Opportunities for Partnership and Growth in the Field of Radiation Oncology
Opportunities for supporting the Department of Radiation Oncology are many; in doing so you will assist one of the best academic radiation oncology programs in the country.
Our dedicated teams are not only committed to superb patient care and excellence in research, teaching, and leadership, but they are creating disruptive technologies and pioneering treatments with global impact. Radiation Oncology researchers are continually working to define optimal treatment approaches, produce the best plans, employ first-rate techniques, provide healing experiences for our patients, assess outcomes, and develop new treatment approaches.
We invite you to become a part of their life-changing work. Below is an overview of options – which one appeals to you?
The UF College of Medicine’s Department of Radiation Oncology Development staff has considerable experience in helping people create and document giving plans that are strategically developed and thoughtfully executed. Contact Carré Mitchell, Senior Director of Development, 352-273-9080, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Endowed professorships are critical to rewarding existing faculty for their research excellence, as well as attracting new faculty to join the Radiation Oncology department. Providing salary and research stipends, endowed positions allow new faculty to establish the research programs and existing faculty to expand on their research or launch novel research projects. Together we can move the field forward! Funds that support professorships in Radiation Therapy, Radiation Oncology, and Proton Therapy as well as our clinical research efforts include the John P. Cofrin Professorship in Radiation Therapy, the Rodney R. Million, M.D. Chairman’s Professorship in Radiation Therapy, the UF Resident Alumni Professorship, the Thomas P. Mitchell Professorship in Physics, the William and Joan Mendenhall Professorship in Radiation Oncology, and the James E. Lockwood Professorship in Pediatric Proton Therapy.
Resident & Education Support
To support teaching, resident education, research and academic programs in Radiation Oncology, consider giving to the Radiation Therapy Fund, the Radiation Oncology Clinical Research Endowment, the David Fink Radiation Oncology Endowment, the Clenon Newsome Radiation Oncology Research and Education fund, and the Amdur/Mendenhall Radiation Oncology Lectureship.
One of the great benefits of receiving cancer care at an academic health center is that our clinician-scientists participate in cutting-edge research. In addition to multi-institutional clinical trial groups, the Radiation Oncology Department is involved in in-house protocols (sets of instructions for treatment, or treatment plans) that are used at the University of Florida. Research in radiobiology, prostate cancer, angiosarcoma and metastatic cancer are supported by funds including the Clinical Physics Research and Development Fund, the Research in Radiobiology fund, the Prostate Cancer Research Fund, the Shermanitta M. Benson Angiosarcoma Cancer Fund, and the Metastatic Cancer Research, Technology and Patient Program Fund.
The competition for federal grant dollars is fierce and requires proof of concept in order to be seriously considered. Seed grants allow faculty to test out novel ideas and concepts, proving them to be viable, before submitting applications for further funding. And for every dollar invested in seed funding, approximately $13 is returned in additional extramural funding.
To illustrate this point, Assistant Professor Walter O’Dell, PhD, received a $50,000 seed grant from a local organization to fund the initial stages of his work examining the effects of radiation therapy on the lungs of breast cancer patients. Ultimately, however, his research was found valuable enough to receive grant funding of almost $1.5 million. Seed funding provides a critical edge for faculty as they seek additional grant funding or collaboration opportunities within the department or with external partners. Seed grants often lead to proof of concepts that allow faculty to move forward with successful applications for state and/or federal research grants.
Importantly, seed grants jump start new discoveries that might not otherwise move past the idea stage and foster collaborations between the Radiation Oncology department and UF Proton Therapy Institute (UFPTI) cancer researchers. Such interactions can bring new and exciting directions and focus to our research efforts.
Radiation Oncology Continuing Education events, like our annual Annual Research Seminar, offer high-quality learning opportunities for students, alumni and working professionals. We utilize faculty to help identify needs and develop programs addressing a wide range of subjects.
Frameless Stereotactic Radiosurgery Equipment
Progressing to frameless stereotactic radiosurgery equipment is a priority. Stereotactic radiosurgery combines stereotactic localization with multiple cross-fired beams from a highly collimated high-energy radiation source. Over the last three decades, this method of noninvasive ablation has been an effective alternative to conventional neurosurgery, cranial irradiation, and brachytherapy, for selected small cranial tumors and arteriovenous malformations.
3D Printers for Physicians and Physicists
The use of 3D printing by scientists and researchers is only growing, as 3D printing has the ability to offer superior, tailored results in a cost-effective manner. Specifically, advanced 3D modeling will assist our physicians during highly targeted stereotactic radiosurgery, as well as our physicists as they create more accurate views for complex cases. Ultimately, 3D printers will serve to deepen our understanding of these challenges and help us to discover the treatment that would best suit an individual patient.
Currently, 3D printing technology is rapidly expanding. Our immediate needs include printing three-dimensional anatomy featuring embedded tumors and vasculature. To achieve this goal, we are seeking printers capable of simultaneously printing in multiple colors (e.g. red for arterial vessels, blue for veins, and yellow for both lymphatics and ureters, to assist with renal cancer patients) and with the ability to create transparent objects so that the internal tumor and related anatomy can be appreciated.
MRI for Primary and Adaptive Radiotherapy Treatment Planning
There are promising new directions in the realm of MR imaging with increased use of morphological and functional MRI for adaptive radiotherapy and promising results showing better evaluation of treatment response and improved outcomes for patients.
We are transforming medicine and making strides in targeting tumors. An MR-linac system, which relies produces diagnostic-level image quality during therapy sessions, will allow for more precise treatment, including higher doses targeting sensitive areas and an instant understanding of the ways in which the tumor is being affected by the radiation.
We invite you to learn more.
We welcome your questions regarding projects proposed by Radiation Oncology scientists and scholars and we would like to match your interests with our own. Contact Diane Gebhardt, 352-265-8470, email@example.com, for more information.