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Samulski Lectureship Features Talks on AI, Computational Oncology






Trent Semans Center Great Hall
8 Searle Center Dr
Durham, NC
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Kyle Lafata
Kyle Lafata

The Duke Radiation Oncology Department is proud to host the 2023 Thaddeus Samulski Lectureship. This year's featured speaker is Charles Mayo, PhD, professor and director of Informatics and Analytics in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Mayo will present "Data Farm to Table: Enabling Single and Multi-Institutional Integration of AI into Clinical Decision Frameworks." Mayo's primary research centers on developing novel methods and visualizations combining statistical and machine learning methods to construct outcome models from big data, and constructing standardized large-scale databases from routine practice data for use in integrating artificial intelligence-driven modeling into clinical care.

Opening remarks will be delivered by Department Chair Christopher Willett, MD, with a welcome by Deshan Yang, PhD.

Mark Dewhirst, DVM, PhD, the Gustavo S. Montana Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Radiation Oncology, and Ricka Samulski, wife of the late Thaddeus (Thad) V. Samulski, PhD, will speak about Samulski's legacy. Dewhirst, with James Oleson, MD, PhD, recruited Samulski to Duke in 1986. Samulski went on to become an international leader in the field of hyperthermia research for cancer treatment and established the first Medical Physics postdoctoral training program at Duke. A tenured professor of Radiation Oncology, Samulski served as chief of Radiation Physics in the Department from 1992 to 2004. He passed away in 2009. The Thaddeus Samulski Lectureship has been held for several years since then thanks to donations from the Samulski family; in 2011,2014, 2016, 2019, 2022, and now this year.

Last year, in further recognition of Samulski's legacy, the R.J. Samulski Innovation Foundation provided a generous gift to Duke to establish the Thaddeus V. Samulski Associate/Assistant Professorship; with Kyle Lafata, PhD, being named the first Thaddeus V. Samulski Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology. The professorship, which is meant to aid an early career medical physicist at a critical point in their profession, will support Lafata in advancing his research and innovation. The professorship recognizes Lafata's already extensive expertise and contributions to the field of imaging science, as well as the potential for his work to drive important advancements in basic science, translational research, and patient care.

A Duke Cancer Institute member who also holds faculty appointments in Radiology, Medical Physics, and Electrical & Computer Engineering, Lafata has broad expertise in imaging science, biophysics, and applied mathematics. His lab focuses on the theory, development, and application of quantitative imaging, multiscale mathematical modeling, and computational medicine. Lafata earned his B.S. in Physics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (2011), and his MS (2015) and PhD (2018) in Medical Physics at Duke. He completed postdoctoral training at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in the Big Data Scientist Training Enhancement Program.

Lafata will present "Computational Oncology: Tumor Phenotyping, Multiscale Modeling, and In-Silico Experiments" at the lectureship event as this year's departmental speaker.


4:00 p.m. Reception – hors d’oeuvres and refreshments provided
4:20 p.m. Welcome by Deshan Yang, PhD
4:25 p.m. Opening Remarks by Christopher Willett, MD
4:30 p.m. Remarks from the Dean Mary Klotman, MD
4:40 p.m. "Remembering Dr. Samulski" with Ricka Samulski and Mark Dewhirst, DVM, PhD
4:55 p.m. Kyle Lafata, PhD, presents "Computational Oncology: Tumor Phenotyping, Multiscale Modeling, and In-Silico Experiments"
5:25 p.m. Charles Mayo, PhD, presents "Data Farm to Table – Enabling Single and Multi-Institutional Integration of AI into Clinical Decision Frameworks."
6:10 p.m. Q&A Session
6:25 p.m. Closing Remarks

DOWNLOAD the event flyer

Registration is not required.

A special thanks to Sarah A. Brady, communications strategist for the Department of Radiation Oncology who contributed the details and background for this post.