Our Services

To learn more about opportunities to utilize nanotechnologies in your work, check out the nanoSTAR institute at the University of Virginia


Our group is interested in the design, characterization, and validation of nanotechnologies for targeted drug delivery


We work to train the next generation of researchers with both graduate and undergraduate students


We are always interested and happy to work with like-minded researchers in the advancement of human health and medicine

About us

The Kester Lab's research interests include the design, characterization, and validation of nanotechnologies for targeted drug delivery in cancer. The laboratory has evaluated nanoliposomes, nanodendrimers, and nanocolloids as effective drug delivery vehicles for pharmacological and molecular agents. Recent work focuses on nontoxic nanoscale systemic delivery systems for hydrophobic pro-apoptotic lipids as well as siRNAs that target mutated tumorigenic proteins.

Our Publications

See some examples of our past research!

Synergistic combination therapy with nanoliposomal C6-ceramide and vinblastine is associated with autophagy dysfunction in hepatocarcinoma and colorectal cancer models.

Cancer Letters

Targeting cancer cells in the tumor microenvironment: opportunities and challenges in combinatorial nanomedicine.

Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology

Preclinical development of a C6-ceramide NanoLiposome, a novel sphingolipid therapeutic.

Biological Chemistry

Lysosomal degradation of CD44 mediates ceramide nanoliposome-induced anoikis and diminished extravasation in metastatic carcinoma cells.

Journal of Biological Chemistry

C6-ceramide nanoliposomes target the Warburg effect in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

PLoS One

The therapeutic potential of nanoscale sphingolipid technologies.

Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology

Ceramide 1-phosphate mediates endothelial cell invasion via the annexin a2-p11 heterotetrameric protein complex.

Journal of Biological Chemistry

PhotoImmunoNanoTherapy reveals an anticancer role for sphingosine kinase 2 and dihydrosphingosine-1-phosphate.

ACS Nano

The Team

We are excited to share with you our past and current lab members!

Ameer Shakeel Logan Patterson Payam Pourtaheri Victoria Ngo Kyle Scott Andrei V Khokhlatchev Pamela Brigleb Matthew Van De Graaf Pedro Costa-Pinheiro Thomas Jefferson Kelly Drews Laura JW Keppley Tye Deering Jeremy Shaw Casey Harrison Jason Smith Mark Kester Todd Fox Brett Moseley Tara Caste Mardhani Aparajithan

Lab News

Recent publications, news, and updates happening at the Kester Lab

UVA Entrepreneurs Pick Up New Funding at Tom Tom Competitions

April 14, 2016 in Competitions

AgroSpheres, composed of UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science undergraduates Payam Pourtaheri and Ameer Shakeel, walked away as the overall winner of Friday’s Entrepreneurship Cup. They earned a total of $22,500 as the first-prize winners and the recipients of the audience favorite award.

CONGRATULATIONS 2016 Entrepreneurship Cup (E-Cup) winners

May 5, 2016 in Competitions

CONGRATULATIONS 2016 Entrepreneurship Cup (E-Cup) winners, Payam Pourtaheri and Ameer Shakeel! Under the leadership of Dr. Mark Kester and supported by the nanoSTAR Summer Research Fund, Payam and Ammeer took the top prize of $22,500 for AgroSpheres.

i.Lab at UVA Incubator Program Expands National Reach, Introduces New Director

May 4, 2016 in News

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation today announced the 2016 i.Lab Incubator cohort comprised of a diverse and impressive group of UVA and local Charlottesville-based entrepreneurs.

Instrument Sign Up

If you'd like to sign up for instrument usage, contact the lab for an invitation.

Contact Us

Our lab is located in Pinn (formerly Jordan) Hall, rm1215

We'd love to hear from you!