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Department of Radiation Oncology

  • The Department of Radiation Oncology is committed to combining advances in clinical research and laboratory research with developments in radiation physics, in order to promote a better understanding of the biology of cancer and the improvement of treatment methods.

    Our Research Themes

    The unifying research aim of the department is the understanding of genomic instability in human cancer in order to tailor therapies for cancer patients. Departmental research is focused on the treatment of tumors and on increasing the understanding of treatments at the molecular and cellular levels.

    Our members' research laboratories are advancing the department's aim and focus in the following ways:

  • Biology

    Haas-Kogan Lab

    Haas-Kogan Lab: Exploring Signaling Pathways

    Daphne Haas-Kogan, MD, is studying signaling pathways commonly activated in gliomas and pediatric malignancies and inhibitors that target elements within these pathways. Her laboratory attempts to promote progress not only in defining the genomic landscape of human gliomas and pediatric cancers, but also in sensible implementation of targeted therapeutics to maximally impact signaling response.

    Chowdhury Lab

    Chowdhury Lab: Discovering DNA Damage Response

    Dipanjan Chowdhury, PhD, is studying two aspects of the DNA damage response: the dephosphorylation of DNA repair proteins via phosphatases, and the decreased expression of repair factors via microRNAs (miRNAs).

    D'Aandrea Lab

    D'Andrea Lab: Understanding Chromosomal Instability Syndromes

    Alan D'Andrea, MD, is studying the molecular signaling pathways that regulate the DNA damage response in mammalian cells. D'Andrea's focus is the molecular pathogenesis of the human chromosomal instability syndromes: Fanconi anemia (FA), ataxia-telangiectasia, and Bloom syndrome.

    Makrigiorgos Lab

    Makrigiorgos Lab: Identifying Tumor Signatures

    Gerassimos (Mike) Makrigiorgos, PhD, is studying the identification and tracing of tumor signatures in cancer samples. His laboratory has a special interest in developing new technologies for cancer molecular diagnostics and molecular profiling for personalized medicine. He has developed a range of methodologies for evaluation of tumor-specific genetic changes, such as mutation and methylation.

    Mancias  Lab

    Mancias Lab: Understanding the Biology of Pancreatic Cancer

    Joseph Mancias, MD, PhD, is focused on the study of pancreatic cancer, particularly the critical aspects of the biology of pancreatic cancer in order to develop novel therapeutic approaches. The Mancias Lab combines biochemical, quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomic, gene editing, cell biological, and mouse modeling techniques to advance our understanding of pancreatic cancer.

    Mouw Lab

    Mouw Lab: DNA Repair Pathway Alterations in Tumors

    Kent Mouw, MD, PhD, is using a combination of genomic and functional approaches to study the role of DNA repair pathway alterations in tumor behavior and treatment response. Along with collaborators, Mouw is working to identify DNA repair biomarkers to guide the use of chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted agents.

    Price  Lab

    Price Lab: Uncovering DNA Repair Mechanisms

    Brendan Price, PhD, has made major advances in understanding the role of the ataxia-telangiectasia gene product (ATM) as a sensor of DNA damage and a regulator of radiation resistance in the irradiated cell. The findings of the Price Lab offer great potential in the rational design of combination cancer therapy specifically targeting components of the ATM-Tip60 complex and the proteins that contribute to maintaining histone methylation marks on the chromatin.

    Spektor Lab

    Spektor Lab: Uncovering Genome Evolution in Therapy Resistance

    Alexander Spektor, MD, PhD, studies the mechanisms underlying genome evolution during tumorigenesis and in therapy resistance. Additionally, he aims to exploit cancer-specific vulnerabilities – such as the recent finding that cancer cells exhibit nuclear envelope fragility – as potential therapeutic strategies.

  • Physics

    Aerts Lab

    Aerts Lab: Using Imaging Data in Radiation Research

    Hugo Aerts, PhD, studies the role of imaging data for precision medicine. Aerts's laboratory focuses on the application of advanced computational approaches, such as radiomics, to quantify the tumor phenotype using advanced data characterization algorithms, which in turn can be used to develop biomarkers that complement those derived from biopsies.

    Berbeco Lab

    Berbeco Lab: Combining Nanomedicine and Radiation Therapy

    Ross Berbeco, PhD, is studying methods for improving the accuracy and precision of clinical radiation therapy delivery. Additionally, Berbeco is studying the combination of novel nanoparticle formulations with clinical radiation therapy delivery.

    Ngwa  Lab

    Ngwa Lab: Developing New Technologies to Target Cancer

    Wilfred Ngwa, PhD, focuses on developing smart biomaterials designed to boost local and metastatic tumor cell kill with minimal collateral damage or side effects. He leads a cross-disciplinary research group at the interface of radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and biomaterials – with a dedicated commitment to developing cures for cancer and preventing cancer recurrence.

  • Support Cancer Research

    To learn more about the many ways you can support Dana-Farber's research initiatives with a philanthropic gift, please contact Rebecca Freedman at 617-632-4215 or rebecca_freedman@dfci.harvard.edu.

    Contact Us

    If you are interested in learning more about our research, please email Joseph Mancias, MD, PhD.