Issam El Naqa
Associate Professor, Applied Physics, Radiation Oncology
Our lab’s research interests are in the areas of oncology bioinformatics, multimodality image analysis, and treatment outcome modeling. We operate at the interface of physics, biology, and engineering with the primary motivation to design and develop novel approaches to unravel cancer patients’ response to chemoradiotherapy treatment by integrating physical, biological, and imaging information into advanced mathematical models using combined top-bottom and bottom-top approaches that apply techniques of machine learning and complex systems analysis to first principles and evaluating their performance in clinical and preclinical data. These models could be then used to personalize cancer patients’ chemoradiotherapy treatment based on predicted benefit/risk and help understand the underlying biological response to disease. These research interests are divided into the following themes:
- Bioinformatics: design and develop large-scale datamining methods and software tools to identify robust biomarkers (-omics) of chemoradiotherapy treatment outcomes from clinical and preclinical data.
- Multimodality image-guided targeting and adaptive radiotherapy: design and develop hardware tools and software algorithms for multimodality image analysis and understanding, feature extraction for outcome prediction (radiomics), real-time treatment optimization and targeting.
- Radiobiology: design and develop predictive models of tumor and normal tissue response to radiotherapy. Investigate the application of these methods to develop therapeutic interventions for protection of normal tissue toxicities.