Interdisciplinary Duke Team Awarded $1.3 Million for Innovative Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy

Duke University and Zenalux Biomedical were recently awarded a Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Institutes of Health for $1,321,235. The two-year project, titled “A Quantitative Optical Sensor to Monitor Tumor Vascular Physiology,” is a collaborative effort between Duke's Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Radiation Oncology and Surgery.

The investigators on the new technology transfer grant include Nimmi Ramanujam, the Robert W. Carr, Jr., Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Mark Dewhirst, the Gustavo S. Montana Professor of Radiation Oncology in the School of Medicine, and Walter Lee, associate professor of surgery and radiation oncology.

The goal of this multidisciplinary project is to develop and commercialize a portable, optical technology for the diagnosis and guided therapy of head and neck cancers. Innovations that will make the new startup unique include the accurate and precise analysis of tissue absorption and scattering of local tissue sites guided by white light and auto fluorescence imaging.