Paul Okunieff, M.D.

Paul Okunieff, M.D. - Background

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Biography

Paul Okunieff, MD, is board-certified in therapeutic radiology and is among the pioneers of in-vivo nuclear magnetic resonance imaging of tumors. Dr. 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. 

Dr. Okunieff came to UF in 2009 from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where he served as Philip Rubin Professor in radiation oncology and chair of the department of radiation oncology. Prior to his appointment in Rochester in 1998, he 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. 

Dr. 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. He earned bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science and biological science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Dr. Okunieff is radiation oncology chair for the Southwest Oncology Group and is a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners. He also serves on national committees overseeing the safety and quality of therapeutic radiation delivery. 

Education

Fellowship - Internal Medicine
Harvard Medical School
1987

Residency - Radiology
Massachusetts General Hospital
1986

Residency - Internal Medicine
Beth Israel Hospital
1983

M.D.
Harvard Medical School
1982

Board Certification

  • Radiation Oncology - American Board of Radiology

Honors and Awards

Davey Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Research
URCC 6th Annual Symposium
2001

Rochester
Memorial Art Gallery
1998

Melvin H. Knisely Award
International Society on Oxygen Transport to Tissue
1991

USNC/UICC Travel Grant Award
UICC Meeting
1990

Basic Science Travel Grant
ASTRO Annual Meeting
1989


International Meeting on Chemical Modifiers of Cancer Treatment
1988

Patient Testimonial

  • Living with cancer is like living with your mortality and having it always right there. I’ve never counted them, but I’d gone to a number of oncologists. I had one who told me that all I could do was palliative treatment — I would never get better. Fortunately I then saw Dr. Okunieff who told me ‘Oh no, you’ll be fine!’ We’ll just take care of this, and you’ll be fine.'

    Jane

    Silver Springs, FL