Dan Duda

Professor of Radiation Oncology

Duda Lab Research

Education and Academic Appointments

Dr. Duda obtained a DMD from the University of Medicine Iasi, Romania, in 1993 and then earned a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences (Gastrointestinal Surgery) from Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan, in 2001. After graduation, he pursued postdoctoral training with Professor Rakesh K. Jain in the Steele Laboratories for Tumor Biology, Department of Radiation Oncology, MGH, and Harvard Medical School in Boston for 3 years. Dr. Duda became a Junior Faculty member at Harvard (Instructor) in 2004. He rose through the ranks to Full Investigator at MGH Research Institute in 2016 and Professor of Radiation Oncology in 2023. In 2016, Dr. Duda was appointed Director of Translational Research in Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology at MGH. In 2021, he received the honorary degree "Doctor Honoris Causa" from the University of Medicine Iasi, Romania, his Alma Mater, and in 2024, he received an honorary Master of Arts (AM) degree from Harvard University.

Research Goals of the Duda Lab

Over the last decade and a half, Dr. Duda has built a productive Liver Cancer Research Program at Steele Laboratories for Tumor Biology. The translational goal of this program is to increase the durability of response to the most effective available therapies. The approach is to identify new cellular and molecular mechanisms of local and metastatic tumor progression and treatment resistance and validate them as new targets for combination therapies for these cancers.

His group studies the activity of agents targeting the tumor microenvironment (antiangiogenic or antifibrotic agents) or targeting the cancer cells (radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted agents) combined with immunotherapy approaches. To this end, they developed preclinical models that reproduce hallmarks of human cancers, including genetically engineered models of primary hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma, and metastatic pancreatic, breast, and prostate carcinomas. In parallel, they are conducting correlative studies of biomarkers of response to the same approaches in clinical trials in cancer patients in a CLIA-certified environment. Dr. Duda's research is supported by multiple National Cancer Institute (NCI) grants, Department of Defense (DoD) awards, and sponsored agreements with Industry partners.

Track Record and Service

Dr. Duda has authored 261 publications so far. Of these, 162 are original reports, including basic research published in Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, Cell, Cancer Cell, Science Translational Medicine, JNCI, Gut, and Hepatology, and clinical reports published in Journal of Clinical Oncology, npj Precision Oncology, and JAMA Oncology. Over the last two and a half decades, he has been invited to present our results at over 250 local, national, and international meetings, including in Grand Rounds (Harvard, Mayo Clinic, Yale, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, UMPC), Plenary and State-of-the-art Talks (AACR, ISSCR, IASGO, IAP), and Keynote Lectures. Dr. Duda has received multiple awards for his research, including from the AACR, Cancer Research Institute (CRI), IASGO, and MGH. He became an Honorary Member of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Romania in 2012, was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE) in 2020, was elected as a 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow in 2022, and was elected as an IASGO Fellow (FASGO) in 2023. He was elected as a Foreign Member of the Academy of Europe (Academia Europaea) in 2023.

Dr. Duda has been a chartered or ad-hoc Member and Chair of multiple expert panels. These included US NCI study sections (currently Chair of the Cancer Diagnostics and Treatments Study Section since 2022), American Cancer Society (ACS) Tumor Biology Group, US Department of Defense (DOD) Peer Reviewed Cancer Program, and Belgium FWO (Chair of the Med4 panel 2018-2020). He is a  Founding Editor of Surgery, Gastroenterology and Oncology and Senior Associate Editor of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics. He is an Editorial Board member for several other journals, including Clinical & Translational Radiation Oncology, Journal of Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Digestive Surgery, and Cancers. Since 2015, he has been serving as the Secretary-General of the IASGO. In addition, Dr. Duda was a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Fibrosis Special Interest Group; a member of the NCI Hepatobiliary Task Force for Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers; and chair of the SWOG Cancer Research Network Translational Medicine GI Committee. Dr. Duda chaired the Forbeck Forum on “The Biology and Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma” in 2023 and will chair the "Boston Angiogenesis Meeting" in 2024. 


Dr. Duda teaches tumor biology and translational oncology through the daily supervision of postdoctoral research fellows and graduate and undergraduate students (50+ in the last 15 years). As a passionate supporter of IASGO's mission to globalize the best medical practice and knowledge worldwide, he has been coordinating, teaching, and directing Postgraduate Courses in 29 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas since 2013. He has taught nationally in ASTRO, ESTRO, and SWOG translational meetings for residents and clinicians and locally in the MIT-HMS Health, Science, and Technology Program since 2005. In addition, he has been coordinating a research exchange student program with the University of Muenster, Germany, since 2015. He has directed the Annual Course "Methods in Biomedical Engineering, Tumor Biology and Immunology" at MGH since 2004. He edited the "IASGO Textbook of Multi-Disciplinary Management of Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Diseases" published by Nature-Springer in 2022.

(For more information, see full CV below.) 


Lab News

Sequencing of drug combinations could amplify the anti-tumor immune response in liver cancer

A new therapeutic strategy for hepatocellular cancer (HCC) that initially primes the tumor with an immune checkpoint inhibitor before using a multikinase inhibitor drug showed great promise for treating patients with the deadly disease, a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) study found. In a paper published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers reported that the new sequencing approach enhanced the effectiveness of the dual drug therapy, potentially allowing de-escalation of the prolonged use of medications and thus reducing toxic drug exposure...

Press release

Steele researchers restore function in a gene that can suppress liver cancer and enhance immunotherapy

A team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has reprogrammed the tumor microenvironment of liver cancer by using mRNA nanoparticles. This technology, similar to the one used in COVID-19 vaccines, restored the function of the p53 master regulator gene, a tumor suppressor mutated in not just liver but also other types of cancer. When used in combination with immune checkpoint blockade (ICB), the p53 mRNA nanoparticle approach not only induced suppression of tumor growth but also significantly increased antitumor immune responses in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) laboratory models. The results of the study were published in Nature Communications.

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Dan Duda Elected 2021 AAAS Fellow

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Improving treatment of liver cancer

Steele researchers discover a promising approach to inhibiting a less frequent but highly treatment-refractory liver cancer

Press release

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New strategy for immunotherapy of liver cancer

Judiciously dosed regorafenib combined with PD1 blockade increases CD8 T-cell infiltration by inducing CXCL10 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). 

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Duda Lab Team

Former Team Members

Aoki, Shuichi, MD, PhD
Chen, Jiang
Chen, Yunching (Becky), PhD
Dawson, Michele, PhD
Galvan, Maxence
Gupta, Nisha, MSc
Hato, Tai, MD, PhD
Hauth, Franziska, MD
Hoshino, Yoshinori, MD, PhD
Inoue, Koetsu, MD, PhD
Iwasaki, Masaaki
Karp, Cristina, PhD
Kikuchi, Hiroto, MD, PhD
Kim, Mi Na, MD, PhD
Kitahara, Shuji, DDS, PhD
Koch, Kevin
Koppel, Christina, BS
Kozin, Sergey, PhD
Krajnc, Evelin, PhD
Li, Sen
Mamessier, Emilie, PhD
Meyer, Max
Ochiai, Hiroki, MD, PhD
Pu, Zhangya
Pulluqi, Olja, BS
Ramjiawan, Rakesh, MSc
Ruan , Zhiping , PhD
Schanne, Daniel, MD
Shi, Yue
Shigeta, Kohei, MD, PhD
Staiculescu, Daniel
Suzuki, Kanshiro
Traeger, Max
Weide, Lennard

Current Research

Selected Publications (from total of 235)

Chen J, Amoozgar Z, Liu X, Aoki S, Liu Z, Shin SM, Matsui A, Hernandez A, Pu Z, Halvorsen S, Lei PJ, Datta M, Zhu L, Ruan Z, Shi L, Staiculescu D, Inoue K, Munn LL, Fukumura D, Huang P, Sassi S, Bardeesy N, Ho WJ, Jain RK, Duda DG
Reprogramming the Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma Immune Microenvironment by Chemotherapy and CTLA-4 Blockade Enhances Anti-PD1 Therapy.
Cancer Immunol Res. 2024;12(4):400-412 - PMID: 38260999 - PMCID: PMC10985468 - DOI: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-23-0486
Gkika E, Firat E, Adebahr S, Graf E, Popp I, Radicioni G, Lo SS, Nestle U, Nicolay NH, Niedermann G, Duda DG, Grosu AL
Systemic immune modulation by stereotactic radiotherapy in early-stage lung cancer.
NPJ Precis Oncol. 2023;7(1):24 - PMID: 36864234 - PMCID: PMC9981559 - DOI: 10.1038/s41698-023-00358-z
Chen S, Huang C, Liao G, Sun H, Xie Y, Liao C, Wang J, He M, Hu H, Dai Z, Ren X, Zeng X, Lin Z, Zhang GP, Xie W, Shen S, Li S, Peng S, Kuang DM, Zhao Q, Duda DG, Kuang M
Distinct single-cell immune ecosystems distinguish true and de novo HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma recurrences.
Gut. 2023;72(6):1196-1210 - PMID: 36596711 - DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2022-328428
Kikuchi H, Matsui A, Morita S, Amoozgar Z, Inoue K, Ruan Z, Staiculescu D, Wong JS, Huang P, Yau T, Jain RK, Duda DG
Increased CD8+ T-Cell Infiltration and Efficacy for Multikinase Inhibitors after PD-1 Blockade in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2022;114(9):1301-1305 - PMID: 35288743 - PMCID: PMC9468280 - DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djac051
Xiao Y, Chen J, Zhou H, Zeng X, Ruan Z, Pu Z, Jiang X, Matsui A, Zhu L, Amoozgar Z, Chen DS, Han X, Duda DG, Shi J
Combining p53 mRNA nanotherapy with immune checkpoint blockade reprograms the immune microenvironment for effective cancer therapy.
Nat Commun. 2022;13(1):758 - PMID: 35140208 - PMCID: PMC8828745 - DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-28279-8
Aoki S, Inoue K, Klein S, Halvorsen S, Chen J, Matsui A, Nikmaneshi MR, Kitahara S, Hato T, Chen X, Kawakubo K, Nia HT, Chen I, Schanne DH, Mamessier E, Shigeta K, Kikuchi H, Ramjiawan RR, Schmidt TC, Iwasaki M, Yau T, Hong TS, Quaas A, Plum PS, Dima S, Popescu I, Bardeesy N, Munn LL, Borad MJ, Sassi S, Jain RK, Zhu AX, Duda DG
Placental growth factor promotes tumour desmoplasia and treatment resistance in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
Gut. 2021;71(1):185-193 - PMID: 33431577 - PMCID: PMC8666816 - DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-322493
Pfister D, Núñez NG, Pinyol R, Govaere O, Pinter M, Szydlowska M, Gupta R, Qiu M, Deczkowska A, Weiner A, Müller F, Sinha A, Friebel E, Engleitner T, Lenggenhager D, Moncsek A, Heide D, Stirm K, Kosla J, Kotsiliti E, Leone V, Dudek M, Yousuf S, Inverso D, Singh I, Teijeiro A, Castet F, Montironi C, Haber PK, Tiniakos D, Bedossa P, Cockell S, Younes R, Vacca M, Marra F, Schattenberg JM, Allison M, Bugianesi E, Ratziu V, Pressiani T, D'Alessio A, Personeni N, Rimassa L, Daly AK, Scheiner B, Pomej K, Kirstein MM, Vogel A, Peck-Radosavljevic M, Hucke F, Finkelmeier F, Waidmann O, Trojan J, Schulze K, Wege H, Koch S, Weinmann A, Bueter M, Rössler F, Siebenhüner A, Dosso S, Mallm JP, Umansky V, Jugold M, Luedde T, Schietinger A, Schirmacher P, Emu B, Augustin HG, Billeter A, Müller-Stich B, Kikuchi H, Duda DG, Kütting F, Waldschmidt DT, Ebert MP, Rahbari N, Mei HE, Schulz AR, Ringelhan M, Malek N, Spahn S, Bitzer M, Ruiz de Galarreta M, Lujambio A, Dufour JF, Marron TU, Kaseb A, Kudo M, Huang YH, Djouder N, Wolter K, Zender L, Marche PN, Decaens T, Pinato DJ, Rad R, Mertens JC, Weber A, Unger K, Meissner F, Roth S, Jilkova ZM, Claassen M, Anstee QM, Amit I, Knolle P, Becher B, Llovet JM, Heikenwalder M
NASH limits anti-tumour surveillance in immunotherapy-treated HCC.
Nature. 2021;592(7854):450-456 - PMID: 33762733 - PMCID: PMC8046670 - DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03362-0
Shigeta K, Matsui A, Kikuchi H, Klein S, Mamessier E, Chen IX, Aoki S, Kitahara S, Inoue K, Shigeta A, Hato T, Ramjiawan RR, Staiculescu D, Zopf D, Fiebig L, Hobbs GS, Quaas A, Dima S, Popescu I, Huang P, Munn LL, Cobbold M, Goyal L, Zhu AX, Jain RK, Duda DG
Regorafenib combined with PD1 blockade increases CD8 T-cell infiltration by inducing CXCL10 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Immunother Cancer. 2020;8(2):ePub - PMID: 33234602 - PMCID: PMC7689089 - DOI: 10.1136/jitc-2020-001435
Goyal L, Sirard C, Schrag M, Kagey MH, Eads JR, Stein S, El-Khoueiry AB, Manji GA, Abrams TA, Khorana AA, Miksad R, Mahalingam D, Zhu AX, Duda DG
Phase 1 and Biomarker Study of the Wnt Pathway Modulator DKN-01 in Combination with Gemcitabine/Cisplatin in Advanced Biliary Tract Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2020;26(23):6158-6167 - PMID: 32878766 - DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1310
Millar DG, Ramjiawan RR, Kawaguchi K, Gupta N, Chen J, Zhang S, Nojiri T, Ho WW, Aoki S, Jung K, Chen I, Shi F, Heather JM, Shigeta K, Morton LT, Sepulveda S, Wan L, Joseph R, Minogue E, Khatri A, Bardia A, Ellisen LW, Corcoran RB, Hata AN, Pai SI, Jain RK, Fukumura D, Duda DG, Cobbold M
Antibody-mediated delivery of viral epitopes to tumors harnesses CMV-specific T cells for cancer therapy.
Nat Biotechnol. 2020;38(4):420-425 - PMID: 32042168 - PMCID: PMC7456461 - DOI: 10.1038/s41587-019-0404-8
Kong N, Tao W, Ling X, Wang J, Xiao Y, Shi S, Ji X, Shajii A, Gan ST, Kim NY, Duda DG, Xie T, Farokhzad OC, Shi J
Synthetic mRNA nanoparticle-mediated restoration of p53 tumor suppressor sensitizes p53-deficient cancers to mTOR inhibition.
Sci Transl Med. 2019;11(523):ePub - PMID: 31852795 - PMCID: PMC7024563 - DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaw1565
Shigeta K, Datta M, Hato T, Kitahara S, Chen IX, Matsui A, Kikuchi H, Mamessier E, Aoki S, Ramjiawan RR, Ochiai H, Bardeesy N, Huang P, Cobbold M, Zhu AX, Jain RK, Duda DG
Dual PD-1 and VEGFR-2 blockade promotes vascular normalization and enhances anti-tumor immune responses in HCC.
Hepatology. 2020;71(4):1247-1261 - PMID: 31378984 - PMCID: PMC7000304 - DOI: 10.1002/hep.30889
Hong TS, Grassberger C, Yeap BY, Jiang W, Wo JY, Goyal L, Clark JW, Crane CH, Koay EJ, Dima S, Eyler CE, Popescu I, DeLaney TF, Zhu AX, Duda DG
Pretreatment plasma HGF as potential biomarker for susceptibility to radiation-induced liver dysfunction after radiotherapy.
NPJ Precis Oncol. 2018;2:22 - PMID: 30374460 - PMCID: PMC6194077 - DOI: 10.1038/s41698-018-0065-y
Jusakul A, Cutcutache I, Yong CH, Lim JQ, Huang MN, Padmanabhan N, Nellore V, Kongpetch S, Ng AWT, Ng LM, Choo SP, Myint SS, Thanan R, Nagarajan S, Lim WK, Ng CCY, Boot A, Liu M, Ong CK, Rajasegaran V, Lie S, Lim AST, Lim TH, Tan J, Loh JL, McPherson JR, Khuntikeo N, Bhudhisawasdi V, Yongvanit P, Wongkham S, Totoki Y, Nakamura H, Arai Y, Yamasaki S, Chow PKH, Chung AYF, Ooi LLPJ, Lim KH, Dima S, Duda DG, Popescu I, Broet P, Hsieh SY, Yu MC, Scarpa A, Lai J, Luo DX, Carvalho AL, Vettore AL, Rhee H, Park YN, Alexandrov L, Gordan R, Rozen SG, Shibata T, Pairojkul C, Teh BT, Tan P
Whole-Genome and Epigenomic Landscapes of Etiologically Distinct Subtypes of Cholangiocarcinoma.
Cancer Discov. 2017;7(10):1116-1135 - PMID: 28667006 - PMCID: PMC5628134 - DOI: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-17-0368
Popp I, Grosu AL, Niedermann G, Duda DG
Immune modulation by hypofractionated stereotactic radiation therapy: Therapeutic implications.
Radiother Oncol. 2016;120(2):185-94 - PMID: 27495145 - DOI: 10.1016/j.radonc.2016.07.013