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UAB is a full-scale research university with “R1” designation by the Carnegie Foundation. This allows residents opportunities to collaborate with investigators from any number of backgrounds, including neuroscience, psychology, nutrition, cardiology, dermatology, to name a few.  

Did you know?

  • Since 1994, UAB has held “R1” status for “Very High Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
  • UAB is a full-scale research university, with over $600 million in funding for 2019 
  • In 2008, UAB established the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS) to train young investigators and support research efforts across our institution. 
  • The UAB Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education (COERE) is a university-wide interdisciplinary research center across more than 30 departments, supporting the growing field of outcomes research.
  • The UAB Department of Radiation Oncology has 8 full time staff dedicated to clinical research and ** full time faculty and staff dedicated to basic research.
  • The UAB Department of Radiation Oncology has an average of 20 clinical research protocols open for patient participation. 
  • UAB is 1 of 18 members of the international FLASH-Forward consortium, studying high dose-rate radiation delivered at ultra-high speeds (<1 second). 

The UAB Department of Radiation Oncology maintains a robust presence in cancer research. Our residents are strongly encouraged to participate in research projects tailored to their specific interests. The collaborative university atmosphere and diverse patient population at UAB provide residents with a wealth of resources to ask, investigate, and publish their innovative research ideas. 

Our residents have written clinical trials and developed research projects that have yielded presentations, publications, and successful grant applications, allowing them to pursue careers in academic medicine at competitive universities across the country (link to alumni page). 

Residents receive travel funding to present their research at regional and national conferences, including the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, Society for Neuro-Oncology, American College of Radiation Oncology, amongst others.

 

Research Training

Our radiation oncology residency program is structured to train both clinical and laboratory-based researchers. We provide residents with dedicated research time during the third and/or fourth year of radiation oncology training to allow for more focused research investigations. 

Residents with an interest in clinical, translational, or outcomes-based research are supported to train on the UAB Clinical Trialist Pathway. This program is funded through a $26.9 million dollar NIH grant that established the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) at UAB

The Clinical and Translational Science Training Program (CTSTP) is a six-month certificate program that provides training in clinical and translational research, including approximately 50 hours of didactic instruction as well as interactive experiences. Course content represents the following modules: Clinical Trials, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Ethics, Clinical Genetics Research, Behavioral Research, Outcomes Research, Dissemination of Results, and Grant Writing and Funding Opportunities. This course is directed at oncology fellows in surgical and medical subspecialties, and residents in radiation oncology have also been invited to participate.

Learn more about the CTSTP curriculum here.

Residents with an interest in laboratory-based research and a career as a physician-scientist in radiation oncology are supported to apply to the American Board of Radiology (ABR) Holman Research Pathway. This program extends the length of dedicated research time, and abbreviates the clinical training for selected applicants. Our department chair, program directors, and resident’s application to the ABR will determine candidacy for this pathway in our program. 

Learn more information about our physician-scientist research faculty.

More curriculum information may be found on the ACGME and ABR websites.

 

Recent Resident Research

Residents are encouraged to develop and write clinical protocols during residency, applying knowledge gained from the CCTS at UAB. Recent resident-led clinical trials include: 

    • Safety and Efficacy of Prostate SBRT 
    • Dose Escalation for Hypofractionated Brain SBRT 
    • SRS for Essential Tremor and Parkinsonian Tremor 
    • Cardiac Radiosurgery for Arrhythmias  

Our residents produce exciting research accepted for presentation at major national conferences, earning many esteemed awards and grant funding. Prior to presenting at the American Society for Radiation Oncology conference, residents participate in our annual Research Retreat, and are given an opportunity to share their work before our department.

 

Presentations

  • Anatoly Nikolaev
    -“Dual targeting of mutant p53 protein and Jumonji family histone demethylase sensitizes H3K27M diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma cells to radiation” 
    -“Pharmacological targeting of mutant p53 gain-of-function represses mevalonate pathway of cholesterol biosynthesis and sensitizes tumor cells to radiation”
  • Gina Rebesco - “A Pilot Study Investigating the Opioid Prescribing Patterns in an Academic Radiation Oncology Clinic”
  • Scott Stricker - “Effect of protocol-based pain management on patient reported pain during radiation for head and neck cancer” 
  • Jared Maas - “Characterization of Photon IMRT Robustness as a Benchmark for Proton Therapy Planning”
  • Joe Jones - “Utilization of Process Improvement Methodologies to Characterize and Optimize Simulation Throughput”
  • Kevin Lee - “CT simulation is useful for quantifying pre-treatment coronary artery calcification in breast cancer patients”
  • Craig Schneider - “Patterns of Care for Non-Operative Patients with Large (5-7 cm), Node-Negative NSCLC Reveals Significant Deviations from NCCN Guidelines”
  • David Harris - “Dose Escalation After RTOG 0617: Recent Trends and Predictors of Radiation Doses > 70 Gy in Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer from the National Cancer Database”
  • Gina Rebesco “Review of interstitial HDR brachytherapy for soft-tissue sarcoma” 
  • Scott Strickler - “Differences in nurse, physician, and self-assessed pain ratings in patients receiving radiation for head and neck cancer.” 
  • Joe Jones - “Evaluation of the Use of Standardized Simulation Order Templates to Improve Guideline Adherence”
  • Kevin Lee - “Fitting alternative models to linear-quadratic for clonogenic cell survival assays: practical implications of Pool-Repair Lambert and Integrated Michaelis-Menten”
  • David Harris - “Late Distant and Potential Local Failure of Hemangiopericytoma Treated with Surgical Resection and Adjuvant Radiation Therapy”

 

Grants & Awards

  • Audrey Wallace - T32 Grant
  • Anatoly Nikolaev - RSNA Grant
  • Laura Dover - ACRO Luther Brady Education Grant 
  • Ashlyn Everett - UAB Blackburn Education Grant
  • Kevin Lee - 2020 ASTRO Annual Meeting - Resident Recognition Award, Poster Viewing, Physics Category
  • Kevin Lee - 2020 ACRO Annual Meeting - Resident Travel Grant
  • Evan Thomas - 2020 RSS Scientific Meeting - Top Rated Clinical Abstract
  • Anatoly Nikolaev - 2019 ACRO Annual Meeting - 1st Place Poster, Poster Walk
  • Anatoly Nikolaev - 2018 ASTRO Annual Meeting - Resident Poster Discussion Award for Biology