Biography

Download Curriculum Vitae

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)
Other Post Graduate Training
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

ASO Visual Abstract: Delta Radiomic Features Predict Resection Margin Status and Overall Survival in Neoadjuvant-Treated Pancreatic Cancer Patients
Wang K, Karalis JD, Elamir A, Bifolco A, Wachsmann M, Capretti G, Spaggiari P, Enrico S, Balasubramanian K, Fatimah N, Pontecorvi G, Nebbia M, Yopp A, Kaza R, Pedrosa I, Zeh H, Polanco P, Zerbi A, Wang J, Aguilera T, Ligorio M Annals of Surgical Oncology 2024 Apr 31 2664-2665
Delta Radiomic Features Predict Resection Margin Status and Overall Survival in Neoadjuvant-Treated Pancreatic Cancer Patients
Wang K, Karalis JD, Elamir A, Bifolco A, Wachsmann M, Capretti G, Spaggiari P, Enrico S, Balasubramanian K, Fatimah N, Pontecorvi G, Nebbia M, Yopp A, Kaza R, Pedrosa I, Zeh H, Polanco P, Zerbi A, Wang J, Aguilera T, Ligorio M Annals of Surgical Oncology 2024 Apr 31 2608-2620
AXL/WRNIP1 Mediates Replication Stress Response and Promotes Therapy Resistance and Metachronous Metastasis in HER2+ Breast Cancer
Marquez-Palencia M, Herrera LR, Parida PK, Ghosh S, Kim K, Das NM, Gonzalez-Ericsson PI, Sanders ME, Mobley BC, Diegeler S, Aguilera TA, Peng Y, Lewis CM, Arteaga CL, Hanker AB, Whitehurst AW, Lorens JB, Brekken RA, Davis AJ, Malladi S Cancer research 2024 Mar 84 675-687
Stereotactic body radiotherapy plus rucosopasem in locally advanced or borderline resectable pancreatic cancer: GRECO-2 phase II study design
Hoffe SE, Aguilera TA, Parikh PJ, Ghaly MM, Herman JM, Caster JM, Kim DW, Costello J, Malafa MP, Moser EC, Kennedy EP, Terry K, Kurman M Future oncology (London, England) 2024 Mar 20 437-446
Stereotactic body radiotherapy with or without selective dismutase mimetic in pancreatic adenocarcinoma: an adaptive, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1b/2 trial
Taniguchi CM, Frakes JM, Aguilera TA, Palta M, Czito B, Bhutani MS, Colbert LE, Abi Jaoude J, Bernard V, Pant S, Tzeng CW, Kim DW, Malafa M, Costello J, Mathew G, Rebueno N, Koay EJ, Das P, Ludmir EB, Katz MH, Wolff RA, Beddar S, Sawakuchi GO, Moningi S, Slack Tidwell RS, Yuan Y, Thall PF, Beardsley RA, Holmlund J, Herman JM, Hoffe SE The Lancet Oncology 2023 Dec 24 1387-1398
Simultaneous selection of nanobodies for accessible epitopes on immune cells in the tumor microenvironment
Sekar TV, Elghonaimy EA, Swancutt KL, Diegeler S, Gonzalez I, Hamilton C, Leung PQ, Meiler J, Martina CE, Whitney M, Aguilera TA Nature communications 2023 Dec 14
Local Control Following Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Liver Oligometastases: Lessons from a Quarter Century
Mheid S, Allen S, Ng SS, Hall WA, Sanford NN, Aguilera TA, Elamir AM, Bahij R, Intven MP, Radhakrishna G, Mohamad I, De Leon J, Tan H, Lewis S, Gani C, Stanecu T, Dell’Acqua V, Hosni A Current Oncology 2023 Oct 30 9230-9243
Ablative Radiation Therapy in Oligometastatic Pancreatic Cancer to Delay Polyprogression, Limit Chemotherapy, and Improve Outcomes
Elamir AM, Karalis JD, Sanford NN, Polanco PM, Folkert MR, Porembka MR, Kazmi SA, Maddipati R, Zeh HJ, Timmerman RD, Zhang S, Ligorio M, Beg MS, Aguilera TA International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics 2022 Nov 114 792-802
Personalized Ultrafractionated Stereotactic Adaptive Radiotherapy (PULSAR) in Preclinical Models Enhances Single-Agent Immune Checkpoint Blockade
Moore C, Hsu CC, Chen WM, Chen BP, Han C, Story M, Aguilera T, Pop LM, Hannan R, Fu YX, Saha D, Timmerman R International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics 2021 Aug 110 1306-1316
Disparities in characteristics, access to care, and oncologic outcomes in young-onset colorectal cancer at a safety-net hospital
Fangman BD, Goksu SY, Chowattukunnel N, Beg MS, Sanford NN, Sanjeevaiah A, Cox J, Folkert MR, Aguilera TA, Mathews J, Pogacnik JS, Khatri G, Olson C, Polanco PM, Verma U, Hsiehchen D, Jones A, Kainthla R, Kazmi SM JCO Oncology Practice 2021 May 17 E614-E622

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

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