Division of Molecular Radiation Biology
The Division of Molecular Radiation Biology conducts molecular, cellular and translational radiation biology and hyperthermia research in conjunction with clinical research performed in the Department of Radiation Oncology. It is also a critical component of the Radiation Research & Translational Biology Program of the Kimmel Cancer Center lead by Dr. Adam Dicker.
The areas of research in the division directed to improving tumor response to radiation include:
- Effects of chemoradiation targeted therapy on DNA damage response as measured by biomarkers of homologous and non-homologous DNA repair, such as RAD51, γH2AX, DNA-PK and PARP; cell cycle checkpoint response and cell death markers such as senescence, autophagy and apoptosis-related.
- Mechanisms of hyperthermia damage, interaction of hyperthermia with radiation and chemotherapy and integration into clinical treatment protocols.
- Understanding radiation repair and its role in fractionation and enhancing therapeutic gain.
- Radiation-induced activation of cell cycle checkpoints.
- Inhibition of cell cycle progression and induction of apoptosis.
- Role of antivascular and antiangiogenic agents in tumor radiosensitization.
- Molecular targeted therapy such as inhibitors of hormonal and epidermal growth factor receptors.
- Role of the tumor microenvironment and metabolism in developing new patient tailored therapeutic modalities.
- Radiation response of G.I. stem cells.
- Adam Dicker, MD, PhD
Professor, Chairman and Director, Experimental Radiation Oncology Division
- Bo Lu, MD, PhD
Professor, Director, Division of Molecular Radiation Biology
- Dennis B. Leeper, PhD
Professor and Founding Director
- Ullrich Rodeck, MD
Professor of Dermatology
- Phyllis R. Wachsberger, PhD
- Richard Lawrence, MD
- George Iliakis, PhD
Professor, University of Essen, DL
- Andrew J. Milligan, Jr, PhD
Professor, President of Bionix Medical Technologies
- Ya Wang, MD, PhD
Professor, Emory University
- Randy Burd, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Arizona
The Division is supported by six radiobiology faculty members, five adjunct faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, research technicians and a secretary. Facilities include tumor biology labs, animal rooms, tissue culture labs, molecular and biochemistry labs, dishwashing and sterilization room, and x-ray and Cesium-137 radiation sources. A successful xenograft laboratory is led by Dr. Phyllis Wachsberger. There is a strong basic science relationship with Dr. Ulrich Rodeck, based upon use of the zebra fish as a high throughput vertebrate model for the stress response. Research is supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, private foundations and pharmaceutical companies. In addition to basic research, annual didactic lectures and courses are provided for radiation oncology residents, medical and graduate students and staff. A visiting lecture series is conducted for the entire department.