NIH New Innovator Award

Mekhail Anwar, M.D., Ph.D. awarded the NIH's New Innovator Award (DP2)

University of California, San Francisco

Project Title: Implantable Nanophotonic Sensors for In Vivo Immunoresponse
Grant ID: DP2-DE030713
Funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and Common Fund

Mekhail is a physician-scientist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Driven by the challenges his patients face when fighting cancer - specifically addressing the vast heterogeneity in treatment response by identifying the optimal treatment to pair with each patient’s unique biology - he leads a laboratory focused on developing integrated circuits (or “computer chips”) for in vivo cancer sensing. After completing his Bachelors in Physics at UC Berkeley, where he was awarded the University Medal, Mekhail received his medical degree at UC San Francisco, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where his research focused on using micro-fabricated devices for biological detection. Mekhail went on to pursue residency in radiation oncology at UCSF, where he started his lab focusing on in vivo cellular imaging through development of a millimeter-scale fluorescence microscope. This prompted him to ask a key question - could we rapidly identify if a therapy is optimal by continually imaging the real-time multicellular from directly within the patient's own tumor? Mekhail is the recipient of the DOD PCRP Physician Research Training Award and the NIH Trailblazer award