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.


Other Post Graduate Training
UC San Diego School of Medicine (2007)
Graduate School
UC San Diego School of Medicine (2007)
Medical School
UC San Diego School of Medicine (2011)
UC San Diego Medical Center (2012), Internal Medicine
Stanford University Medical Center (2016), Radiation Oncology
Stanford University Medical Center (2017), Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Ablative radiotherapy 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, Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2022 Jul
Personalized Ultrafractionated Stereotactic Adaptive Radiotherapy (PULSAR) in Preclinical Models Enhances Single-Agent Immune Checkpoint Blockade.
Moore C, Hsu CC, Chen WM, Chen BPC, Han C, Story M, Aguilera T, Pop LM, Hannan R, Fu YX, Saha D, Timmerman R, Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2021 Aug 110 5 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 Oncol Pract 2021 May 17 5 e614-e622

Honors & Awards

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

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)