Richard Kwon, MD, MS

Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan

Richard Kwon, MD, MS is an Interventional Endoscopist at University of Michigan with expertise in endoscopic ultrasound and pancreatology.  He is co-Director of the Comprehensive Pancreas Program and leads the Benign Pancreas Conference. He also is active in the Multidisciplinary Pancreas Cancer clinic and tumor board. His research interests center on developing innovative methods for early detection of pancreatic cancers. 

Dr. Kwon and Dr. Carpenter collaborated to develop a platform for improved detection of early pancreatic cancer in patients with pancreatic cysts.  Specifically, they will utilize quantitative image analysis (radiomics) and primary culture of cyst fluid to improve the ability to differentiate between malignant and benign mucinous cysts. As of October 2022, Eileen Carpenter has opened up her own lab which she will have different research projects being conducted and Dr. Kwon will continue this current project with his team.

“Early detection of cancers in patients with pancreatic cystic neoplasms.” 

Pancreatic cysts are still the only identifiable precursor lesions for pancreatic cancer. However, current cross-sectional imaging and cyst fluid analysis still lack sensitivity and accuracy in correctly identifying cancer. This lack of accuracy translates into missed cancers or unnecessary diagnostic test and surgeries. In this proposal, our group is trying to address the need for more accurate biomarkers for early cancers. Our strategy is to harness the untapped potential in cross-sectional imaging and cyst fluid, utilizing quantitative image analysis (a process pioneered here called analytic morphomics) and primary culture of cyst fluid, respectively, to improve the ability to differentiate between malignant and benign mucinous cysts.