Baran D. Sumer, MD, FACS is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas Texas where he serves as the Chief of the Head and Neck Oncology Division in the Department of Otolaryngology. He also chairs the Head and Neck Cancer Disease Oriented Team at the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. He received his BA degree in Economics from Rutgers University in 1994 and obtained his MD degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in May 2001. He completed post-graduate residency training as an intern in general surgery at Washington University School of Medicine Department of Surgery in Saint Louis, Missouri in 2002, and residency training in otolaryngology at Washington University, Department of Otolaryngology in 2006. Following completion of his otolaryngology residency, Dr. Sumer completed a one year Fellowship in Head and Neck Oncology, Transoral Laser Surgery, and Microvascular Reconstruction at Washington University, Department of Otolaryngology, Division of Head and Neck Surgery under Bruce H. Haughey, MBChB, MS, FACS, FRACS and Brian Nussenbaum, MD, FACS. In August of 2007. His primary research interest is in the development of nanoparticles and nanodevices for surgical applications. One of the primary challenges during minimally invasive oncologic surgery is delineation of cancer from normal tissues especially in previously treated areas, and detection and destruction of residual microscopic disease. Recently in collaboration with Dr. Jinming Gao, Ph.D, Dr. Sumer established pH transistor nanoparticles (PTN) that in response to pH show binary off/on behavior, remaining completely dark until exposed to a specific tuned pH where they reach 100% fluorescence. The ultra-pH-sensitive property is a nanoscale phenomenon arising from the self-assembly of amphiphilic copolymers. Based on the sharp transition pH Dr’s Gao and Sumer established a nanoprobe to fluorescently image dysregulated pH, a universal hallmark of cancer. Critically, the binary all or nothing fluorescence, with no intermediate state, digitizes the analog biological signal, pH, allowing amplification without noise or distortion. These PTN have transformed tumor detection but also represent a new paradigm of digitizing an analog biologic signal with the exciting possibility other applications in tumor imaging, delivery of therapeutics and cellular targeting. The PTN have completely Phase Clinical Trials and will be tested in a Phase II trial in 2019.
No financial relationships have been disclosed.