Staff profile - Jagat Kanwar

Staff image

Prof Jagat Kanwar

Position: Professor In Nanomedicine
role description
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Health
Department: School of Medicine
Campus: Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
Phone: +61 3 522 71148 +61 3 522 71148



Degree/Award Year Discipline/Field Organisation and Country

  1. PhD 1993: Biotechnology (Medical Biochemistry & Immunology): Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India.
  2. MSc 1988: Medical Biochemistry: College of Basic Sciences, PAU, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
  3. BSc 1984: Medical Sciences: Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Current and previous appointment

  • BEd-Sc (Bachelor of Education Science) 1985: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India
  • Research Fellow The University of Auckland, NZ Department of Molecular Medicine & Pathology Jan 1997-Dec 2001
  • Senior Scientist/Senior Research Fellow The University of Auckland, NZ Department of Molecular Medicine & Pathology Jan 2001-March 2006
  • Associate Professor of Immunology & Cell Biology, Team Leader of Nanomedicine Laboratory (NLIMBR) Deakin University, Australia Centre for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Sciences (BioDeakin), March 2006-2013
  • Professor of Nanomedicine, Team Leader of Nanomedicine Laboratory of Immunology & Molecular Biomedical Research (NLIMBR) Deakin University, Australia School of Medicine, Faculty of Health 2013- to date


Professor Jagat Kanwar has received his PhD in 1992 from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India. Before joining Deakin University, Australia, in 2006, he was Senior Scientist in the University of Auckland, New Zealand. We seek to explore the roles of molecular mediators, antioxidants and cellular communication in the pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic inflammatory, microbial diseases and cancer. Our research combines immunology with state of the art and cutting edge techniques in molecular biology, biochemistry, nanobiotechnology and visualization to investigate the pathways in which key molecules are regulated in both normal and disease states. A number of in vitro human cell/tissue based co-culture models for cancers, microbial infections; chronic inflammatory diseases (osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease), gut health, neurodegeneration and immunomodulation have been developed. Our objective is to understand and target the mechanisms involved at the molecular and sub cellular level which gives us an edge over the prevalent targeting techniques. We carry out both academic and commercial research projects and develop new approaches for the diagnosis, treatment, and nanomedicine based new generation delivery systems for the prevention of human diseases like cancer, vision abnormalities, infectious, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), neurodegenerative, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. NLIMBR through national and international collaborations aims in near future to translate discoveries into new approaches for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human diseases.

Our recent research focus on locked nucleic acid (LNA) LNA-modified aptamers conjugated "double targeted nano-bullet nanocapsules" with anti-tumour proteins, peptides, siRNA, shRNA, miRNA, LNA modified nucleic acids, and/or drug molecules which specifically target cells. We are developing nano-medicinal based war against cancer/inflammatory cells with double targeted nano-bullet nanocapsules that specifically induce their traumatic death in cancer cells, chronic inflammatory cells and transformed cloudy myofibroblast cells, and spare normal body cells. The success behind our team is, working as a unit in creating and maintaining a healthy and work friendly environment.

Biography summary

Professor Kanwar is the group leader and laboratory head of Nanomedicine-Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular Biomedical Research in School of Medicine, Faculty of Health at Deakin University. His earlier research (for nearly a decade in New Zealand) has focused on studying pathophysiology and devising new treatments mainly for cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. Prof. Kanwar is currently working on nanotechnology/nanomedicine based protein/peptide, aptamers and his research approach employs monotherapy (gene therapy, immunotherapy) and combinational therapy with commercially available chemotherapeutic agents including LNA-aptamers (RNA/DNA), peptides and other biomolecules such as siRNA, miRNA, aptamers, proteins, siRNA, miRNA and their chimera (LNA-aptamer chimera with siRNA/miRNA delivery for targeting expression of survivin (the validated anti-cancer target), HIF-1 and apoptotic signalling molecules’ in cancer and chronic inflammation.


We are discovering novel and safe targeted nanomedicine based nano-nutraceuticals for cancers, autoimmune disorders and inflammatory diseases. We also vested the molecular diagnosis including role of a non-invasive exosomes in blood, inflammatory sites and cancer tissues. Our research focused on cancer and inflammatory autoimmune diseases aims to investigate the underlying mechanisms involved in regeneration, apoptosis, autophagy and inflammation by targeting the production of cytokines, chemokines, oxygen radicals and matrix metalloproteinase. Our research also aims to investigate the nanotherapeutics encapsulating peptides, LNA modified aptamers/miRNAs/siRNA in vivo models. We have made significant progress in field of osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, ocular inflammations, corneal haze, age related macular degeneration, glaucoma and ocular drug delivery. Apart from these we also work on microfluidic and Lab-on-a-Chip devices techniques for cancer cells as well as stem cell capture, disease specific biomarkers and exosomes.


  • Bachelor of Science, 1984
  • Master of Science, Punjabi University, 1988
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Postgrad Inst of Med Edu & Res, 1993

Career highlights

March 2006 - ongoing: Associate Professor of Immunology & Cell Biology, Institute of Technology Research and Innovation, Deakin University, Australia
Jan 2002: Senior Scientist/Senior Research Fellow, The University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ
Jan 1997: Research Fellow, The University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ

Professional activities

Professional involvement: He was invited for “Australian Science meets Policymakers”, Canberra and for the Integrative Medicine Education and Research (IMER) Group. Editorial Board role for 32 journals & Manuscript Reviewer for >120. He is the member of over 48 scientific committees and societies including American Chemical Society (ACS), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Australasian Society for Immunology (ASI), Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA), American Association of Nanomedicine, American Nano-Society, Australian Centre for Nanomedicine (UNSW), British Society for Nanomedicine, American Dairy Science Association, International Society of Aptamers (INSOAP) and The Australian Nanotechnology Network.

Teaching Interests:
Prof. Kanwar has supervised 5 Honours, 5 Master of Science and 15 Ph.D. students to graduation.  Currently, he has 4 visiting researchers, 8 Ph.D. students under his guidance, and provides co-supervision to 18 Ph.D. students. These students are working in exploring the roles of molecular mediators/cellular communication in the pathophysiological mechanisms of cancers (colon. breast, liver and brain) and chronic inflammatory diseases and devising their treatments, diagnostic biomarkers in the area of nanobiotechnology at Deakin, Australia, Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI) in India. Several of these students have won conference presentation awards and international fellowships.

Professor Kanwar is also the unit chair for Innovations in Medical Biotechnology course.
• Innovations in Medical Biotechnology in Faculty of Health for 2 years HMM302.
• SEK320 - Nanobiotechnology - SEK320_TRI-1_2012

LinkedIn profile

Personal website


Teaching Interests

Interests in innovations in medical biotechnology, nanotechnology and nanomedicine teachings

Subjects and units currently teaching

  • 2005-2016: HMM302 - Innovations in Medical Biotechnology in Faculty of Health.
  • 2006-2012: SEK320 Nanobiotechnology -IFM-1-2012
  • 2008-2012: SEK302 Nanomedicine (Unit Chair Semester 2)
  • 2006-2011: SBB323 Immunology (Unit Chair Semester 2)

Knowledge areas

CANCERS: Development of locked nucleic acid (LNA) modified aptamers/siRNA nanocapsules based multimodular therapy to target cancer drug resistance stem cells and monitor tumours by real-time live imaging. Survivin inhibition has come across as a powerful approach for inducing drug sensitivity and inhibiting metastasis. Our group has shown that survivin inhibition using more stable locked nucleic acid (LNA) modified siRNA to survivin and cell permeable dominant negative survivin (SurR9-C84A) protein, led to downregulation of multidrug resistant (MDR) markers including survivin and induced drug sensitivity in sorted “cancer cells” as well as “cancer drug-resistant stem cells”. Our group also established orally administered nanocapsules/nanocarriers (NCs) encapsulated with super-paramagnetic iron oxide (Fe3O4)-saturated bovine lactoferrin (bLf) and zinc-ferrite saturated bLf (ZnxFe3-xO4-bLf) as theranostics for real-time live imaging in colon, prostate and breast tumours developed and atherosclerosis.

ARTHERITIS: Development of inflamed joints targeted by nanocapsules for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes painful joint inflammation. RA is also referred to as a systemic illness that affects multiple organs such as lungs, eyes and if poorly treated leads to permanent joint damage, deformity, loss of function and disability. RA is incurable and poses a significant health burden in terms of personal, social and economic losses in Australia and worldwide. Current anti-RA drugs have severe side effects. There is presently an unmet need for a safe drug that is disease modifying and targets joint inflammatory disease progression. Recently, we designed, tested and patented biodegradable, non-toxic nanocapsules/nanocarriers (NCs) as a smart oral drug delivery system (Kanwar JR & Kanwar RK. “Nanoparticle” patent WO2012/145801).

CORNEAL HAZE/SCARRING: Corneal haze also known as scarring is caused by microbial infections, dry eyes, contact lenses, chemical trauma, physical agents, recent trend of “refractive laser surgery” and accidents including terrorism and wars. It is one of the leading cause of global blindness according to a recent World Health Organization report. In addition, infections such as trachoma, a chronic keratoconjunctivitis caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, which leads to haze/scarring and blinding, is an endemic in Australia, particularly in indigenous people and remote communities. Scarring is also a major issue after all types of surgeries and injuries due to TGF-β induction from the above mentioned conditions, that transform normal transparent corneal keratocytes into cloudy myofibroblast cells which overexpress survivin and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). Recently we fabricated ultra-small algal chitosan nanoparticles (US CS NPs) for efficient delivery of Trichostatin-A (TSA) and cell permeable recombinant dominant-negative survivin protein tagged with poly-arginine (R9 carrier peptide) named SurR9-C84A, and bovine lactoferrin (bLf) to ocular tissues through topical administration to prevent carbendazim-induced toxicity. US CS NPs could be explored for their potential for delivering various ocular drugs through topical administration for other eye diseases including cataract, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. After the award of NHMRC grant on “corneal haze” we developed models for haze, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract.

DEVICES FOR DELIVERY AND DIAGNOSIS: Recently our group is focused on exploiting various Lab-on-a-Chip, or Microfluidic devices used in biomedical diagnostics for cancer, infectious, inflammatory diseases.

Conferences and seminars

National and international recognition: Invited speaker/conference chair/ conference organizing: Reflecting the recognition of Prof. Kanwar’s contribution to the biomedical research, he has been invited to national and international scientific meetings as a keynote speaker, for plenary lecture and/or symposium Chair or co-chair in more than 45 international conferences held in US, Australia, China, India, Iran, Hong Kong, UK and Singapore, in the last 5 years. Prof. Kanwar has organized more than 28 conferences in the field of nanomedicine, nanotechnology, immunology, cancer and biotechnology. In 2015 and 2016, he is organizing 3 new conferences on nanomedicine, pharmacology and biotechnology.

Media appearances


Awards and prizes

Professor Kanwar has published more than 175 peer-reviewed original research papers. His papers in Gene Therapy, Journal of National Cancer Institute (JNCI) and Cancer Research have been cited 194, 137 and 82 times respectively. Prof Kanwar’s research is of high quality and highly relevant: 25 of his peer-reviewed publications have been cited more than 450 times till date. He has attracted AU$ 6 million in grant funding from Government funding agencies and AU$ 2.5 million from private funding agencies. His work has generated 12 patents/PCTs. Five of these patents have been licensed for commercialisation to biotech companies Antisoma, UK; Neurenpharma and NeuronZ, NZ. His research findings led to the development of novel ice-cream product ‘ReCharge’ with bovine lactoferrin and iron saturated milk lactoferrin as key ingredient and designated as the first medical food. It is showing promising results in phase II clinical trials for combating drug induced immunosuppression and gut damage in patients undergoing anticancer chemotherapy. One of his anti-cancer drug (anti-vascular DMXAA) is in the Sigma catalogue. He has been invited as a speaker in over 45 conferences and chaired several sessions on Immunology, Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine and Biotechnology. CIA' and his team have extensive experience in animal models and cancer biology. He has provided consultancies to more than 8 BioPharma companies including New Zealand Dairy Board, NeuronZ & Fonterra Corporation Limited, Auckland, New Zealand, Interpath Pty Ltd Australia, The Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Company Limited, and 3 Indian Biotechnology based companies.

Web link: Patents weblink
(search for "Applicant name" Jagat Kanwar/Rupinder Kanwar)
1. WO2012145801 (NANOPARTICLE)
2. WO2006/054908
3. WO 2008/140335
4. WO 2008/079030
5. WO 2000/076497
6. WO 2002/030447
7. WO 2002/030448
8. WO 2004/009131
9. WO 2007/055599
10. WO 2006/112739
11. WO 2006/112738
12. WO 2005/107736


Research projects

  1. Molecular regulation of survivin targeted nano-therapy in advanced colon, breast and prostate cancer
  2. Neem plant based Nano-Biopesticide and targeting cancers
  3. Nanoparticle encapsulated bacteriophage for the treatment of Salmonella infection
  4. Development in vitro and in vivo models for treatment of Aged macular degeneration
  5. Anti-cancer activities of dominant negative survivin (in the form of a nanoparticles), an alternative treatment for colon cancer
  6. Novel ophthalmic topical formulation targeting molecular pathogenesis of corneal haze
  7. Multi-targeted nanomedicine based therapy for treating corneal haze and cataract

Research interests

Professor Jagat Kanwar is the group leader and laboratory head of Nanomedicine-Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular Biomedical Research (NLIMBR) in School of Medicine, Faculty of Health at Deakin University. He has an international reputation in investigating fundamental and applied molecular aspects of cancer and chronic inflammation. He is an immunologist, molecular biologist and cell biologist. He has extensive training and expertise in studying the molecular mechanisms and in devising treatments for human diseases like cancer (colon, breast, liver, prostate and retinoblastoma) and chronic inflammatory diseases such as asthma, atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), arthritis, multiple sclerosis including corneal haze, age related macular degeneration (AMD) in both in vivo and in vitro models.

Current Research Aims:
An immense focus of the group is to develop non-conventional therapeutics involving compounds for cancer and other inflammatory diseases. Nanomedicine is the need for the day to develop, synthesise and characterize of nanoformulations that can achieve a more targeted and specific delivery system is being carried out in the NLIMBR laboratory. Extensive research is carried out for development and physio-chemical characterization of biodegradable and biocompatible drug delivery vehicles. Novel targeted delivery systems possessing enhanced permeation retention effect, stability and narrow size range have been successfully synthesised. A number of other developments including microfluidics, nanodevices, nanosensers and microchips for targeted delivery and diagnosis are also our major interests. The principle aim is to achieve a system where there is a diagnostic and therapeutic approach to target cancer and other inflammatory conditions. Recently microfluidic systems being worked upon are targeting an approach to less time consuming and more economic methods for cancer and microbial infection diagnosis.

Research grants

Success in obtaining grants since 2010: He has won eight national and International competitive grants, including 2 NHMRC project grants and 2 Australia-India Strategic Research Fund grants, totalling $1.8 million.

Research page



  1. Roy K, -- Kanwar JR. Corneal wound healing using ophthalmic combination of SurR9-C84A and trichostatin-A. Front. Pharmacol. 2016
  2. Kamalapuram SK,..Kanwar JR. Nanotheranostic based Fe3O4 saturated lactoferrin nanocapsules for colonic adenocarcinoma. J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2016; Accepted
  3. Kamalapuram SK,..Kanwar JR. Theranostic multimodular potential of zinc-doped ferrite-saturated metal-binding protein-loaded novel nanocapsules in cancers. Int J Nanomed. 2016; 11:1349.
  4. Kanwar JR, et al. Fe-bLf nanoformulation targets survivin to kill colon cancer stem cells --. Nanomedicine 2014,10:35.
  5. Kanwar JR, et al. Comparative activities of milk components in reversing chronic colitis. J Dairy Sci. 2016;99:2488.
  6. Kanwar JR et al. Multimodal Fe3O4-saturated lactoferrin nanocapsules as nanotheranostics for real-time imaging and breast cancer therapy--. Nanomedicine. 2016;11:249.
  7. Roy K, --Kanwar JR. LNA aptamer based multi-modal, Fe3O4-saturated lactoferrin (Fe3O4-bLf) nanocarriers for triple positive (EpCAM, CD133, CD44) colon tumour targeting and NIR, MRI and CT imaging. Biomaterials. 2015;71:84.
  8. Subramanian N, Kanwar JR, ---. Chimeric nucleolin aptamer with survivin DNAzyme for cancer cell targeted delivery. Chem Commun. 2015;51:6940.
  9. Chaudhary R,-- Kanwar JR. Engineered atherosclerosis-specific zinc ferrite nanocomplex-based MRI contrast agents. J Nanobiotechnology. 2016;14:6.
  10. Samarasinghe RM, -- Kanwar JR. The effect of oral administration of iron saturated-bovine lactoferrin encapsulated chitosan-nanocarriers on osteoarthritis. Biomaterials; 2014 35:7522.
  11. Samarasinghe RM, -- Kanwar JR. Antiarthritic and chondroprotective activity of Lakshadi Guggul in -- nanocarriers. Nanomedicine. 2014;9:819.
  12. Sunkireddy P, -- Kanwar JR. Ultra-small algal chitosan ocular nanoparticles with iron-binding milk protein prevents the toxic effects of carbendazim pesticide. Nanomedicine. 2016;11:495.
  13. Kanwar JR et al. ‘Iron-saturated’lactoferrin is a potent natural adjuvant for augmenting cancer chemotherapy. Immunol Cell Biol. 2008:277.
  14. Kanwar JR et al. Fe-bLf nanoformulation targets survivin to kill colon cancer stem cells and maintains absorption of iron, calcium and zinc. Nanomedicine. 2014:1.
  15. Sriramoju B,..Kanwar JR. Brain targeted PLGA...amyloid-Β expression and preserving basal survivin in degenerating mice model. BBA-Mol Basis Dis. 2015;1852:2423.
  16. Roy K,..Kanwar JR. Competitive inhibition of survivin using a cell-permeable ..….cancer-specific apoptosis in colon cancer model. Int J Nanomed. 2015;10:1019.
  17. Roy K,..Kanwar JR. Locked nucleic acid modified bi-specific aptamer-survivin antagonist towards effective colon cancer therapy. RSC Adv. 2015;5:29008.
  18. Subramanian N, Kanwar JR--. EpCAM aptamer-siRNA chimera targets and regress epithelil cancer. PLoS One. 2015;10:e0132407.
  19. Maremanda NG,..Kanwar JR. Quick chip assay using locked nucleic acid modified epithelial cell adhesion molecule and nucleolin aptamers for the capture of circulating tumour cells. Biomicrofluid. 2015;9:054110.
  20. Kanwar JR et al. Effects of survivin antagonists on growth of established tumours and B7-1 immunogene therapy. J Nat Cancer Inst. 2001;93:1541.

Link to publications

Page custodian: External Relations Group
Last updated: