A A Email Print Share

Jelena M. Janjic, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutics
Mylan School of Pharmacy
Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Mellon Hall 415
Phone: 412.396.6369



Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Sciences/Medicinal Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh, 2005
Dipl.Farm., Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Serbia, 1998

2009-present: Assistant Professor, Mylan School of Pharmacy, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

2009-2011: Visiting Scientist, Deptartment of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

2008-2009: Director of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (part time), Celsense Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

2006-2008: Senior Research Scientist (part time), Celsense Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

2006-2009: Research Biologist (full time), Department of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

2005-2006: Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Scripps Florida, Jupiter, FL, USA

2001-2005: Teaching Fellow, School of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

2000-2001: Research Specialist, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

1999-2000: Retail Pharmacist, Labud-Pharmacy, Belgrade, S.R. Yugoslavia

1998-1999: Pharmacist-Administrator, National Reserves of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade, S.R. Yugoslavia


My current research is in two broad areas: cancer research and chronic pain. In both areas my laboratory seeks to develop and produce smart theranostic agents, nanoreagents which can deliver drugs to specific diseased tissues, image the disease state and therapeutic response, and provide feedback to the practitioner supporting the personalized medical treatment. 

Theranostics, nanoparticles that provide diagnostic and therapeutic modality, are an emerging field in which chemists and engineers typically work. However, the pharmaceutics aspects of the theranostics development are not as commonly addressed.

As a trained pharmacist and medicinal chemist with six years of pharmaceutics experience in perfluorocarbons for biomedical purposes, I am interested in rational design of theranostic nanoparticles. My laboratory approaches the design of theranostics from chemical, biological, engineering and pharmaceutical perspective, which puts us in a unique position to strive for bringing theranostics to the clinic.

One of the less often addressed problems is scale up of the theranostics. We believe that theranostics can be designed with strong biological data input in such a way that their production becomes fully scalable and cost effective.


Current Support

2011-2012 Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative Interface Seed Grant Fund 2012

Acute to Chronic Pain Transition in Postsurgical Recovery: Combined input from immune system and peripheral nervous system ($100,000)

Partnering Principal Investigators: Jelena. M. Janjic, Ph.D., and John Pollock, Ph.D.    

2011-2013   Pennsylvania State Health Formula Research Grants Program (C.U.R.E. Award)

From Insoluble Perfluorocarbon Oils to Multifunctional Nanoparticles for Breast Cancer Imaging and Treatment ($58,045)

Role: Principal Investigator

2011-2014  NIH, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (1R15AI081218-01A2)

Non-viral Genetic Modification of Antigen-presenting Cells in Allografts ($357,100)

Role: Co-Investigator (PI: Wilson Meng)

2010-2012  Faculty Development Funds Award from Duquesne University

Perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions for simultaneous delivery of COX2 inhibitor and antiproliferative agent to breast tumors ($9,968) 

Role: Principal Investigator



Janjic, J.M.; Ahrens, E.T. Compositions and methods for producing emulsions for nuclear magnetic resonance techniques and other applications. United States USP 8,227,610 Issued July 24, 2012

Peer Reviewed (2006 - Present)

Patel S.K., Patrick M.J., Pollock J.A., Janjic J.M.; Two-color fluorescent (near-infrared and visible) triphasic perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions. Journal of Biomedical Optics 2013;18(10):101312.

Janjic, J.M; Patel S.K.; Patrick M.J.; Pollock J.A.; DiVito E.; Cascio M.;
Suppressing inflammation from inside out with novel NIR visible perfluorocarbon nanotheranostics. Proc. SPIE 8596, Reporters, Markers, Dyes, Nanoparticles, and Molecular Probes for Biomedical Applications V, 85960L (February 21, 2013)

Patel SK, Zhang Y, Pollock JA, Janjic JM.; Cyclooxgenase-2 Inhibiting Perfluoropoly (Ethylene Glycol) Ether Theranostic Nanoemulsions-In Vitro Study. PLoS ONE 2013, 8(2): e55802.

O-Hanlon, C.E.; Amede, K.G.; O-Hear, M.R.; Janjic, J.M.; NIR-labeled perfluoropolyether nanoemulsions for drug delivery and imaging. Journal of Fluorine Chemistry Feb 2012, J. Fluorine Chem. 2012, 137, 27-33

Hitchens,T.K.; Ye, Q.; Eytan, D.F.; Janjic, J.M.; Ahrens,E.T.; Ho, C.; 19F MRI detection of acute allograft rejection with in vivo perfluorocarbon labeling of immune cells. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2011, 65, 1144-1153

Kadayakkara, D.K.K.; Janjic, J.M.; Pusateri, L.K.; Young, W.B.; Ahrens, E.T. In vivo observation of intracellular oximetry in perfluorocarbon-labeled glioma cells and chemotherapeutic response in the CNS using fluorine-19 MRI. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2010, 64,1252-1259

Helfer, B.; Balducci, A.; Nelson, A.; Janjic, J.M.; Gil, R.R.; Kalinski, P.; M. de Vries, J.; Ahrens, E.T.; Mailliard, R. Functional assessment of human dendritic cells labeled for in vivo 19F MRI cell tracking. Cytotherapy 2010, 12, 238-250.

Kadayakkara, D.K.K.; Beatty, P; Janjic, J.M.; Turner, M.; Ahrens, E.; Finn, O. Inflammation driven overexpression of the hypoglycosylated abnormal MUC1 links inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and pancreatitis Pancreas 2010, 39, 510-515

Srinivas, M.; Turner, MS; Janjic, J.M.; Morel, P.A.; Laidlaw, D.H.; Ahrens, E.T. In vivo cytometry of antigen specific T-cells using 19F MRI. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2009, 62, 747-753

Janjic, J.M.; Ahrens, E.T. Fluorine-containing nanospheres for MRI Advanced Reviews, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology, September/October 2009, 1, 492-501

Janjic, J.M.; Srinivas, M.; Kadayakkara, D.K.K.; Ahrens, E.T. Self-delivering nanoemulsions for dual fluorine-19 MRI and fluorescence detection, Journal of American Chemical Society 2008, 130, 2832-2413.

Sarachine, M.J.; Janjic, J.M.; Wipf, P; Day, B.W. Biphenyl C-cyclopropylalkylamides as new scaffolds for targeting estrogen receptor β Molecular Pharmacology, Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2009, 19, 2404-2408.

Wipf, P.; Gong, H.; Janjic, J.M.; Li, S.; Day, B.W.; Xie, W. New Opportunities for Pregnane X Receptor (PXR) Targeting in Drug Development. Lessons from Enantio- and Species-Specific PXR Ligands Identified from A Discovery Library of Amino Acid Analogues Mini Rev Med Chem. 2007, 7, 617-625


Graduate courses

  • GPSC 501 Pharmaceutical Unit Operations and Formulation (1 credit/team taught)-formulation of liquids and semisolids
  • GPSC 513 Principles of Drug Action, Design, and Delivery (1 credit/team taught/course master) - medicinal chemistry section and drug discovery (3 times)
  • GPSC 617 Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (1 credit/team taught) - design of imaging reagents (once)
  • GPSC 619 Drug Delivery Systems (1 credit/team taught) - drug delivery vehicle design and targeting, focus on cancer therapeutics (once)

Pharm.D. Courses

  • PHBM 355 Human Physiology and Pathophysiology I (1 credit/team taught) - chemistry of life, basic biochemical topics in genetics and pharmacogenetics, genetic diseases

Weekend Pharm.D. Pathway

  • BMST 426-71 Biomedical Sciences & Therapeutics: Infectious Disease (2 credits/team taught) - medicinal chemistry of infectious disease drugs
  • BMST 425-71 Biomedical Sciences & Therapeutics: Endocrine/Nutrition (1 credit/team taught) - medicinal chemistry of steroid and hormonal drugs