Xian Wang with his research team
Xian Wang (at far right) with his research team


The Banting Discovery Foundation, Canada’s grant-giving charity in biomedical and health research, has named Xian Wang a recipient of its 2024 Discovery Award. The award will support a novel approach to research in methods to combat brain tumors with microrobots.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work on small-scale medical robots for treating cancers, with the support from Queen’s University and the Banting Discovery Foundation,” says Wang, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

Cancer is often difficult to treat and hard to target effectively. In his submission, “Biohybrid Drug Delivery Using Microrobots,” Wang and his team proposed a novel approach using a combination of biology and technology. They plan to use the immune cell macrophages to carry tiny robots, or microrobots, directly to cancer cells. These microrobots will deliver treatment precisely where it's needed, combining advanced robotics with drug delivery to create a powerful new cancer therapy.

The Banting Discovery Foundation is a Canadian charity that provides seed grants to nurture promising, early-career biomedical researchers, many of whom produced key findings that have transformed the practice of medicine and health care, reduced illness, and improved wellness. The early-career scientists will each receive up to $30,000 to pursue their moonshot research projects.

“Our Discovery Awardees are rooted in disciplines ranging from basic science to public health to artificial intelligence. Investing in our most creative young scientists has never been more critical because their discoveries will shape our health and economy,” says Catharine Whiteside, Chair of the Board.

The award is funded through a partnership between the Banting Discovery Foundation and the Ontario Brain Institute, which is dedicated to advancing new knowledge, treatments, and technologies that improve the lives of people with brain disorders.

“Our partnership with the Banting Discovery Foundation underscores our commitment to better brain health,” says Tom Mikkelsen, President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Brain Institute. “Congratulations to this year’s recipients.”



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