Faculty Member Receives NIH Award to Study Immune Biomarkers for Predicting Oral Cancer
Dr. Xiaoyuan Han, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, was recently awarded a Support for Research Excellence-First Independent Research (SuRE-First) Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the topic “Single-cell immune landscape in the oral dysplasia's malignant transformation.”
Dr. Han is the first researcher at University of the Pacific to receive the SuRE-First award, which aims to provide students, especially those from underrepresented groups, with research opportunities and enrich the research environment at institutions having limited NIH research support.
The award grants Dr. Han $702,000 for a four-year research project to identify immune features that predict the malignant transformation of cells in the mouth to oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) using state-of-the-art single-cell analysis and bioinformatic AI tools.
“Our students will develop multiplex immune imaging assay on clinical dental biopsies and apply innovative bioinformatic AI tools on data analysis in my research project, which is a collaboration with Stanford School of Medicine,” said Dr. Han.
“OCSCC is an aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis, and Dr. Han’s work could help to identify patients needing early care and increase our ability to provide personalized medical care to treat these patients,” said Dr. David Ojcius, assistant dean for research and co-chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences.
To learn more about other recent research highlights, publications, labs and resources at the Dugoni School, visit the Faculty and Research section of the school’s website.