Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Radiation Biology and Oncology

Program co-leaders
Mitchell S. Anscher, M.D.
Kristoffer Valerie, Ph.D. 

VCU Massey Cancer Center’s Radiation Biology and Oncology (RBO) program focuses on investigating the basic underlying molecular mechanisms of tumor radioresistance and normal tissue responses to radiation and how to optimally deliver radiation to improve the treatment of cancer. The RBO program has 18 members from six departments in VCU School of Medicine and VCU School of Engineering.

Scientific goals

  • Investigate the biological mechanisms underlying tumor radioresistance and normal tissue injury

  • Develop novel methods of radiation delivery to enhance the therapeutic ratio

  • Provide a clinical environment in which these enhancements can be tested, with the ultimate goal of improving therapy


  • Conduct leading research in molecular radiobiology, imaging and medical physics leading to clinical trials in radiation oncology

  • Provide a research environment conducive to extensive scientific collaborations

  • Develop novel approaches for improving radiation therapy

In order to accomplish these goals, we have assembled a team of basic, clinical and translational researchers with interests and expertise in DNA repair, inflammation, extracellular matrix signaling and genomic stability, molecular imaging, image guided radiation therapy and clinic trial design and implementation.


Ongoing translational studies explore the use of novel small molecules or clinically available agents that work through targeting pathways identified as important in radiation responses. In addition, the medical physics research program is closely integrated with both the molecular radiobiology and the clinical research programs, with the goal of improving targeting accuracy and delivery of radiation therapy. The combined efforts and integration of biology, physics and clinical research are working to achieve improved tumor control with decreased risk of complications.