Moffitt Cancer Center appoints machine learning department chair 

Tampa, Fla.-based Moffitt Cancer Center tapped Issam El Naqa, PhD, as the founding chair of its new machine learning department, according to a July 20 news release. 

The new department, which is within the cancer center's quantitative science division, will accelerate cancer research through patient-centered machine and deep learning algorithms. The technology allows researchers to sift through large volumes of patient data including genetic information, biomedical images, EHRs and data from mobile health devices to identify new drug treatments for cancer and predict how patients will respond to certain therapies. 

A data science expert, Dr. El Naqa joins Moffitt from Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan, where he served as a radiation oncology professor and an affiliate member of the Michigan Institute for Data Science and Applied Physics Department. 

He has authored more than 180 publications and four textbooks on research covering areas such as large-scale data mining to detect new biomarkers to chemoradiotherapy. Board certified in therapeutic medical physics, Dr. El Naqa is a diplomate of the American Board of Radiology, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. 

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