Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation BioNIUM

Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation BioNIUM

Principal Investigators:

Dr. Richard Cote

Professor and Joseph R. Coulter Jr. Chair, Department of Pathology
Chief of Pathology, Jackson Memorial Hospital
Director, Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Description of Research

A major research area for Dr. Cote has been the molecular biology of prostate and bladder cancer. His lab has identified the pathways by which cells become malignant, and the mechanisms by which the tumors progress. A long standing area of focus has been to detect the earliest evidence of tumor spread into blood (Circulating Tumor Cells), bone marrow and lymph nodes in patients with no other evidence of metastatic disease from breast, lung and prostate cancer.


  • Dr. Cote is the recipient of over $35 million in peer reviewed grant support, and holds numerous patents for cancer related and nano-scale technologies.
  • He is the author of over 300 publications, and is the editor and co-author of the standard textbooks “Immuno Microscopy: A Diagnostic Tool for the Surgical Pathologist” (now in its third edition), and “Modern Surgical Pathology,” the second edition of which will be out later this year.
  • He also serves as a member and advisor to a large number of national and international study groups, cancer programs and societies, including the National Cancer Institute.
  • He is the founder of several technology-based companies, including Impath, Inc. and Clarient.
  • He is listed in “Best Doctors in America” and “America’s Top Doctors” and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology.

Dr. Ram Datar

Associate Professor of Pathology
Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Co-Director Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute at the University of Miami (BioNIUM)

Description of Research

Dr. Datar’s areas of research focus include cancer molecular pathology and biomedical Nanotechnology. Specifically, he has been involved in various aspects of detection and molecular characterization of occult metastases in epithelial cancers including those of prostate, bladder, breast, lung, pancreas and kidney, as well as melanoma. Dr. Datar has also been involved for many years in the development and application of micro- and Nanotechnologyscale devices for biomedical diagnostic applications. His goal is to employ microfabrication and development of microfluidic devices to further novel technology development, including biosensors and molecular methods to analyze expression profiles of cancers.


  • Published over 60 original papers, a reviewer for a number of international biomedical journals; and an editor for Current Issues in Molecular Biology, Caister Academic Press, UK. He also serves as a member on NIH Study Sections and NSF Special Panels. * Dr. Datar has played a pivotal role in the development of the microfilter device for capture and characterization of the circulating tumor cells (CTC), various Nanotechnologysensor platforms to detect clinical biomarkers, and is among the inventors of these technologies with four awarded patents and eight in-process patent applications.
  • Other achievements include contribution to the development of p53 GeneChip assays (where he served as Consultant for Roche Molecular Diagnostics) and q-RT-PCR marker assays for breast cancer (Consultant to Abbott Inc.) and expertise in global genomic DNA amplification and telomerase assays for molecular and functional characterization of tumors.
  • Jointly with Dr. Richard Cote, Dr. Datar has mentored 6 Clinical Fellows, 6 doctoral students and 3 Masters students at University of Southern California. He currently mentors two doctoral students at University of Miami.* Principal Investigator in an NIJ forensic science award, Co-PI in an NIH R21/R33 IMAT Award and a Co-investigator in over ten NIH, DoD and other State Awards
  • Developed the biomedical Nanotechnology programs at USC, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Miami, currently serves as the Co-Director of BioNIUM.

Nanotechnology technology investigators:

* Dr. Sung Jin Kim
* Dr. Onur Tigli

Scientific Staff

  • Dr. Jorge Torrez-Munoz
  • Dr. Joseph Olczyk
  • Dr. Siddarth Rawal

Graduate Students:

  • Anthony Williams
  • Yu-Ping Yang
  • Ao Zheng