Albert J. van der Kogel, PhD
Department of Human Oncology
School of Medicine and Public Health
University of Wisconsin
Dr. van der Kogel’s research has focused on two main areas. The first is on the effects of radiation on normal tissues and in particular the central nervous system, on the various factors that determine the tolerance of the spinal cord. The spinal cord is probably the most critical normal tissue in radiation oncology, and his research has largely contributed to optimizing treatment of cancer close to the spine and preventing the development of debilitating complications. In addition to aspects most important to clinical radiation treatments his research has elucidated the mechanisms and cellular basis of various radiation-induced changes in the CNS. Dr. van der Kogel’s second main research area has aimed at overcoming radiation resistance mechanisms related to the tumor microenvironment, which are for radiation treatment known to be mostly tumor hypoxia and proliferation. To study these aspects in a clinically relevant setting he developed a panel of primary human tumor xenografts that reflected the clinical heterogeneity of individual patients. The overall aim of this research has been to test new therapeutic modalities, and develop assays to individualize treatment based on tumor biopsies and molecular imaging. Dr. van der Kogel continues to be actively involved as an adviser and collaborator in various research projects, as well as in teaching radiobiology courses for (under)graduate students of medical physics and residents in radiation oncology.