Assistant Professor

Emily Day, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

5 Innovation Way
Suite 200, Room 148
Newark, DE 19711
P: 302-831-8050

Lab Website


  • Ph.D. in Bioengineering, 2011, Rice University
  • B.S. in Physics, Minor in Mathematics, 2006, University of Oklahoma
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, 2011-2013, Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University


  • Nanomedicine
  • Gene Regulation
  • Photothermal Therapy
  • Translational cancer research


Dr. Day uses a multidisciplinary approach to engineer nanomaterials with unique physical and chemical properties so that they can be used to transform the study, detection, and treatment of cancer. Since molecular alterations promote tumor progression, logic dictates this disease should be combated at the nanoscale. Through careful design of nanoparticles’ architecture and surface chemistry, Dr. Day seeks to understand the structure/function relationship between these nanomaterials and complex biological systems, and then apply this knowledge to develop and implement advanced nanomaterials that solve key challenges in oncology. Specifically, she aims to create innovative nanoparticle-based platforms that can: penetrate biological barriers to enter diseased tissues and cells; provide minimally invasive imaging to ensure complete removal of cancer cells from diseased sites; enable synergistic gene regulation and photothermal therapy in order to treat primary tumors and metastases, and; release payloads intratumorally based upon intracellular cues or external activation. Ultimately, Dr. Day aims to transition the technologies developed in her lab from concept to clinical application and expand their use to diseases beyond cancer.

Students and postdocs interested in working with Dr. Day can anticipate performing basic and translational research at the interface of medicine, biology, chemistry, materials science, and nanotechnology. For information about joining the lab, please email Dr. Day outlining your specific interests and attach a copy of your CV.


For a complete publication list, check Dr. Day’s Google Scholar.

  1. Riley RS, Day ES. Frizzled7 antibody-functionalized nanoshells enable multivalent binding for Wnt signaling inhibition in triple negative breast cancer cells. Small. 2017; doi: 10.1002/smll.201700544.
  2. Billingsley MM, Riley RS, Day ES. Antibody-nanoparticle conjugates to improve the sensitivity of ELISA-based detection methods. PLOS ONE. 2017; 12(5); e0177592.
  3. Riley RS, Day ES. Gold nanoparticle-mediated photothermal therapy: applications and opportunities for multimodality cancer treatment. WIRES Nanomedicine & Nanobiotechnology. 2017; e1449.
  4. Melamed JR, Riley RS, Valcourt DM, Day ES. Using gold nanoparticles to disrupt the tumor microenvironment: an emerging therapeutic strategy. ACS Nano. 2016; 10(12): 10631-10635.
  5. Fay BL, Melamed JR, Day ES. Nanoshell-mediated photothermal therapy can enhance chemotherapy in inflammatory breast cancer cells. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 2015; 10: 6931-6941.
  6. Kouri FM, Hurley LA, Daniel WL, Day ES, Hua Y, Hao L, Peng C-Y, Merkel TJ, Queisser MA, Ritner C, Zhang H, James CD, Sznajder JI, Chin L, Giljohann DA, Kessler JA, Peter ME, Mirkin CA, Stegh AH. miR-182 integrates apoptosis, growth, and differentiation programs in glioblastoma. Genes & Development. 2015; 29(7): 732-745.
  7. Melamed JR*, Edelstein RS*, Day ES. Elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of cell death triggered by photothermal therapy. ACS Nano. 2015; 9(1): 6-11. *Contributed equally.
  8. Jensen SA*, Day ES*, Ko CH*, Hurley LA, Luciano JP, Kouri FM, Merkel TJ, Luthi AJ, Patel PC, Cutler JI, Daniel WL, Scott AW, Rotz MW, Meade TJ, Giljohann DA, Mirkin CA, Stegh AH. Spherical nucleic acid nanoparticle conjugates as an RNAi-based therapy for glioblastoma. Science Translational Medicine. 2013; 5(209): 209ra152. *Contributed equally.
  9. Day ES, Zhang L, Thompson PA, Zawaski JA, Kaffes CC, Gaber MW, Blaney SM, West JL. Vascular-targeted photothermal therapy of an orthotopic murine glioma model. Nanomedicine. 2012; 7(8): 1133-1148.
  10. Day ES, Thompson PA, Zhang L, Lewinski NA, Ahmed N, Drezek RA, Blaney SM, West JL. Nanoshell-mediated photothermal therapy improves survival in a murine glioma model. Journal of Neuro-Oncology. 2011; 104(1): 55-63.