Sally A. Amundson, Sc.D.

Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology

Center for Radiological Research

Contact Information: 

Center for Radiological Research
630 West 168th Street
VC 11-215
New York, NY 10032

Telephone: (212) 342-0965
Fax: (212) 305-3229



BA (Biology) Hamline University, St. Paul, MN, 1986
ScD (Cancer Biology) Harvard University, School of Public Health, Boston, MA, 1992
Postdoctoral Fellow, Radiation Biology, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1992 - 1995
IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow, NCI, Cancer Biology, 1995 - 1998


     The major focus of my laboratory is the study of gene expression responses to ionizing radiation. Exposure to adverse environmental conditions, including DNA damaging agents like radiation, triggers stress signals that lead to the altered expression of multiple genes. The genes that respond to stress are involved in many different cellular processes, such as cell-cycle control, programmed cell death, DNA repair, differentiation and senescence. By changing the pattern of genes being expressed, a cell can essentially reprogram itself to respond to environmental challenges.

     Modern measurement techniques enable us to obtain a “snapshot” of gene expression across the whole genome. Interpreting a series of such snapshots can help us to understand how cells change their gene expression program as they respond to radiation exposure. This can give us insights into signal transduction pathways and the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular, tissue and whole organism responses to radiation.

     My lab is using such approaches to investigate several radiation biology questions important to human health, including:

• How does exposure to low dose and low dose-rate radiation differ from high dose acute exposures?
• How do signals from irradiated cells or tissues cause effects in nearby unexposed cells (bystander effect)?
• How does radiation exposure affect breast cancer development, and how is the process different in the Space radiation environment that would be encountered in long-term manned Space missions?
• Can gene expression measurements provide radiation biodosimetry for triage in emergency situations? Please visit U19 Project 2 website.

Selected Activities

Member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements
Associate Editor, Radiation Research Journal, 2007-present
Scientific Advisory Council of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), Hiroshima, Japan
Radiation Research Society, Finance Committee, 2005-2011
Radiation Research Society, Committee for Women in Radiation Research, 2000- 2003
Radiation Research Society, Council, 2012- 


Ghandhi SA, Weber W, Melo D, Doyle-Eisele M, Chowdhury M, Guilmette R, Amundson SA. Effects of 90Sr internal emitter on gene expression in mouse blood. BMC Genomics. 2015 Aug 7; 16:586.

Paul S, Smilenov LB, Elliston CD, Amundson SA. Radiation Dose-Rate Effects on Gene Expression in a Mouse Biodosimetry Model. Radiat Res. 2015 Jun 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Ghandhi SA, Smilenov LB, Elliston CD, Chowdhury M, Amundson SA. Radiation dose-rate effects on gene expression for human biodosimetry. BMC Med Genomics. 2015 May 12;8:22.

Sun H, Olsen T, Zhu J, Tao J, Ponnaiya B, Amundson SA, Brenner DJ, Lin Q. A Bead-Based Microfluidic Approach to Integrated Single-Cell Gene Expression Analysis by Quantitative RT-PCR. RSC Adv. 2015 Jan 1;5(7):4886-4893.

Turner HC, Shuryak I, Taveras M, Bertucci A, Perrier JR, Chen C, Elliston CD, Johnson GW, Smilenov LB, Amundson SA, Brenner DJ. Effect of dose rate on residual γ-H2AX levels and frequency of micronuclei in X-irradiated mouse lymphocytes. Radiat Res. 2015 Mar; 183(3):315-24. Epub 2015 Mar 4. 

Paul S, Amundson SA. Differential Effect of Active Smoking on Gene Expression in Male and Female Smokers. J Carcinog Mutagen. 2014;5. pii: 1000198.

Paul S, Amundson SA. Gene expression signatures of radiation exposure in peripheral white blood cells of smokers and non-smokers. Int J Radiat Biol 87, 791-801, 2011.

Meador JA, Ghandhi SA, Amundson SA. p53-independent downregulation of histone gene expression in human cell lines by high- and low-let radiation. Radiat Res 175, 689-699, 2011.

Ghandhi, SA, Sinha, A, Markatou, M, and Amundson, SA. Time-series clustering of gene expression in irradiated and bystander fibroblasts: an application of FBPA clustering. BMC Genomics 12, 2, 2011.

Williams, PD, Owens, CR, Dziegielewski, J, Moskaluk, CA, Read, PW, Larner, JM, Story, MD, Brock, WA, Amundson, SA, Lee, JK, and Theodorescu, D. Cyclophilin B expression is associated with in vitro radioresistance and clinical outcome after radiotherapy. Neoplasia 13, 1122-1131, 2011.

Paul S, Barker CA, Turner HC, McLane A, Wolden SL, Amundson SA. Prediction of in vivo radiation dose status in radiotherapy patients using ex vivo and in vivo gene expression signatures. Radiat Res 175, 257-265, 2011.

Mezentsev A, Amundson SA. Global gene expression responses to low- or high-dose radiation in a human three-dimensional tissue model. Radiat Res 175, 677-688, 2011.

Amundson SA, Smilenov LB. Integration of biological knowledge and gene expression data for biomarker selection: FN1 as a potential predictor of radiation resistance in head and neck cancer. Cancer Biol Ther 10, 1252-1255, 2011.

Ghandhi SA, Ming L, Ivanov VN, Hei TK, Amundson SA. Regulation of early signaling and gene expression in the alpha-particle and bystander response of IMR-90 human fibroblasts. BMC Med Genomics 3, 31, 2010.

Ivanov VN, Zhou H, Ghandhi SA, Karasic TB, Yaghoubian B, Amundson SA, Hei TK. Radiation-induced bystander signaling pathways in human fibroblasts: a role for interleukin-33 in the signal transmission. Cell Signal 22, 1076-87, 2010.

Hyduke DR, Amundson SA, Fornace Jr AJ. Complexity of Stress Signaling. In: Bradshaw RA, Dennis EA, ed,. Handbook of Cell Signaling. New York, NY: Academic Press p. 2107-2125, 2010.

Amundson, SA. Functional genomics in radiation biology: a gateway to cellular systems-level studies. Radiat Environ Biophys 47, 25-31, 2008.

Paul S., Amundson SA. Development of gene expression signatures for practical radiation biodosimetry. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 71, 1236-1244, 2008.



Honors and Awards

Michael Fry Research Award, Radiation Research Society, 2004
Research Training Award, NCI intramural program, 1995-1998
Intramural Director's Fellowship, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1992-1994
National Research Service Award, HSPH, Harvard University, 1986-1992
Phi Beta Kappa, 1986