Paul Okunieff, M.D., the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Foundation and David B. and Leighan R. Rinker chair, is the director of the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center and serves as chair of the UF College of Medicine department of radiation oncology. He is board-certified in therapeutic radiology and is among the pioneers of in-vivo nuclear magnetic resonance imaging of tumors. Okunieff’s research includes development of a novel method to measure radiation-induced DNA fragments in the bloodstream to estimate radiation exposure, and the identification of molecules that provide genetically-based protection against radiation hazards. He has active protocols to study the treatment of metastatic cancers with radiosurgery, and is developing protocols for the use of proton therapy in metastatic cancers.
Okunieff came to UF in 2009 from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where he served as the Philip Rubin professor in radiation oncology and chair of the department of radiation oncology. Prior to his appointment in Rochester in 1998, Okunieff served as branch chief of radiation oncology at the National Cancer Institute and as an assistant professor in radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School between 1988 and 1993.
Okunieff earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, where he also completed his postdoctoral fellowship in medicine and a fellowship in radiation medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. His bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering & computer science and biological science were earned from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Okunieff is radiation oncology chair for the Southwest Oncology Group, is a diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners and he serves on national committees overseeing the safety and quality of therapeutic radiation delivery.