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David Kozono, MD, PhD, is a board certified radiation oncologist who specializes in the treatment of thoracic malignancies including lung cancer. His career goal is to improve treatment for patients with these cancers through basic, translational and clinical investigation. He graduated in 2005 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with an MD and a PhD in Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology, which he obtained studying under Nobel Laureate Dr. Peter Agre. In 2006, he completed an internship in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and in 2010, he graduated from the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program. Upon graduation, he joined the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, where he is a full-time clinician and researcher.
Basic/Laboratory: One of my top priorities is to identify and characterize lung cancer radiosensitizers. Standard treatment for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer involves radiation therapy and chemotherapy given together. Radiosensitizers are drugs that improve the ability of radiation to destroy tumors without damaging surrounding vital organs. To discover novel therapeutics with the potential to act as radiosensitizers, we have been performing genome-wide screens in lung cancer cells to identify genes whose loss increases the effect of radiation on the cancer cells. Once we identify promising gene targets, we test potential drugs and characterize their mechanisms of action, e.g., impact on DNA damage repair, to identify biomarkers that may predict treatment responses.
Clinical/Translational: I am an Executive Officer for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, a North American research organization that develops and conducts cancer clinical trials. Ongoing studies include a randomized trial of the immunotherapy drug atezolizumab in combination with chemotherapy and radiation for limited stage small cell lung cancer and a randomized trial of highly focused (stereotactic) radiation therapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer. I am also the Principal Investigator for the Brigham and Women's/Dana-Farber Radiation Oncology All-Department Biorepository to Accelerate New Discoveries (BROADBAND) protocol for systematic collection of health information, treatment data, blood samples and other biospecimens for translational studies.
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