Dr. Anka Dobreva-Veleva is leading this effort, in collaboration with faculty from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and the NC State College of Engineering (Biomedical Engineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Departments). This research initiative is viewed as a novel and potentially highly fruitful area of investigation that could lead to significant additional resources from federal and private grant sources. Immediate applications of this research include (1) Development of bioengineered blood vessel replacements with improved thrombogenicity and biocompatibility; (2) Rational design, synthesis, and characterization of ligand-based materials for spontaneous endogenous endothelialization; and (3) Developing new functional tools to target tumor neovasculature using cell-specific homing peptides. These research areas involve a unique combination of skills in cellular biology, surface science, protein chemistry and materials science and the resulting discoveries promise significant contributions to cardiovascular and cancer research. Kenan Institute resources are being used to support graduate students, meetings with funding agencies and collaborators, and proposal development and leverages approximately $428,125 of support over three years from the College of Engineering, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State. Dr. Dobreva-Veleva reports that Institute support helped her obtain a University Cancer Research Fund – Core Facility Pilot Project funding for the project “Peptide-Based Targeting for Advanced Molecular Positron Emission Tomography Imaging of Angiogenesis”. Dr. Veleva reports that Institute support has helped enable two journal articles on her research.