Dynlacht Lab

The Dynlacht Lab, led by Joseph R. Dynlacht, PhD, 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.

Active Research

Hyperthermia

The current major focus of the Dynlacht Lab is to characterize novel chemotherapeutic agents that are not toxic at 37° C when given systemically, but which can become activated to become cytotoxic by local hyperthermia treatment, thereby potentially limiting lethal effects of the compounds solely to tumor cells within the heated tissue volume in patients. Hyperthermia has been shown to be effective in treating several types of tumors but is often used most effectively when administered as an adjuvant to radiation therapy or chemotherapy, since heat sensitizes cells to radiation and some types of drugs; sensitization is believed to be mediated by an inhibition of repair of radiation- or drug-induced DNA damage.

Heat Radiosensitization

The Dynlacht group is studying the mechanism of heat-radiosensitization and the inhibition of repair of radiation-induced double strand breaks by hyperthermia.

Cataract Prevention

Other studies involve efforts to inhibit the formation of cataracts induced by therapeutic doses of radiation or doses of space radiation that astronauts are expected to receive during interplanetary missions.

Radiologic Warfare

The lab is studying the development of non-pharmacological and pharmacological countermeasures against the lethal effects of radiation exposure from radiologic terrorist attacks, including dirty bombs or improvised nuclear devices.

Faculty Research Team

Joseph R. Dynlacht, PhD

Joseph R. Dynlacht, PhD

Professor of Radiation Oncology