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Ross B. Mikkelsen, Ph.D.

Massey Cancer Center research program membership

Cancer Cell Signaling

Affiliated leadership roles

Chair, Division of Molecular Radiobiology and Targeted Imaging, VCU
Vice chair for research, Department of Radiation Oncology, VCU

Department affiliations

Professor, Division of Molecular Radiobiology and Targeted Imaging, Department of Radiation Oncology, School of Medicine


PhD, University of California at Santa Barbara (1973)

Research description

My laboratory has shown that both tumor vasculature and normal vasculature under chronic inflammatory conditons or after radiation are dysfunctional due to nitric oxide synthases (NOS) uncoupling. Recoupling NOS with the BH4 metabolic precursor, sepiapterin, normalizes tumor vasculature resulting in increased tumor oxygenation and increased radiosensitivity and chemosensitivity. Oral sepiapterin also reduced radiation-induced heart and lung toxicities. Buffy coat DNA from the blood of patients in radiation oncology collected before, during, after therapy, and annually thereafter identified SNPs genes involved in endothelial function and fibrosis that are racially sensitive in terms of predicting radiotoxicities. Exosomes (and molecular constituents) isolated from the plasma samples are being used to determine their role in modifying the tumor microenvironment (e.g. immune suppression and as potential biomarkers of both treatment failure and late toxicities).

Disease focus of research

Breast, Prostate, Brain & nervous system, Colorectal, Head & neck, Respiratory/lung

Research keywords

Angiogenesis,Animal models,Bioinformatics,Biomarkers,Cancer cell biology,Cancer diagnostics,Cancer disparities,Cancer therapy resistance,Cancer therapy toxicities,Cardiotoxicity,Cell signaling,Drug discovery,Genomics,Imaging,Immunotherapy,Inflammation,Metabolism,Obesity,Precision medicine,Radiotherapy,Signal transduction,Targeted therapies,Tumor microenvironment

Published research (during tenure as a Massey Cancer Center member)

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Contact information


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