Paul Okunieff, M.D. is among the pioneers of in vivo nuclear magnetic resonance imaging of tumors. He is the founder of the UFHealth Metastatic Diseases Program and a pioneer in radiosurgical technology. He has planned and opened protocols to study metastatic cancer treatment with radiation therapy, and holds multiple patents related to the prediction and treatment of tumor spread. His research includes the creation of a novel method to measure radiation-induced DNA fragments in the bloodstream to estimate radiation exposure; identification of molecules that provide genetically based protection against radiation hazards; and development of agents to protect normal tissues and mitigate radiotoxicity.
Dr. Okunieff is Professor and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology located in Gainesville and the UFHealth Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville, and former Director, UFHealth Cancer Center. He also serves as Chair, Radiation Therapy Committee, for the Southwest Oncology Group and serves on several national committees overseeing the safety and quality of therapeutic radiation delivery. He came to the University of Florida in 2009 from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where he served as Philip Rubin Professor in Radiation Oncology and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology. Prior to this, he served as Radiation Oncology Branch Chief at the National Cancer Institute and Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School from 1988 to 1993. He is board-certified in therapeutic radiology. He earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, where he also completed postdoctoral fellowships in medicine and radiation medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He earned bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering, computer science and biological science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.