Biography

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Dr. Aguilera is a physician-scientist trained as a radiation oncologist with expertise in molecular engineering, molecular imaging, the tumor microenvironment, and tumor immunology. He completed the Medical Scientist Training Program in 2011 at the University of California San Diego. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2009 in Dr. Roger Y. Tsien's laboratory, who received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His graduate work focused engineering and validating activatable peptide based probes to target the tumor microenvironment. Molecules that stemmed from his work are currently being tested in clinical trials for fluorescence guided surgery of breast cancer.

After an internal medicine internship in San Diego, he joined the Radiation Oncology Residency program at Stanford University. He worked with Dr. Amato Giaccia as a resident and postdoctoral fellow studying factors in the tumor microenvironment that promote immunologic tolerance and developing therapeutic approaches to improve immunotherapy responses in solid tumors. More specifically, he is interested is intrinsic factors that prevent/suppress the anti-tumor immune response after radiation and how these factors can be reversed. 

Dr. Aguilera was recruited to the department of Radiation Oncology to establish his research group who will continue investigate the immune microenvironment and engineer approaches to target cells and molecules that lead to immune privilege. He treats radiation oncology patients with gastrointestinal cancers, is developing laboratory projects in pancreatic cancer, and aims to establish collaborative projects with clinicians and researchers.

Education

Graduate School
UC San Diego School of Medicine (2007)
Medical School
UC San Diego School of Medicine (2011)
Internship
UC San Diego Medical Center (2012), Internal Medicine
Residency
Stanford University Medical Center (2016), Radiation Oncology
Fellowship
Stanford University Medical Center (2017), Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology

Publications

Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Sociodemographic Disparities in the Receipt of Adjuvant Chemotherapy Among Patients With Resected Stage I-III Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma.
Sanford NN, Aguilera TA, Folkert MR, Ahn C, Mahal BA, Zeh H, Beg MS, Mansour J, Sher DJ, J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2019 Nov 17 11 1292-1300
The use of texture-based radiomics CT analysis to predict outcomes in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer treated with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy.
Starkov P, Aguilera TA, Golden DI, Shultz DB, Trakul N, Maxim PG, Le QT, Loo BW, Diehn M, Depeursinge A, Rubin DL Br J Radiol 2019 Feb 92 1094 20180228
A 3-D Riesz-Covariance Texture Model for Prediction of Nodule Recurrence in Lung CT.
Cirujeda P, Dicente Cid Y, Muller H, Rubin D, Aguilera TA, Loo BW, Diehn M, Binefa X, Depeursinge A IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2016 Dec 35 12 2620-2630

Honors & Awards

  • Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Research Award
    (2020-2023)
  • Shelby Family Pancreatic Cancer Research Foundation Award
    (2019-2021)
  • UT Southwestern Presidents Research Council: Distinguished Researcher Award
    (2018-2019)
  • CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research
    (2017-2021)
  • Henry S. Kaplan Fellow
    Stanford Department or Radiation Oncology (2016-2017)
  • American Board of Radiology Holman Research Resident
    (2014-2016)
  • ASTRO Resident Seed Grant
    (2014-2015)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (2015-2017)
  • American Scociety of Clinical Oncology (2013-2017)
  • America Association for Cancer Research (2012-2017)
  • American Society for Radiation Oncology (2011-2017)
  • Radiological Society of North America (2011-2017)