Austin Kirschner, Ph.D., M.D.

Assistant Professor

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Faculty Appointments
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology
M.D., Medicine, Northwestern University, Evanston/Chicago, IllinoisPh.D., Biological Science, Northwestern University, Evanston/Chicago, IllinoisM.S., New York University, New York, New YorkB.A., New York University, New York, New York
Office Address
Department of Radiation Oncology
1161 21st Avenue South, E1224 MCN
Nashville, TN 37232
Research Description
My central theme of research is cancer biology with focus on developing new cancer treatments, especially for locally advanced and metastatic cancers that have limited treatments. I believe new cancer therapies should be targeted to specific cancer pathways to limit their toxicity and side effects, while providing effective treatment. I am a physician-scientist treating cancer patients in a department of radiation oncology and perform basic science and translational research investigating new cancer therapies and mechanisms. Ultimately, my goal is to directly translate my research findings into clinical trials with patients.

My current research focuses on prostate cancer, since there is a significant clinical deficit: nearly 30,000 men die from prostate cancer each year in the USA, making it the #2 cause of cancer death in men (world-wide: 1.1 million diagnosed and 307,000 deaths).

One research project studies a core mechanism in prostate cancer involving the oncogene PIM1 kinase, which has been implicated in numerous human malignancies, making it an important drug target for directed cancer therapy. I pursue research work that reveals PIM1-related mechanistic details in prostate cancer and demonstrates the efficacy of PIM1-directed inhibition for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Another research project focuses on resistance to current cancer-directed therapies. Drugs that improve the effectiveness hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy), radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are needed to treat localized high-risk and metastatic disease. I study detailed mechanisms of the androgen receptor pathway, the DNA-damage repair pathway, and other pathways toward developing new therapeutic agents.
Research Keywords
Radiation Oncology, Cancer Biology, Mechanisms of Resistance to Cancer Therapies, Development of New Cancer Treatments
Clinical Research Keywords
Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Essential Tremor, Parkinsonian Tremor
Luo G, Neimat JS, Cmelak A, Kirschner AN, Attia A, Morales-Paliza M, Ding GX. Margin of error for a frameless image guided radiosurgery system: Direct confirmation based on posttreatment MRI scans. Pract Radiat Oncol [print-electronic]. 2017 May; 7(3): e223-e231. PMID: 27720703, PII: S1879-8500(16)30156-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.prro.2016.08.006, ISSN: 1879-8519.

Patel CG, Ding G, Kirschner A. Scalp-sparing total skin electron therapy in mycosis fungoides: Case report featuring a technique without lead. Pract Radiat Oncol [print-electronic]. 2017 Mar 3/27/2017; PMID: 28438420, PII: S1879-8500(17)30070-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.prro.2017.03.009, ISSN: 1879-8519.

Allen JC, Kirschner A, Scarpato KR, Morgans AK. Current Management of Refractory Germ Cell Tumors and Future Directions. Curr Oncol Rep. 2017 Feb; 19(2): 8. PMID: 28220447, PII: 10.1007/s11912-017-0572-y, DOI: 10.1007/s11912-017-0572-y, ISSN: 1534-6269.

Isaacs D, Cmelak A, Kirschner AN, Phibbs F. Radiotherapy-induced hemichorea. Neurology [print-electronic]. 2016 Apr 4/5/2016; 86(14): 1355-7. PMID: 26944270, PII: WNL.0000000000002546, DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002546, ISSN: 1526-632X.

Isaacs D, Cmelak A, Kirschner AN, Phibbs F. Radiotherapy-induced hemichorea. Neurology [print-electronic]. 2016 Apr 4/5/2016; 86(14): 1355-7. PMID: 26944270, PII: WNL.0000000000002546, DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002546, ISSN: 1526-632X.

Kirschner AN, Wang J, van der Meer R, Anderson PD, Franco-Coronel OE, Kushner MH, Everett JH, Hameed O, Keeton EK, Ahdesmaki M, Grosskurth SE, Huszar D, Abdulkadir SA. PIM kinase inhibitor AZD1208 for treatment of MYC-driven prostate cancer. J. Natl. Cancer Inst [electronic-print]. 2015 Feb; 107(2): PMID: 25505253, PMCID: PMC4326311, PII: dju407, DOI: 10.1093/jnci/dju407, ISSN: 1460-2105.

Kirschner AN, Sathiaseelan V, Zhang Y, David J, Kalapurakal JA. Multisector dosimetry in the immediate post-implant period: significant under dosage of the prostate base. J Contemp Brachytherapy [print-electronic]. 2014 Mar; 6(1): 33-9. PMID: 24790620, PMCID: PMC4003430, PII: 22582, DOI: 10.5114/jcb.2014.42023, ISSN: 1689-832X.

Kirschner AN, Kidd EA, Dewees T, Perkins SM. Treatment approach and outcomes of vaginal melanoma. Int. J. Gynecol. Cancer. 2013 Oct; 23(8): 1484-9. PMID: 23945202, DOI: 10.1097/IGC.0b013e3182a1ced8, ISSN: 1525-1438.

Shinohara ET, Mitra N, Fei W, Kirschner AN, Metz JM. Trends in the use of postoperative radiation therapy in patients with localized resectable pancreatic cancer. Am. J. Clin. Oncol. 2012 Dec; 35(6): 543-8. PMID: 21926898, DOI: 10.1097/COC.0b013e31822dfd3c, ISSN: 1537-453X.

Kirschner AN, Kuhlmann E, Kuzniar TJ. Eosinophilic pleural effusion complicating allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Respiration [print-electronic]. 2011; 82(5): 478-81. PMID: 21311176, PII: 000323617, DOI: 10.1159/000323617, ISSN: 1423-0356.

Matsuura H, Kirschner AN, Longnecker R, Jardetzky TS. Crystal structure of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) glycoprotein H/glycoprotein L (gH/gL) complex. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2010 Dec 12/28/2010; 107(52): 22641-6. PMID: 21149717, PMCID: PMC3012493, PII: 1011806108, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1011806108, ISSN: 1091-6490.

Liu F, Marquardt G, Kirschner AN, Longnecker R, Jardetzky TS. Mapping the N-terminal residues of Epstein-Barr virus gp42 that bind gH/gL by using fluorescence polarization and cell-based fusion assays. J. Virol [print-electronic]. 2010 Oct; 84(19): 10375-85. PMID: 20668073, PMCID: PMC2937788, PII: JVI.00381-10, DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00381-10, ISSN: 1098-5514.

Shaw PL, Kirschner AN, Jardetzky TS, Longnecker R. Characteristics of Epstein-Barr virus envelope protein gp42. Virus Genes [print-electronic]. 2010 Jun; 40(3): 307-19. PMID: 20162447, PMCID: PMC2854865, DOI: 10.1007/s11262-010-0455-x, ISSN: 1572-994X.

Kirschner AN, Sorem J, Longnecker R, Jardetzky TS. Structure of Epstein-Barr virus glycoprotein 42 suggests a mechanism for triggering receptor-activated virus entry. Structure. 2009 Feb 2/13/2009; 17(2): 223-33. PMID: 19217393, PMCID: PMC3085316, PII: S0969-2126(09)00025-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.str.2008.12.010, ISSN: 0969-2126.

Kirschner AN, Lowrey AS, Longnecker R, Jardetzky TS. Binding-site interactions between Epstein-Barr virus fusion proteins gp42 and gH/gL reveal a peptide that inhibits both epithelial and B-cell membrane fusion. J. Virol [print-electronic]. 2007 Sep; 81(17): 9216-29. PMID: 17581996, PMCID: PMC1951443, PII: JVI.00575-07, DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00575-07, ISSN: 0022-538X.

Kirschner AN, Omerovic J, Popov B, Longnecker R, Jardetzky TS. Soluble Epstein-Barr virus glycoproteins gH, gL, and gp42 form a 1:1:1 stable complex that acts like soluble gp42 in B-cell fusion but not in epithelial cell fusion. J. Virol. 2006 Oct; 80(19): 9444-54. PMID: 16973550, PMCID: PMC1617263, PII: 80/19/9444, DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00572-06, ISSN: 0022-538X.

Braden BC, Goldbaum FA, Chen BX, Kirschner AN, Wilson SR, Erlanger BF. X-ray crystal structure of an anti-Buckminsterfullerene antibody fab fragment: biomolecular recognition of C(60). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2000 Oct 10/24/2000; 97(22): 12193-7. PMID: 11035793, PMCID: PMC17317, PII: 210396197, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.210396197, ISSN: 0027-8424.