- Graduate School - UC San Diego School of Medicine (2003-2007)
- Fellowship - Stanford University Medical Center (2016-2017), Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology
- Residency - Stanford University Medical Center (2012-2016), Radiation Oncology
- Internship - UC San Diego Medical Center (2011-2012), Internal Medicine
- Medical School - UC San Diego School of Medicine (2007-2011)
Todd Aguilera, M.D., Ph.D.
- Radiation Oncology
- Radiation Therapy for Cancer
- Radiation Therapy for Gastrointestinal Cancer
Todd Aguilera, M.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He is a physician-scientist trained as a radiation oncologist, and has expertise in molecular engineering, molecular imaging, the tumor microenvironment, and tumor immunology.
Dr. Aguilera attended graduate school at UC San Diego School of Medicine where his work focused on engineering and validating activatable peptide-based probes to target the tumor microenvironment. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. through UC San Diego’s Medical Scientist Training program. His doctorate work was done in the laboratory of Dr. Roger Y. Tsien, who received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Dr. Aguilera completed his residency in radiation oncology at Stanford University Medical Center. As a resident and postdoctoral fellow at Stanford, he worked with Dr. Amato Giaccia studying factors in the tumor microenvironment that promote immunologic tolerance, and developing therapeutic approaches to improve immunotherapy responses in solid tumors. His specific interests are intrinsic factors that prevent or suppress the anti-tumor immune response after radiation, and how these factors can be reversed.
Dr. Aguilera was recruited to UT Southwestern’s Department of Radiation Oncology to establish his research group, which will continue to investigate the immune microenvironment and to engineer approaches to target cells and molecules that lead to immune privilege.
He also treats radiation oncology patients with gastrointestinal cancers, is developing laboratory projects in pancreatic cancer, and aims to establish collaborative projects with clinicians and researchers.
Dr. Aguilera was one of only three recipients of the ASTRO Resident Seed Grant in 2014; was honored as a Henry S. Kaplan Fellow, Stanford Radiation Oncology in 2016; and was successfully recruited to UT Southwestern in 2017 through the CPRIT First-Time Tenure Track Faculty recruitment award.
He is currently a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Society for Immunotherapy for Cancer, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the Radiological Society of North America.
Dr. Aguilera has been published in multiple journals including Nature Communications, Science, Clinical Cancer Research, Nature Cell Biology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics.
Meet Dr. Aguilera
Treating gastrointestinal cancer patients with radiation therapy is the primary clinical focus for Todd Aguilera, M.D., Ph.D. His passion to care for patients going through this challenging and sometimes frightening time is demonstrated by how he takes the time to walk them through each step of treatment.
Dr. Aguilera, a highly trained board-certified radiation oncologist and scientist, is an integral part of the gastrointestinal cancer care team at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He joined the team in 2017 after finishing his residency in radiation oncology and a clinical fellowship in gastrointestinal radiation oncology at Stanford University Medical Center.
“Overall, I am most proud of the relationships I have developed with patients, families, and colleagues. It is an incredible privilege to be invited into people’s lives the way we are in oncology,” Dr. Aguilera says. “Though the curative, palliative, and technical achievements should be praised, the lasting interpersonal interactions hold a unique place in our hearts and minds.”
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Aguilera is the site principal investigator for the multisite PANCRS randomized phase III trial, which is focused on evaluating the role of stereotactic ablative radiation therapy in locally advanced pancreatic cancer. His research lab is focused on studying immunosuppressive factors in the tumor microenvironment. “The numerous scientific opportunities in the field of radiation oncology that can impact clinical care – from the basic biology of cancer to medical physics – are deeply engaging,” says Dr. Aguilera.
- Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (2015-2017)
- American Society of Clinical Oncology (2013-2017)
- America Association for Cancer Research (2012-2017)
- Radiological Society of North America (2011-2017)
- American Society for Radiation Oncology (2011-2017)
- ASTRO Resident Seed Grant 2014-2015
- American Board of Radiology Holman Research Resident 2014-2016
- Malcom A. Bagshaw Symposium, Best Research Presentation 2015-2015
- Henry S. Kaplan Fellow 2016-2017, Stanford Department or Radiation Oncology
Surgery with molecular fluorescence imaging using activatable cell-penetrating peptides decreases residual cancer and improves survival.
Nguyen QT, Olson ES, Aguilera TA, Jiang T, Scadeng M, Ellies LG, Tsien RY Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2010 Mar 107 9 4317-22
Activatable cell penetrating peptides linked to nanoparticles as dual probes for in vivo fluorescence and MR imaging of proteases.
Olson ES, Jiang T, Aguilera TA, Nguyen QT, Ellies LG, Scadeng M, Tsien RY Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2010 Mar 107 9 4311-6
Fast 18F labeling of a near-infrared fluorophore enables positron emission tomography and optical imaging of sentinel lymph nodes.
Ting R, Aguilera TA, Crisp JL, Hall DJ, Eckelman WC, Vera DR, Tsien RY Bioconjugate chemistry 2010 Oct 21 10 1811-9
A 3-D Riesz-Covariance Texture Model for Prediction of Nodule Recurrence in Lung CT.
Cirujeda P, Dicente Cid Y, Muller H, Rubin D, Aguilera TA, Loo BW, Diehn M, Binefa X, Depeursinge A IEEE transactions on medical imaging 2016 Jul
3D Riesz-wavelet based Covariance descriptors for texture classification of lung nodule tissue in CT.
Cirujeda P, Muller H, Rubin D, Aguilera TA, Loo BW, Diehn M, Binefa X, Depeursinge A Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference 2015 2015 7909-12
In vivo fluorescence imaging of atherosclerotic plaques with activatable cell-penetrating peptides targeting thrombin activity.
Olson ES, Whitney MA, Friedman B, Aguilera TA, Crisp JL, Baik FM, Jiang T, Baird SM, Tsimikas S, Tsien RY, Nguyen QT Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro 2012 Jun 4 6 595-605
Parallel in vivo and in vitro selection using phage display identifies protease-dependent tumor-targeting peptides.
Whitney M, Crisp JL, Olson ES, Aguilera TA, Gross LA, Ellies LG, Tsien RY The Journal of biological chemistry 2010 Jul 285 29 22532-41
In vivo characterization of activatable cell penetrating peptides for targeting protease activity in cancer.
Olson ES, Aguilera TA, Jiang T, Ellies LG, Nguyen QT, Wong EH, Gross LA, Tsien RY Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro 2009 Jun 1 5-6 382-93
Mammalian expression of infrared fluorescent proteins engineered from a bacterial phytochrome.
Shu X, Royant A, Lin MZ, Aguilera TA, Lev-Ram V, Steinbach PA, Tsien RY Science (New York, N.Y.) 2009 May 324 5928 804-7
Systemic in vivo distribution of activatable cell penetrating peptides is superior to that of cell penetrating peptides.
Aguilera TA, Olson ES, Timmers MM, Jiang T, Tsien RY Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro 2009 Jun 1 5-6 371-81
Molecular Pathways: Oncologic Pathways and Their Role in T-cell Exclusion and Immune Evasion-A New Role for the AXL Receptor Tyrosine Kinase.
Aguilera TA, Giaccia AJ Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2017 Jun 23 12 2928-2933
Reprogramming the immunological microenvironment through radiation and targeting Axl.
Aguilera TA, Rafat M, Castellini L, Shehade H, Kariolis MS, Hui AB, Stehr H, von Eyben R, Jiang D, Ellies LG, Koong AC, Diehn M, Rankin EB, Graves EE, Giaccia AJ Nature communications 2016 Dec 7 13898
Spiers Memorial Lecture. Breeding and building molecular spies.
Shu X, Lev-Ram V, Olson ES, Aguilera TA, Jiang T, Whitney M, Crisp JL, Steinbach P, Deerinck T, Ellisman MH, Ellies LG, Nguyen QT, Tsien RY Faraday discussions 2011 149 9; discussion 63-77
Autofluorescent proteins with excitation in the optical window for intravital imaging in mammals.
Lin MZ, McKeown MR, Ng HL, Aguilera TA, Shaner NC, Campbell RE, Adams SR, Gross LA, Ma W, Alber T, Tsien RY Chemistry & biology 2009 Nov 16 11 1169-79
The end of the hypoxic EPOch.
Aguilera TA, Giaccia AJ International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 2015 Apr 91 5 895-7
- Surgery with molecular fluorescence imaging using activatable cell-penetrating peptides decreases residual cancer and improves survival.
- Radiation Therapy for Cancer
- Radiation Therapy for Gastrointestinal Cancer
- Radiation Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer
- Rectal Cancer
- Radiation Therapy for Colorectal Cancer
- Radiation Therapy for Esophageal Cancer
- Gastrointestinal Cancers
- Radiation Therapy for Liver Cancer
- Anal Cancer
- Gallbladder/Bile Duct (Cholangiocarcinoma) Cancer
- Radiation Therapy for Stomach Cancer