Core Leaders

Administrative Core Director

Paul Harari, MDPaul Harari, MD

Co-Leader, Project 1 and Project 2
Professor and Chair of the Department of Human Oncology




Dr. Harari is the Jack Fowler Professor and Chairman of the Department of Human Oncology and served for nine years as associate director of the UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC). He serves as principal investigator for the Wisconsin Head and Neck SPORE, director of the Admin Core and co-leader for Project 2. Dr. Harari’s primary clinical and laboratory research efforts are focused on improving treatment outcome for patients with head and neck cancer (HNC). Areas of particular research emphasis include the interaction of molecular growth inhibitors combined with radiation and the use of conformal radiation treatment techniques to diminish normal tissue toxicity. Dr. Harari has served on the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) HNC Committee for 20 years and as PI or Co-PI for a series of national and international HNC trials. His laboratory research program centers on HNC biology, and he has served as PI for NIH R29 and R01 laboratory research grants investigating HNC response and resistance mechanisms to radiation and molecular targeting agents, with particular focus on EGFR pathway inhibitors.

Dr. Harari is a seasoned administrative leader serving as chair of the Department of Human Oncology and associate director of Translational Research for the UWCCC from 2007 until 2016. He served as director of the UW Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program from 1997 until 2007, chairman of the ASTRO Education Committee from 2004 until 2008 and chairman of the first ASTRO/ASCO/AHNS H&N Cancer Symposium in 2007. He served on the ASTRO Board of Directors and was president of ASTRO in 2017. He is devoted to facilitating interactions between basic, translational and clinical cancer researchers and is deeply committed to the leadership of multidisciplinary research teams.

Faculty Profile


BioSpecimen/Pathology Core Director

David Yang, MD

David Yang, MD

Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Medical Director for UWHC and UWMF Clinical Laboratories
Medical Director of Molecular Diagnostics



Dr. Yang serves as director of the Biospecimen/Pathology Core for the Wisconsin HN SPORE grant. His research interests are in the area of morphometric analysis of cancer biomarkers. Dr. Yang has considerable experience with the construction and analysis of tissue microarrays by both traditional scoring and automated quantitative analysis on the AQUA and VECTRA instruments. In addition, he has served as co-director of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) Translational Science BioCore (TSB), a shared service of the UWCCC whose role is to facilitate translational research in cancer by providing investigators with biospeci- mens and biospecimen-associated analytical services, including histologic, immuno- morphometric, and molecular characterization. This experience complements his role as director of the Path Core for the HN SPORE as he is very familiar with the staff, workflow, administration, informatics, regulatory standards and oversight of biospecimen management at the UWCCC.

Dr. Yang also serves as medical director of Molecular Pathology at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and thus has experience in the development and validation of clinical molecular assays. He has excellent working interactions with his co-director, Dr. Ricardo Lloyd, who brings tremendous breadth of experience in cancer biospecimen handling and analysis. Dr. Yang has been engaged from the inception in establishment of the HNC patient-derived xenograft model system at UW as well.

Biostatistics & Data Management Core Director

Menggang Yu, PhD Menggang Yu, PhD

Professor, Department of Biostatistics & Medical Informatics




Dr. Yu is a professor in the Department of Biostatistics. He has worked to develop the Biostatistics and Data Management Core for the Wisconsin HN SPORE grant and serves as its director. He also directs the Biostatistics Shared Resource (BSR) for the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC). For more than two years, he has worked very closely with the Wisconsin HN SPORE investigators. The project leaders, Drs. Harari, Lambert, Kimple, Wheeler and BSR have published three papers together since forming this collaboration. Since May 2014, he and the Core co-director Dr. Rick Chappell have conducted an introductory biostatistics lecture series for residents from the Department of Human Oncology at the request of Dr. Harari. Along with Drs. Chappell and Michael Newton, Dr. Yu will apply his collective expertise enthusiastically as the director of the Stats Core for the Wisconsin HN SPORE.

Dr. Yu has served as the lead statistician for more than 30 oncology clinical trials. Most of these trials were conducted by the Hoosier Cancer Research Network in Indiana, where he served as the Biostatistics and Clinical Data Management director from 2008 until 2011 and as a senior biostatistician from 2006 until 2008. For all these trials, he was actively involved from the inception of the study until the final analysis. Dr. Yu supervised clinical data managers and master’s level biostatisticians to ensure quality of data and related analysis and interacted directly with clinicians and project managers for all data management and statistical issues arising from these trials. He also has strong experience as a statistician for basic, translational and population science projects in cancer. He was recently awarded a methodology grant from the Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) to study innovative scoring methods for matching complex patients to available treatments.

Faculty Profile