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Higgins Professor of Radiation Biophysics

Director, Center for Radiological Research

Columbia University Medical Center


David Brenner is the Director of the Columbia University Center for Radiological Research, which is the oldest and largest radiation biology center in the US.  He is also P.I. of the Center for High-Throughput Minimally-Invasive Radiation Biodosimetry, a multi-institute consortium to develop high-throughput biodosimetry technology to rapidly test individual radiation exposure after a radiological incident.

Dr. Brenner’s research focuses on mechanistic models for the effects of ionizing radiation on living systems. He investigates the effects of high doses of ionizing radiation (relating to radiation therapy) and the effects of low doses of radiation (relating to radiological, environmental, and occupational exposures). At low doses, he was the first to quantify potential risks associated with the rapidly increasing usage of CT scans. At high doses, his proposal to use large-fraction radiotherapy for prostate cancer (hypo-fractionation) is increasingly being used in the clinic, with several randomized trials now published.

Dr. Brenner has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and is the author of two books on radiation for the lay person: “Making the Radiation Therapy Decision” and “Radon, Risk and Remedy”. Dr Brenner is a recent recipient of the Failla gold medal, the annual award given by the Radiation Research Society for contributions to radiation research, and the Weldon Prize, from Oxford University for the development of mathematical or statistical methods applied to problems in biology. He is a member of the US National Academies Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board.


Flyer (in PDF)