Skip to main content

The Department of Radiation Oncology's basic research involves laboratory work that addresses the genome, cells and biology of cancers, as well as the surrounding tissues, which can impact the nature of the cancer and its potential to spread. Basic science focuses understanding of the mechanisms and causes of cancer at a biological and molecular level. Studies trying to optimize the relationship between radiation and chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy in pre-clinical models are critical to advance the field. While new knowledge may not be immediately translatable to new treatments and cures, over time, the fundamental discoveries of basic science provide the foundation for better treatments and cures.

Our department currently has five PhD radiobiologists in addition to a growing ancillary team to support clinical and translational efforts. Our approximately 3,000-square-feet laboratory space supports ongoing research in various areas, including stem cell biology, ultra-rapid radiation therapy delivery, immunotherapy, oligometastatic disease and radiation-induced brain injury, among others. Our department also houses a small animal irradiator, a biospecimen repository, and have access to core resources as an integral part of the NCI-designated, UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our areas of focus include flash radiation, stem cells, cognitive pathways and repair, extracellular vesicles, cosmic radiation and radioprotectants.