David J. Brenner, Ph.D.

Higgins Professor of Radiation Biophysics
Director, Center for Radiological Research
Director, Radiological Research Accelerator Facility
Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

Department of Radiation Oncology, Center for Radiological Research
Dept. Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health

Contact Information: 

Center for Radiological Research
630 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032

Telephone: (212) 305-5660
Fax: 212 305-3229

Email: djb3@cumc.columbia.edu

Website: www.columbia.edu/~djb3


BA, Physics Philosophy, Oxford University, Oxford, U.K., 1974
MSc, Radiation Physics, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, University of London, London, U.K., 1976
MA, Physics Philosophy, Oxford University, Oxford, U.K., 1979
PhD, Physics, University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K., 1980


Dr. Brenner focuses on developing mechanistic models for the effects of ionizing radiation on living systems, both at the chromosomal and the animal (or human) levels. He divides his research time roughly equally between the effects of high doses of ionizing radiation (relating to radiation therapy) and the effects of low doses of radiation (relating to medical, environmental and occupational exposures).

At the chromosomal level, he has focused on the mechanisms of radiation-induced chromosome aberrations, and the potential of chromosome aberrations for use as biomarkers for past exposure to different types of radiations.

In the field of medical imaging, he has focused on the risk / benefit balance of the higher-dose imaging techniques, particularly computed tomography (CT).

In the field of radiotherapy, he has focused on optimizing fractionation schemes for different tumor types, to maximize tumor killing and minimize serious side effects; this includes modeling the mechanisms of radiotherapy-induced second cancers, with the goal of reducing second cancer risks.

Environmentally, he has focused on the biological effects of radon, both at the chromosomal and the human levels.

Selected Activities

Higgins Professor of Radiation Biophysics Director, Center for Radiological Research Director, Radiological Research Accelerator Facility


2012-present    Member, National Academy of Sciences Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board 1998-10 Member, National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements 2002-03 Member, NCRP Committee on Screening of Humans for Security Purposes


Goudarzi M, Mak TD, Chen C, Smilenov LB, Brenner DJ, Fornace AJ. The effect of low dose rate on metabolomic response to radiation in mice. Radiat Environ Biophys. 2014 Jul 22.

Brown JM, Carlson DJ, Brenner DJ. Dose escalation, not “new biology,” can account for the efficacy of stereotactic body radiation therapy with non-small cell lung cancer. In reply to Rao et al. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014 Jul 1;89(3):693-4.

Repin M, Turner HC, Garty G, Brenner DJ. Next Generation Platforms for High-throughput Biodosimetry. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2014 May 17.

Shuryak I, Lubin JH, Brenner DJ. Potential for Adult-Based Epidemiological Studies to Characterize Overall Cancer Risks Associated with a Lifetime of CT Scans. Radiat Res. 2014 May 14. 

Development of a Metabolomic Radiation Signature in Urine from Patients Undergoing Total Body Irradiation. Radiat Res. 2014 Mar 27.

Lyulko OV, Garty G, Randers-Pehrson G, Turner HC, Szolc B, Brenner DJ. Fast Image Analysis for the Micronucleus Assay in a Fully Automated High-Throughput Biodosimetry System. Radiat Res. 2014 Feb 6.

Turner HC, Sharma P, Perrier JR, Bertucci A, Smilenov L, Johnson G, Taveras M, Brenner DJ, Garty G. The RABiT: high-throughput technology for assessing global DSB repair. Radiat Environ Biophys. 2014 Jan 30. 

Brown JM, Carlson DJ, Brenner DJ. The tumor radiobiology of SRS and SBRT: are more than the 5 Rs involved? Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014 Feb 1;88(2):254-62. 

Grad M, Young EF, Smilenov L, Brenner DJ, Attinger D. A simple add-on microfluidic appliance for accurately sorting small populations of cells with high fidelity. J Micromech Microeng. 2013;23(11). 

Goudarzi M, Weber W, Mak TD, Chung J, Doyle-Eisele M, Melo D, Brenner DJ, Guilmette RA, Fornace AJ. Development of urinary biomarkers for internal exposure by cesium-137 using a metabolomics approach in mice. Radiat Res. 2014 Jan;181(1):54-64. 

Shuryak I, Smilenov LB, Kleiman NJ, Brenner DJ. Potential reduction of contralateral second breast-cancer risks by prophylactic mammary irradiation: validation in a breast-cancer-prone mouse model. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 20;8(12):e85795. 

Brenner DJ, Vazquez M, Buonanno M, Amundson SA, Bigelow AW, Garty G, Harken AD, Hei TK, Marino SA, Ponnaiya B, Randers-Pehrson G, Xu Y. Integrated interdisciplinary training in the radiological sciences. Br J Radiol. 2014 Feb;87(1034):20130779. 

Brenner DJ. What we know and what we don't know about cancer risks associated with radiation doses from radiological imaging. Br J Radiol. 2014 Jan 20. 

Brenner DJ, Shuryak I, Jozsef G2, Dewyngaert KJ, Formenti SC. Risk and risk reduction of major coronary events associated with contemporary breast radiotherapy. JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Jan;174(1):158-60. 

Buonanno M, Randers-Pehrson G, Bigelow AW, Trivedi S, Lowy FD, Spotnitz HM, Hammer SM, Brenner DJ. 207-nm UV light - a promising tool for safe low-cost reduction of surgical site infections. I: in vitro studies. PLoS One. 2013 Oct 16;8(10):e76968. 

Grad M, Harken A, Randers-Pehrson G, Attinger D, Brenner DJ. An ultra-thin Schottky diode as a transmission particle detector for biological microbeams. J Instrum. 2012 Dec;7. pii: P12001. 

Ponnaiya B, Amundson SA, Ghandhi SA, Smilenov LB, Geard CR, Buonanno M, Brenner DJ. Single-cell responses to ionizing radiation. Radiat Environ Biophys. 2013 Nov;52(4):523-30. 

Buonanno M, Garty G, Grad M, Gendrel M, Hobert O, Brenner DJ. Microbeam irradiation of C. elegans nematode in microfluidic channels. Radiat Environ Biophys. 2013 Nov;52(4):531-7. 

Schissler AJ, Rozenshtein A, Kulon ME, Pearson GD, Green RA, Stetson PD, Brenner DJ, D'Souza B, Tsai WY, Schluger NW, Einstein AJ. CT pulmonary angiography: increasingly diagnosing less severe pulmonary emboli. PLoS One. 2013 Jun 12;8(6):e65669.

Lyulko OV, Randers-Pehrson G, Brenner DJ. Simultaneous immersion Mirau interferometry. Rev Sci Instrum. 2013 May;84(5):053701. 

Manuela Buonanno, Gerhard Randers-Pehrson, Alan W. Bigelow, Sheetal Trivedi, Franklin D. Lowy, Henry M. Spotnitz, Scott M. Hammer, David J. Brenner. 207-nm UV Light - A Promising Tool for Safe Low-Cost Reduction of Surgical Site Infections. I: In Vitro Studies. Plos One, Vol. 8 Iss. 10. Oct 2013.

Brown JM, Brenner DJ, Carlson DJ. Dose escalation, not "new biology," can account for the efficacy of stereotactic body radiation therapy with non-small cell lung cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Apr 1;85(5):1159-60.

Xu Y, Turner HC, Garty G, Brenner DJ. A Rapid, Quantitative Method to Characterize The Human Lymphocyte Concentration for Automated High-Throughput Radiation Biodosimetry. Biomed. Eng. Res. Vol. 2 Iss. 1 PP. 16-19, March (2013).

Grad, M., Bigelow, A.W., Garty, G., Attinger, D. and Brenner D.J. Optofluidic cell manipulation for a biological microbeam. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 84: 014301 (2013).

Brenner DJ. Radiation and chest CT scans: are there problems? What should we do? Chest 142:549-50 (2012)

Brenner DJ. Minimizing medically unwarranted computed tomography scans. Ann ICRP. 41:161-9 (2012).

Brenner DJ. We can do better than effective dose for estimating or comparing low-dose radiation risks. Ann ICRP. 41:124-8 (2012).

Brenner DJ, Hall EJ. Cancer Risks from CT Scans: Now We Have Data, What Next? Radiology. 265:330-1 (2012).

Brenner DJ. Exploring two two-edged swords. Radiat Res. 178:7-16 (2012).

Shuryak I, Brenner DJ. Mechanistic analysis of the contributions of DNA and protein damage to radiation-induced cell death. Radiat Res. 178:17-24 (2012).

Becker SJ, Elliston CD, Dewyngaert K, Jozsef G, Brenner DJ, Formenti S. Breast radiotherapy in the prone position primarily reduces the maximum out-of-field measured dose to the ipsilateral lung. Med Phys. 39:2417-23 (2012).

Chen Y, Wang H, Zhang J, Garty G, Simaan N, Yao YL, Brenner DJ. Automated recognition of robotic manipulation failures in high-throughput biodosimetry Tool. Expert Syst Appl. 39:9602-11 (2012).

Milne EN, Brenner DJ, Shuryak I, Einstein AJ. The older, the better. Radiology. 263(1):306-7 (2012).

Brenner DJ, Sachs RK, Peters LJ, Withers HR, Hall EJ. We forget at our peril the lessons built into the α/β model. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 82(4):1312-4 (2012).

Ng J, Shuryak I, Xu Y, Clifford Chao KS, Brenner DJ, Burri RJ. Predicting the Risk of Secondary Lung Malignancies Associated with Whole-Breast Radiation Therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. Epub: Jan 13 (2012).

For a complete list of publications with links please visit: http://www.columbia.edu/~djb3/publications.html

Honors and Awards

DSc, Honorary Degree, Oxford University, 1996
Failla Award, Radiation Research Society, 2011