Mark Kester


  • PhD, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Postdoc, University of Illinois, Chicago

Primary Appointment

  • Professor, Pharmacology


Research Interest(s)

Nanotechnologies for targeted drug delivery

Research Description

Dr. Kester has research interests that include the design, characterization and validation of nanotechnologies for targeted drug delivery. His 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. Dr. Kester has consulted with, or helped found, several companies that have the license to his "nano Solutions". In addition, Dr.Kester is a co-author of Integrated Pharmacology, published by Elsevier, Ltd., which was just recognized as a "highly commended textbook" by the British Medical Society.

Selected Publications

  • Adiseshaiah P, Clogston J, McLeland C, Rodriguez J, Potter T, Neun B, Skoczen S, Shanmugavelandy S, Kester M, Stern S, McNeil S. Synergistic combination therapy with nanoliposomal C6-ceramide and vinblastine is associated with autophagy dysfunction in hepatocarcinoma and colorectal cancer models. Cancer letters. 2013;337(2): 254-65. PMID: 23664889 | PMCID: PMC3722309
  • Barth B, Shanmugavelandy S, Kaiser J, McGovern C, Altınoğlu E, Haakenson J, Hengst J, Gilius E, Knupp S, Fox T, Smith J, Ritty T, Adair J, Kester M. PhotoImmunoNanoTherapy reveals an anticancer role for sphingosine kinase 2 and dihydrosphingosine-1-phosphate. ACS nano. 2013;7(3): 2132-44. PMID: 23373542 | PMCID: PMC3757127
  • Barth B, Shanmugavelandy S, Tacelosky D, Kester M, Morad S, Cabot M. Gaucher's disease and cancer: a sphingolipid perspective. Critical reviews in oncogenesis. 2013;18(3): 221-34. PMID: 23510065 | PMCID: PMC3604879
  • Hankins J, Ward K, Linton S, Barth B, Stahelin R, Fox T, Kester M. Ceramide 1-phosphate mediates endothelial cell invasion via the annexin a2-p11 heterotetrameric protein complex. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2013;288(27): 19726-38. PMID: 23696646 | PMCID: PMC3707677
  • Morad S, Madigan J, Levin J, Abdelmageed N, Karimi R, Rosenberg D, Kester M, Shanmugavelandy S, Cabot M. Tamoxifen magnifies therapeutic impact of ceramide in human colorectal cancer cells independent of p53. Biochemical pharmacology. 2013;85(8): 1057-65. PMID: 23353700 | PMCID: PMC3604153
  • Ryland L, Doshi U, Shanmugavelandy S, Fox T, Aliaga C, Broeg K, Baab K, Young M, Khan O, Haakenson J, Jarbadan N, Liao J, Wang H, Feith D, Loughran T, Liu X, Kester M. C6-ceramide nanoliposomes target the warburg effect in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. PloS one. 2013;8(12): e84648. PMID: 24367685 | PMCID: PMC3868606
  • Fox T, Young M, Pedersen M, Han X, Gardner T, Kester M. Diabetes diminishes phosphatidic acid in the retina: a putative mediator for reduced mTOR signaling and increased neuronal cell death. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 2012;53(11): 7257-67. PMID: 22952117 | PMCID: PMC3478036
  • Kaiser J, Imai H, Haakenson J, Brucklacher R, Fox T, Shanmugavelandy S, Unrath K, Pedersen M, Dai P, Freeman W, Bronson S, Gardner T, Kester M. Nanoliposomal minocycline for ocular drug delivery. Nanomedicine : nanotechnology, biology, and medicine. 2012;9(1): 130-40. PMID: 22465498 | PMCID: PMC3762261
  • Morad S, Levin J, Shanmugavelandy S, Kester M, Fabrias G, Bedia C, Cabot M. Ceramide--antiestrogen nanoliposomal combinations--novel impact of hormonal therapy in hormone-insensitive breast cancer. Molecular cancer therapeutics. 2012;11(11): 2352-61. PMID: 22962326 | PMCID: PMC3495995
  • Tacelosky D, Creecy A, Shanmugavelandy S, Smith J, Claxton D, Adair J, Kester M, Barth B. Calcium phosphosilicate nanoparticles for imaging and photodynamic therapy of cancer. Discovery medicine. 2012;13(71): 275-85. PMID: 22541615
  • Young M, Kester M, Wang H. Sphingolipids: regulators of crosstalk between apoptosis and autophagy. Journal of lipid research. 2012;54(1): 5-19. PMID: 23152582 | PMCID: PMC3520539
  • Young M, Takahashi Y, Khan O, Park S, Hori T, Yun J, Sharma A, Amin S, Hu C, Zhang J, Kester M, Wang H. Autophagosomal membrane serves as platform for intracellular death-inducing signaling complex (iDISC)-mediated caspase-8 activation and apoptosis. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2012;287(15): 12455-68. PMID: 22362782 | PMCID: PMC3320995