Peixuan Guo Lab

Developing Anti-Cancer Drugs Without Debilitating Side Effects

The Guo Lab at the OSUCCC – James, led by cancer research expert and Principal Investigator Peixuan Guo, PhD, is dedicated to developing targeted cancer therapies using a variety of approaches – most notably RNA nanotechnology – that result in highly efficient anti-cancer medications and treatments.

The Guo Lab experts know that there is no routine blood cancer, and today, treatments are no longer a one-size-fits-all approach. Each patient is different, with unique genetic biomarkers driving his or her cancer – and the Guo Lab is working to develop anti-cancer drugs that specifically target diseased cells using RNA nanotechnologies, reducing side effects and unnecessary toxicity to the patient.


At the OSUCCC – James, the Guo Lab’s mission is to advance cancer treatments by developing RNA nanotechnology platforms that target specific cancers and result in advanced treatment protocols that are more efficient and that also spare patients the crippling side effects that often accompany current anti-cancer drugs.

Pioneering unprecedented work, Guo’s nationally recognized research team is motivated to transform cancer treatment by developing technologies that allow researchers and scientists to target specific cells, further enabling physicians to tailor even more individualized, precise treatments.

The team is inspired by cohesive teamwork, interdisciplinary projects, a high-morale environment, and personal and professional motivation to perform research and make discoveries. 

Who We Are

The OSUCCC – James Guo Lab is led by Principal Investigator Peixuan Guo, PhD, an internationally renowned researcher who serves as the Sylvan Frank Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Systems in the College of Pharmacy, the director for the Center for RNA Nanobiotechnology and Nanomedicine, and the president of the International Society of RNA Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine.

Guo proved the concept of RNA nanotechnology in 1998 (Guo P et al, Mol Cell. 1998 2:149 Inter-RNA interaction of phage phi29 pRNA to form a hexameric complex for viral DNA transportation; featured in Cell at the same time). He also constructed the first motor for viral DNA packaging, discovered the third type of biomotors using revolving mechanism without rotation, invented the method for using motor channel for the sensing of DNA, RNA and peptides for cancer diagnosis and genome sequencing, and received patents that are now licensed to the world’s largest company in high throughput DNA sequencing.

The Guo Lab comprises an internationally recognized team of researchers and scientists who focus on RNA nanotechnology, mechanism of biomotor and single-pore sensing for diagnosis of diseases and sequencing of DNA, RNA and proteins.

This diverse team of experts includes extremely talented scientists and researchers from across numerous medical and research disciplines:

Principal Investigator

Peixuan Guo, PhD

Research Associate Professor

Dr. Dan Shu

Research Scientist

Dr. Daniel Binzel

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Chiran Ghimire

Dr. Satish Ellipilli

Program Coordinator

Lora McBride

Graduate Students

Sijin Guo

Zhouxiang Ji

Hongran Yin

Zhefeng Li

Congcong Xu

Hongzhi Wang

Dana Driver

Xin Li

Sijie Chen

How We Do It

The Guo Lab’s internationally recognized research team has expertise in both basic and commercial research applications. Researchers focus on numerous projects, from answering basic scientific questions on the mechanisms of viral assembly and DNA packaging with the phi29 nanomotor to developing novel cancer therapeutics using RNA nanotechnology and diagnostic approaches for single-pore sensing using the phi29 motor channel.

Approaches include biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceutics, chemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, biomedical engineering, computer modeling and mathematical quantification to investigate fundamental questions such as RNA/RNA, RNA/protein, protein/protein, or ATPase/DNA and biomotor/DNA interactions, as well as macromolecular structure and function.

The Guo Lab experts know that there is no routine cancer, and today, treatments are no longer a one-size-fits-all approach. Each patient is different, with unique genetic biomarkers driving his or her cancer – the Guo Lab is working to develop anti-cancer drugs that specifically target diseased cells using RNA nanotechnologies or personal medicine to reduce side effects and unnecessary toxicity to the patient.

In fact, the National Cancer Institute and several commercial companies have licensed Guo’s medical patents and are working on pre-clinical staging for cancer therapies and diagnoses. Their groundbreaking research has resulted in more than eight international conferences including the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on RNA Nanotechnology, for which Dr. Guo is founding chair, and a new International Society of RNA Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine (ISRNN), for which Dr. Guo serves as the founding president.

Breakthroughs and Discoveries

The Guo Lab is unique to the region and the nation and Guo’s work has been reported on hundreds of times, including on television (such as ABC, NBC and BBC) and has been frequently featured on the websites of NIH, NSF, MSNBC and NCI.

Guo has also been a member of two prominent, national nanotech initiatives sponsored by NIST/NIH/NSF and the National Science and Technology Council, and the director of NIH Nano Medicine Development Center.

Collaboration With Other Ohio State Labs and Research Teams

The interdisciplinary nature of the Guo Lab’s research provides an excellent foundation for collaboration with many scientists from different disciplines. According to Guo, his lab’s team is inherently interdisciplinary, and each team member provides his or her input to ensure the entire group works cohesively and shares a mutual enthusiasm.

The team looks for scientists and collaborators who are complementary in skill sets and with common interests. They seek collaborators who can focus, persist and lead on projects.

Contact Us

912 Biomedical Research Tower (BRT)
460 W 12th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

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