Faculty Research

The Department of Radiation Oncology is engaged in a wide range of medical research studies. Faculty investigators in this department take full advantage of the close proximity of IU School of Medicine–Indianapolis campus and clinical facilities while leveraging the large biomedical industry in Indiana and collaborative partnerships across traditional academic boundaries. The state’s strong ventures in advanced technology further encourage the establishment of interdisciplinary links.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Within IU School of Medicine, ongoing research studies link the Department of Radiation Oncology with faculty investigators in the areas of hematology-oncology, gynecology oncology, pulmonary medicine, pediatrics, neurology and otolaryngology as well as ophthalmology and neurosurgery. Qualified patients have opportunity to participate in numerous areas of clinical research, including active clinical studies in breast, gastrointestinal, lung, genitourinary (prostate, bladder, kidney and testicles) and liver cancers as well as cancer metastases.

Additionally, radiation oncology faculty collaborate with many of the school’s basic science groups, working in laboratories that are well-equipped for state of the art investigations at the cellular and molecular level—both “in vitro” and “in vivo.”

National Recognition and Support

Projects within the department are funded by national institutions, including the United States Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Clarian Values Fund, and the Indiana Lions Cancer Control Fund, Inc. as well as industrial collaborations and internal resources. The department also participates in several cooperative groups.

Research News

To stay current on the medical research work at IU School of Medicine’s statewide campuses, follow the IU School of Medicine research blog, where investigators throughout the school’s academic departments post updates about their work.

Research Blogs

Radiation Oncology Faculty Labs

Lautenschlaeger Lab

The Lautenschlaeger Lab is focused on measuring and predicting response to radiation therapy in solid tumors with the goal to develop biomarker-guided personalized radiation prescriptions and follow-up care.

Lautenschlaeger Lab

Dynlacht Lab

The Dynlacht Lab team studies the effects of agents (physical or chemical) that modulate the response of cancer cells and normal tissue to the radiation response, particularly hyperthermia and various chemotherapeutic agents.

Dynlacht Lab

Mendonca Lab

Researchers in the Mendonca Lab are focused on gaining a better understanding of radiation’s ability to both heal and harm through two main areas of study: mechanisms of radiation-induced cancer and its prevention by natural antioxidants, and effectiveness of radiation as a treatment for lung and pancreatic cancers by biological and physical approaches.

Mendonca Lab
a close up photo of microscope lenses

Huang Lab

The Huang Lab is focused on uncovering how NQO1 bioactivatable drugs alone, or in synergy with ionizing radiation, PARP1 inhibitors or immune checkpoint inhibitors (PD-1/PD-L1, etc.), trigger immunogenic cell death (ICD) and induce damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) release and phagocytes/APCs (antigen-presenting cells) recruitment, which enhance cross-talk between tumor cells and immune cells to stimulate anti-cancer immunity.

Xiumei Huang Lab

Resident Education

As part of the academic health center and largest medical school in the United States, the Department of Radiation Oncology at IU School of Medicine promotes resident participation in research and provides resources and physician-scientist mentoring to facilitate this work. Residents have presented their results at national and international meetings and published in many widely read journals.

Radiation Oncology Resident Research

Cancer Research Updates