Rob Delong, MS, PhD

Rob DeLongAssociate Professor


Post-doc, Pharmacology, University of North Carolina
PhD, Biochemistry/Biophysics, Johns Hopkins
MS, Chemistry, University of Rochester


Phone: 785-532-6313


Our lab studies the interaction, stabilization and delivery of therapeutic RNA, mRNA vaccine and antiviral/antimicrobial peptide by nanoparticles. Current funded/active projects are:

[1] Nanoparticle based antiviral against SARS-CoV-2, NIH/CEZID pilot project

[2] Impact of Coronaviridae lipid, protein and RNA interaction on copper, zinc, and their derivatives coated personal protective equipment surfaces, NSF Nanoscale Interactions, RAPID/REU

[3] Frame-shift CFTR reporter mice and MNPs for CRISPR/Cas9 Delivery, CF Foundation (supplement pending)

[4] mRNA vaccine stabilization (confidential research agreement)

[5] RNA therapeutics (ACS/CAS research agreement)


V/AP 893 - Clinical Nanomedicine,

V/AP 836 - RNA in Physiology, Biotechnology and Medicine (pending approval)


Editor/editorial board, Nature Communications Biology, Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology

Multicultural perspectives and initiatives (MPI), committee chair

VOICE, mentor

Research committee, member

NIH and NSF grant review panels (since 2012)


76 clinical fellows, lab manager and research assistants, post-doctoral associates, PhD, masters, undergraduate and high school students trained and supervised.

Selected Patents (Six awarded patents and three pending)

  • U.S. Patent No. 9,977,016. Inventors: Robert K. DeLong and Miranda Hurst, Two Dimensional Fluorescence Difference Spectroscopy Characterization of Nanoparticles and their Interactions. Issued 5/22/2018.
  • U.S. Patent No. 8,349,364. Inventors: Chris Robert Lively, Robert DeLong. Nucleic acid coated particles suitable for temporary storage, Issued 1/08/2013.

Selected Publications (students underlined)

  1. Biocompatible FePO4 nanoparticles: drug delivery, RNA stabilization and functional activity. Sagar Rayamajhi, Sarah Wilson, Santosh Aryal, Robert DeLong. Nanoscale Letters (accepted).
  2. Targeting SARS-CoV-2 with Nucleic Acid Therapeutic Nanoparticle Conjugates. Hanah Huber, Majid Jaberi, Douraki, Sarah DeVader, Xuan Xu, Nuwan Indika Millagaha Gedara, Juliette Nava, Cesar Apparecio, Natasha Gadreault and R. K. DeLong. Pharmaceuticals (in press).
  3. Ushering in a new era of RNA-based therapies. DeLong R. Commun Biol. 2021 May 17;4(1):577.
  4. Zn-based physiometacomposite nanoparticles: distribution, tolerance, imaging, antiviral and anticancer activity. R. K. DeLong*, Ryan Swanson, Megan C. Niederwerder, Pratiksha Khanal, Majid Jaberi-Douraki, Heman Shakeri, Reza Mazloom, Sarah Schneider, Steve Ensley, Sagar Rayamajhi, Ramesh Marasini, Santosh Aryal, Lane L. Clarke, Rowena A. Woode, Sarah Young, Tracy Miesner, Mary Lynn Higginbotham||, Zhoumeng Lin/, Tej Shrestha¥* Kartik Ghosh, Garry Glaspell, and Elza N. Mathew. Nanomedicine (Lond) 2021Sep;16(21):1857-1872.
  5. Toward RNA nanoparticle vaccines: synergizing RNA and inorganic nanoparticles to achieve immunopotentiation. DeLong RK, Curtis CB. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2017 Mar;9(2):10.1002/wnan.1415. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1415. Epub 2016 Jun 16.PMID: 27312869
  6. Characterization and performance of nucleic acid nanoparticles combined with protamine and gold. DeLong RK, Akhtar U, Sallee M, Parker B, Barber S, Zhang J, Craig M, Garrad R, Hickey AJ, Engstrom E. Biomaterials. 2009 Nov;30(32):6451-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.07.067. PMID: 19726081
  7. Structural characterization and biological evaluation of small interfering RNAs containing cyclohexenyl nucleosides. K Nauwelaerts, M Fisher, M Froeyen, E Lescrinier, A Van Aerschot, D Xu, R. DeLong and R. Juliano et al., Journal of the American Chemical Society 129 (30), 9340-9348 (2007)
  8. Tat-conjugated PAMAM dendrimers as delivery agents for antisense and siRNA oligonucleotides. Kang H, DeLong R, Fisher MH, Juliano RL. Pharm Res. 2005 Dec;22(12):2099-106. PMID: 16184444
  9. Novel cationic amphiphiles as delivery agents for antisense oligonucleotides. DeLong RK, Yoo H, Alahari SK, Fisher M, Short SM, Kang SH, Kole R, Janout V, Regan SL, Juliano RL. Nucleic Acids Res. 1999 Aug 15;27(16):3334-41. doi: 10.1093/nar/27.16.3334.PMID: 10454641
  10. Novel chemically modified oligonucleotides provide potent inhibition of P-glycoprotein expression. Alahari SK, DeLong R, Fisher MH, Dean NM, Viliet P, Juliano RL .J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1998 Jul;286(1):419-28.PMID: 9655887
  11. Hepatic distribution and clearance of antisense oligonucleotides in the isolated perfused rat liver. Nolting A, DeLong RK, Fisher MH, Wickstrom E, Pollack GM, Juliano RL, Brouwer KL. Pharm Res. 1997 Apr;14(4):516-21. doi: 10.1023/a:1012116003706.PMID: 9144742
  12. Comparative pharmacokinetics, tissue distribution, and tumor accumulation of phosphorothioate, phosphorodithioate, and methylphosphonate oligonucleotides in nude mice. DeLong RK, Nolting A, Fisher M, Chen Q, Wickstrom E, Kligshteyn M, Demirdji S, Caruthers M, Juliano RL. Antisense Nucleic Acid Drug Dev. 1997 Apr;7(2):71-7. doi: 10.1089/oli.1.1997.7.71.PMID: 9149842
  13. Inhibition of expression of the multidrug resistance-associated P-glycoprotein of by phosphorothioate and 5' cholesterol-conjugated phosphorothioate antisense oligonucleotides. Alahari SK, Dean NM, Fisher MH, Delong R, Manoharan M, Tivel KL, Juliano RL. Mol Pharmacol. 1996 Oct;50(4):808-19.PMID: 8863825
  14. Triplex formation by a psoralen-conjugated oligodeoxyribonucleotide containing the base analog 8-oxo-adenine. Miller PS, Bi G, Kipp SA, Fok V, DeLong RK. Nucleic Acids Res. 1996 Feb 15;24(4):730-6. doi: 10.1093/nar/24.4.730.PMID: 8604317