Department of Radiation Oncology - Research


The Department of Radiation Oncology Research Division is centered at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Clinical research focuses on testing new therapies for cancer, optimizing existing treatments, discovering prevention methods and developing ways to improve the quality of life for both healthy individuals and those living with cancer.

Radiation Oncology Faculty Research Interests include:





Eric L. Chang, MD

Tumors of the Central Nervous System

  • Post-resection cavity radiosurgery
  • Meta-analysis of randomized trials of radiosurgery with or without whole brain irradiation
  • ASTRO Glioblastoma Treatment Guidelines Document
  • ACR Appropriateness Criteria  for Brain and Bone Metastases

Leslie Ballas, MD

GU malignancies
 AYA cancers

  • NaF bone PET imaging in prostate cancer
  • Dose-per-fraction escalation in post-prostatectomy radiation
  • SBRT in oligometastatic prostate cancer
  • AYA radiotherapy utilization

Eugene I. Chung, MD, PhD, JD

Lung cancer
Breast cancer

  • Clinical trials - stereotactic body radiation therapy for early stage lung cancer
  • Assessing for biomarkers as a predictor of response or recurrence after radiation for lung cancer
  • Grant funding looking at the use of nano particles to supplement SBRT for localized disease
  • Breast cancer – examining the patterns of recurrence for inflammatory breast cancer; examining the impact of trastuzumab and radiation on cardiac function; examining cardiac doses after adjuvant radiation; reviewing the outcomes after IORT
  • Head and neck – incidence of thyroid nodules after low dose radiation to the thyroid gland

Naomi Rachel Schechter, MD

Quality Assurance
Breast Cancer
Head and Neck Cancer
Functional Imaging

  • Collaborating with Department of Breast Surgery on Several Novel Projects (ex. translational and clinical related to risk of second malignancies, retrospective related to rate of reconstruction postmastectomy amongst different patient populations).
  • RTOG trial enrollment for Head and Neck and Breast Cancer patients

Michael A. Senikowich Jr., MD

Cervical Cancer

  • Clinical data collection and review of LAC cervical cancer cases

Suisui Song, MD

HDR Brachytherapy (GYN, Sarcoma)
SBRT for hepatobiliary
Pancreas Cancers
Anal Cancer

  • Studying motion management of liver SBRT
  • Investigating the optimal dose and fractionation scheme of HDR treatment for cervical cancer

Nicholas Trakul, MD

Lung Cancer

  • Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy
  • Tumor volume adaptation






Almon Shiu, PhD

The Heart-Spare Study
Feasibility Studies using VMAT for CSI

  • Voluntary deep inspiration breath-hold gating in conjunction with Medspira Breath Hold ES for the LT breast radiation treatment and SBRT lung irradiation

Guoqiang Cui, PhD

Motion management Ablative dose radiotherapy

  • Reducing motion artifacts in 4D CT imaging, evaluating free-breathing gated treatment and breath-hold treatments

Jing Cui, DSc

Photon Beam Modeling
Quality Assurance for

  • Seeking collaboration with physicians and residents

Kin (Jonathan) Ha, PhD

LaF3-Ce Nanoparticles Radiation Dosage Levels
Tissue Toxicity
Radiation Grid Therapy

  • Usage of EGSnrc Monte-Carlo simulation codes to calculate the dose enhancement
  • Biological modeling to analyze clinical data with the goal of predicting toxicity outcomes with dose-volume histograms

Sue Zhou, MS


  • Brachytherapy related research

Haihong (Audrey) Zhuang, PhD

OSL Dosimeters in IMRT
Skin Dose Calculation in IMRT

  • Accurate segmentation of abdominal CT anatomy for image guided radiation therapy treatment planning
  • Validation of OSLD and Eclipse treatment planning system for surface dose determination in IMRT treatments


University of Southern California University of Southern California