Lara Milane, Northeastern University

Lara Milane


Assistant Teaching Professor

Pharmaceutical Sciences


Cancer Biology, Drug Delivery Systems, Nanomedicine

Research Focus

Cancer Biology, Mitochondriotropic Nanomedicine, Molecularly Targeted Nanomedicine for Cancer

Personal Website

Research: Regulation of Mitochondrial Dynamics

The single most significant event that enabled eukaryotic evolution to occur was theendosymbiosis of mitochondria by the primordial eukaryotic cell. This event resulted in a dramatic increase in the energy capacity and metabolism of the “first” eukaryotic cell. Naturally, mitochondria play a key role in human health and disease.

Mitochondria form a vast intracellular network, undergoing perpetual fission and fusion with each other and with the endoplasmic reticulum while producing cellular energy, regulating intrinsic apoptosis, and contributing vital roles to cell movement and cell communication. Despite the critical role of mitochondria in health and disease, the development of therapeutics that correct mitochondrial
dysfunction remains to be an uncharted area of research.

As demonstrated by FDA approved nanomedicines such as Doxil® (1995 approval) and Vyxeos® (2017 approval), nanomedicines can reduce the toxicity and increase the efficacy of drugs. This is particularly relevant for sub-cellular organelle targeting in pathological tissues to overcome the challenges of specificity,
bioavailability, and off-target accumulation.

I am currently working on a mitochondrial nanomedicine for treating multidrug resistant cancer and a mitochondrial nanomedicine for preventing and treating neurodegeneration.