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Lafata Receives DOD Grant

Kyle Lafata PhD received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense titled, “Multiscale characterization of radiation resistance in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma”. To interrogate the biology and treatment resistance of head and neck cancer, Dr. Lafata and his team will develop new mathematical methods and computational imaging techniques. They will use deep learning, graph theory, and high-throughput feature engineering to derive radiopathomic expression patterns, study the tumor microenvironment, and identify markers of radiation resistance. These methodologies will be experimentally confirmed using sophisticated mouse models, where imaging will be compared to DNA and RNA sequencing to study mechanisms of resistance and the role of immune dysregulation in cancer recurrence. The interdisciplinary team includes Duke faculty members Yvonne Mowery MD PhD, David Kirsch MD PhD, David Brizel MD, and Fang-Fang Yin PhD from radiation oncology, Al Johnson PhD from radiology, Jian-Guo Liu PhD from mathematics, Danielle Range MD from pathology, and Anant Madabhushi PhD from Case Western BME.