Pictured: Daniel Heller

Chemist Daniel Heller’s lab creates new nanoscale materials that are specially designed to speed developments in cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment.


Nanotechnology offers some of its greatest potential contributions in the precise control of molecular binding events and the transduction of binding phenomena. My lab is committed to employing this potential for two crucial pursuits: the early detection of cancer, and the innovative treatment of metastatic disease.

With a background in materials science, nanotechnology, and biomedical engineering, my research group develops nanomaterials to target metastatic cancer in order to deliver crucial therapies to improve patient prognosis. We work at Memorial Sloan Kettering by interfacing with biologists and physicians to design materials best suited to solving real clinical problems. By collaborating with researchers who are striving to understand the causes of cancer, and with physicians who understand the clinical realities of the disease, we have a great chance to develop therapies that improve patient survival and quality of life.


A Schroeder, DA Heller, MM Winslow, JE Dahlman, GW Pratt, R Langer, T Jacks, DG Anderson: “Treating metastatic cancer with nanotechnology.” Nature Reviews Cancer 12 (2012) 39-50.

J Budhathoki-Uprety, PV Jena, D Roxbury, DA Heller: “Helical Polycarbodiimide Cloaking of Carbon Nanotubes Enables Inter-Nanotube Exciton Energy Transfer Modulation.” Journal of the American Chemical Society (2014) In Press.

DA Heller, Y Levi, JM Pelet, JC Doloff, J Wallas, GW Pratt, S Jiang, G Sahay, A Schroeder, JE Schroeder, Y Chyan, C Zurenko, W Querbes, M Manzano, DS Kohane, R Langer, DG Anderson. Modular ‘Click-in-Emulsion’ Bone-Targeted Nanogels. Advanced Materials 25 (2013) 1449-1454.

JW Kang, FT Nguyen, N Lue, RR Dasari, DA Heller. Measuring Uptake Dynamics of Multiple, Identifiable Carbon Nanotube Species via High-Speed Confocal Raman Imaging of Live Cells. Nano Letters 12 (2012) 6170-6174.

DA Heller, GW Pratt, J Zhang, N Nair, AJ Hansborough, AA Boghossian, NF Reuel, PW Barone, MS Strano. Peptide Secondary Structure Modulates Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Fluorescence as a Chaperone Sensor for Nitroaromatics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (2011) 8544-8549.

DA Heller, H Jin, BM Martinez, D Patel, BM Miller, T-K Yeung, PV Jena, C Höbartner, T Ha, SK Silverman, MS Strano. Multi-modal optical sensing and analyte specificity via singlewalled carbon nanotubes. Nature Nanotechnology 4 (2009) 114-120.

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Selected Achievements

NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (2012)

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010)

Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowship (2006)