Caigang Zhu, assistant professor in the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), has been named a Project Lead Investigator by the NIH and the Center for Cancer and Metabolism (CCM) at the University of Kentucky (UK) on an NIH COBRE grant. Through a competitive selection process, Zhu’s proposal, titled “Intra-vital metabolic microscopy to reveal head and neck cancer radiation resistance mechanism in small animal models,” has been awarded approximately $912,861 for up to three years.
With this project, Zhu will work with leading experts from the Markey Cancer Center to address several key questions in the field of cancer research. Specifically, they will develop and utilize novel optical technologies to predict and prevent the radiation resistance of human head and neck cancers to provide: (1) improved therapeutics with the goal of reducing cancer morbidity and mortality; and (2) optimized treatment options with the goal of reducing overtreatment and medical care cost.
As an early-stage project lead investigator, Zhu will be provided with rich mentoring experiences from both basic and clinical researchers affiliated with CCM, including Drs. Daret St Clair, Peter Zhou, Teresa Fan, Susanne Arnold and Ren Xu, among others.
Zhu received his Ph.D. at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and prior to joining the BME department at UK, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University working on tumor metabolism imaging.
“Such mentoring and collaboration are crucial to junior faculty who are aspired to engineering clinical- relevant solutions to overcome healthcare challenges,” says Guigen Zhang, chair of the BME department.