Meet Dr. Robert Timmerman

Holder of the:
Effie Marie Cain Distinguished Chair in Cancer Therapy Research

Robert Timmerman, M.D., specializes primarily in treating adults and children with brain tumors. He was one of the first researchers in the world to use specialized treatment techniques developed for brain tumors to treat cancer in the body. That technique is currently known as stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) or, alternatively, as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). This revolutionary technique relies on highly advanced imaging technology and sophisticated planning software to deliver an extremely potent dose from multiple angles – and it has been shown to offer better cure rates in some instances, particularly for cancers that have spread (metastasized). Dr. Timmerman has championed the use of SABR globally and has served as the lead investigator in several national trials designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of SABR to treat cancer in the lung, liver, spine, and prostate.

“I am motivated by the need I see every day in the clinic to provide better treatments for our patients,” says Dr. Timmerman. “Technologies have developed in the last few years that have yielded game-changing, paradigm-shifting approaches, allowing us to reconsider how radiation is delivered in combination with surgery, chemotherapy, and other systemic therapies.”

People with cancer are living much longer, so we are aiming to deliver treatments that are more tolerable and create fewer side effects.” 

Dr. Timmerman is Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology, where he is also Director of Image-Guided Stereotactic Radiation Therapy and Director of Clinical Research. He has a secondary appointment as Professor of Neurosurgery and is the holder of the Effie Marie Cain Distinguished Chair in Cancer Therapy Research.

Dr. Timmerman is also Director of the Annette Simmons Stereotactic Treatment Center at UT Southwestern, where he has treated thousands of patients with the Gamma Knife and CyberKnife.

Clinical Interests/Specialties

Radiation Oncology

  • Hypofractionated radiation therapy
  • Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR, also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy, SBRT)
  • Pediatric cancer
  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
  • Central nervous system (CNS) or brain tumors (benign and cancerous)


  • Gamma Knife
  • CyberKnife