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Program Leadership

Andrew Armstrong, MD
Director of Research
919.668.4667
Rajan T. Gupta
Director of Imaging
919.684.7366
Thomas J. Polascik
Director of Surgical Technology
919.684.2443
Bridget F. Koontz
Director of Radiation Oncology

The DCI Center for Prostate & Urologic Cancers is a collaborative, multidisciplinary team with over 20 clinicians and 30 laboratory-based researchers who are leading cutting-edge clinical, translational and population research.  As a national leader in the areas of health disparities, immunotherapy, population sciences and RNA targets and therapeutics, the center is commited to developing breakthrough research.

Our clinicians practice at Duke University Hospital, one of the top 10 hospitals in the country for excellent urologic care, and our cancer program is also ranked among the nation’s best. The center includes clinical teams of urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, a dedicated genitourinary (GU) radiology group, advanced practice providers, scientists and pathologists.

The center is built with an infrastructure to prioritize the most compelling research that needs to move forward, while promoting team science to leverage expertise across the Duke campus. 

The center steering committee structure includes eight leaders, co-chaired by Daniel J. George, MD, Professor of Medicine and Surgery and Director of Genitourinary Oncology at Duke Cancer Institute, and Brant A. Inman, MD, MS, Cary N. Robertson Associate Professor of Surgery. The committee also includes four co-director roles to support research, imaging, radiation oncology and surgical advancements for prostate and urologic cancers.

The co-director positions include:

  • Director of Research: Led by Andrew J. Armstrong, MD, ScM, Professor of Medicine and Surgery, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, and director for clinical research of genitourinary oncology in the Duke Cancer Institute. This position oversees large, multi-investigator research initiatives, clinical trials, facilitates industry and academic collaborations, and fosters the career development of researchers in clinical, basic and translational research.
     
  •  Director of Imaging: Rajan T. Gupta, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology and Surgery and Director for the abdominal imaging fellowship program. This position oversees and supports emerging imaging modalities and techniques that assist in furthering research and clinical care. Gupta will lead the team in fostering collaborations across nuclear and radiologic imaging at Duke, while partnering with industry investigators to further develop image-guided therapeutics. He will also continue to develop rising stars in the imaging field through mentorship.
     
  • Director of Radiation Oncology: Bridget F. Koontz, MD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology. This position will foster and grow radiation oncology clinical and research efforts within the center, supporting development of forward-thinking application of technology and multidisciplinary approaches to promote new ideas and clinical excellence.  Koontz will also guide expansion of faculty development and patient services.
     
  • Director of Surgical Technology: Thomas J. Polascik, MD, Professor of Surgery. This position will oversee the development of innovative technology that provides enhanced safety and outcomes for patients. He will also identify emerging trends in the management of prostate and urologic cancers, including pioneering better ways to diagnosis and treat early stage and metastatic disease. 

In addition to the above directors, Jiaoti Huang, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Pathology, and Steven Patierno, PhD, Deputy Director of Duke Cancer Institute, will serve as members of the steering committee. Huang and Patierno will partner with the center to facilitate engagement between DCI and Duke Pathology. The duo will also guide multi-disciplinary research and clinical endeavors that support the center’s mission.

DCI Center for Prostate & Urologic Cancers Priorities:

  • Advance first-in-human prostate cancer clinical trials seldomly available elsewhere
  • Lead studies interrogating the biology of health disparities, allowing us to better understand the most aggressive forms of prostate cancer
  • Develop new strategies to target the immune system
  • Conduct population studies in prostate cancer screening to further our understanding of the biology and symptom burden of stage 4 lethal disease
  • Cultivate junior faculty and trainee development for the next generation of clinical and research leaders in the field  

 

Our Approach

Through collaborative multidisciplinary care, education, and clinical, translational, and population research, Duke Prostate & Urologic Cancer Center is designed to help improve the survival and quality of life of patients.

Our research emphasizes prevention and screening, early diagnosis, and the development of new treatments to improve the overall health of our patients. Many of our studies are looking at targeted treatments and individualized care. With the support of young and promising scientists, we are making meaningful strides in tackling metastasis and aggressive cancer behavior.

Our team of medical oncologists, urologic surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, cancer biologists and drug developers are also working to bring new discoveries directly to our patients by giving them opportunities to participate in cutting-edge clinical trials.