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Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology is loosely divided between the clinical and biological divisions. The biological division, renowned for the Free Radical and Radiation Biology Program is staffed by five tenured faculty who conduct researched in all fields that impinge on the interactions of free radical biology. Active grants are chiefly funded through the NIH, DoD and local university funding agencies.
Both physicians and physicists in the clinical division either collaborate with, or conduct their own grant funded research. One of the key dimensions in radiation therapy is learning how to improve the accurate delivery of radiation to patients through better visualization of the size and location of the tumor in order to determine how it is responding to treatment. This is reflected in the nature of the grants won by the department and will remain an area of influence in the future. Participation in clinical trials both within the department and in conjunction with the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is another area of emphasis with many clinical faculty leading studies. A dedicated research team provides the resources needed to the investigators and the care needed for the patients.
To aid in fostering grant and clinical trials research, the department employs two full time clinical nurse specialists and a data manager. Their expertise in navigating the demanding technical nature of clinical trials and skills in caring for patients on study provides a both a personal point of contact with those on study and relieves the bureaucratic burden on the primary investigator.