. Nanotechnology is defined as the understanding and control of matter at dimensions roughly 1 to 100 nanometers, where unique properties of materials that enable novel applications emerge. At the nanoscale, physical, chemical and biological properties of materials differ from the properties of individual atoms and molecules, or of bulk matter. Nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling and manipulating matter at this scale.

      In addition to his role as a TSET Cancer Research Scholar, Ramesh is a professor of Pathology and also holds the Jim and Christy Everest Endowed Chair in Cancer Developmental Therapeutics. His research interests include novel gene-based therapeutics using viral and non-viral vectors with emphasis on translational cancer research. Findings based on his team’s research have paved the way for Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of solid tumors.

Stephenson Cancer Center at OU Health ranks in the Top 50 in the nation for cancer care in the 2019-2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings. As Oklahoma’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center, Stephenson Cancer Center is one of the nation’s elite centers, representing the top 2% of cancer centers in the country. It is the largest and most comprehensive oncology practice in the state, delivering patient-centered, multidisciplinary care for every type of cancer. As one of the nation’s leading research organizations, Stephenson Cancer Center uses the latest innovations to fight and eliminate cancer, and is currently ranked No. 1 among all cancer centers in the nation for the number of patients participating in clinical trials sponsored by the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network. For more information, visit


OU Health — along with its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center — is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Health is home to Oklahoma’s largest physician network with a complete range of specialty care. OU Health serves Oklahoma and the region with the state’s only freestanding children’s hospital, the only National Cancer Institute-Designated Stephenson Cancer Center and Oklahoma’s flagship hospital, which serves as the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. OU Health is the No. 1 ranked hospital system in Oklahoma, and its oncology program at Stephenson Cancer Center and OU Medical Center ranked in the Top 50 in the nation, in the 2019-2020 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. OU Health was also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in four specialties: Ophthalmology in partnership with Dean McGee Eye Institute, Colon Surgery, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. OU Health’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit