My research is mainly on pediatric cancers with the goal of gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms of treatment resistance and discovering novel ways to target and induce cancer cell death. Brain tumors are the number one cause of cancer-related deaths in children. Neuroblastoma, a solid tumor arising from the developing sympathetic nervous system, accounts for approximately 7% of all pediatric cancers but 15% all pediatric cancer deaths. The research in the laboratory is aimed at investigating 1) the therapeutic potential of natural products, 2) repurposing of FDA approved drugs for cancer treatment and 3) the development of novel cancer therapies, with an emphasis on nanoparticles and in particular carbon dots (C-Dots). C-Dots are a relatively new member of the carbon nanoparticle family, which shows great medical therapy potential. I am interested in developing C-Dots as tumor-targeted drug delivery systems and as optical imaging agents for fluorescence-guided surgery.