Biomedical engineers at USC have been awarded a $2.4 million federal grant to study how nanoparticles can treat kidney disease, the university announced Oct. 2.

The National Institutes of Health has conferred its New Innovator Award of $2,433,330 to Eun Ji Chung, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the USC Michelson Center for Convergence Bioscience.

Chung will apply the NIH innovation grant – one of only four ever given to USC – to advance research at the junction of biology and nanotechnology.

She aims to study how a nanoparticle can ferry various types of medicine to treat autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, an inherited disorder difficult to treat with dialysis or a kidney transplant. The trick: How sneak a targeted drug into a kidney and prevent it from being eliminated by the body.

“Our approach is the first of its kind and represents a paradigm shift from current therapies to treat polycystic kidney disease,” Chung said in a statement.

Chung and others to have received New Innovator Awards will be recognized at an NIH High-Risk, High Reward Research Symposium in June 2019.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.