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Isabel L. Jackson Ph.D.

Academic Title: Assistant Professor
Primary Appointment: Radiation Oncology
Location: 685 West Baltimore Street, MSTF 700-B
Phone: 410-706-5141
Fax: 410-706-2666

Personal History:

Dr. Jackson received her undergraduate degree in microbiology from North Carolina State University (Raleigh) and a PhD in pathology (radiation biology) from Duke University (Durham, NC). In 2012, after completion of doctoral training, she joined the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) as an assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology. She serves as director of the Medical Countermeasure (MCM) Program within the department's Division of Translational Radiation Sciences. She oversees a Good Laboratory Practices compliant preclinical research facility that acts as a contract research organization serving a range of clients in oncology and biodefense. She has published extensively on the characterization and refinement of small animal models of radiation-induced normal tissue injury that are expected to react with a human-comparable response in temporal onset, disease progression, and pathologic manifestations of disease.

Dr. Jackson serves as a member of the UM SOM Institutional Review Board, as an interviewer for the UM SOM Committee on Admissions, and a lecturer in the Department of Radiation Oncology resident board review course and annual radiation biology and physics review. She has been a grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Defense and is an ad hoc reviewer for cancer- and radiation research-related peer-reviewed journals, including the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics; Cancer Research; Radiation Research; International Journal of Radiation Biology; and American  Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. She is a member of the editorial board for Advances in Radiation Oncology, a journal of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology. She has presented the results of original radiation research at numerous national and international conferences and is a frequently invited participant in pre-IND and IND meetings related to MCM development through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Animal Rule.

Research Interests:

Dr. Jackson's research is focused on development of clinically relevant animal models of late normal tissue effects from radiation exposure (radiation pneumonitis/fibrosis, neurocognitive decline) to improve target identification for therapeutic intervention and optimization of treatment schedules to minimize normal tissue complications. Her research takes a systems biology approach using state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques, classical radiobiology approaches, and various "oomics" technologies to interrogate the mechanisms underlying radiation-induced normal tissue toxicity and identify new therapeutic approaches to prevent, mitigate, and/or treat radiation-related disease.

Lab Techniques and Equipment:

Under Dr. Jackson's direction, the MCM program takes a results-driven approach to facilitate new target identification and optimization of treatment strategies to improve cancer care and save lives in a radiation accident and/or attack. The laboratory has conducted more than a dozen industry- and government-sponsored studies in oncology and biodefense models to move drugs from early-stage preclinical development toward FDA approval and licensure.

The laboratory is purpose-built for basic science research and early-to-late-stage preclinical development of new therapeutics for the oncology and biodefense space. The laboratory is located within the Division of Translational Radiation Sciences, which occupies more than 20,000 sf of research space. The 10,000-sf lab is separated into wet lab space (with 10 workbenches, tissue culture room, walk-in cold room, and equipment room) and an animal suite with ID-card entry. The animal suite includes an animal housing room that can hold up to 7,000 rodents, two irradiator rooms, a micro-CT room, two animal observation rooms, two plethysmography rooms, a Vevo210 small animal imaging system, an animal necropsy room, and a dedicated test and control article preparation room.

In addition, the laboratory is fully equipped for classical and state-of-the-art molecular biology including: multiple refrigerated microcentrifuges, several wet tank blotting systems for protein electrophoresis and blotting, thermal rocker, MasterCycler Pro for RT-PCR, 96 and 384-well CFX RT- PCR system with automator, HT Multi-Detection Microplate Reader (Biotek), Nanodrop spectrophotometer (Thermo Scientific), ChemiDoc MP Gel Imaging System (Bio-Rad), MaxQ500 Shaker (Thermo Scientific), Sorvall ST16 Centrifuge (Thermo Scientific), Refrigerated Centrifuge (Eppendorf), Air-Jacketed CO2 Incubator (Nuaire), Heracell Dual Chamber Incubator (Thermo Scientific), Colony Counter and Scanner (Synoptics), PCR Workstation (Thermo Scientific), MX-5141N multi-function printer (Sharp), Cell Counter (Beckman Coulter).


  1. Murigi FN, Mohindra P, Hung C, Salimi S, Goetz W, Pavlovic R, Jackson IL, Vujaskovic Z. Dose optimization study of AEOL 10150 as a mitigator of radiation-induced lung injury in CBA/J mice. Radiat Res. 2015 Oct;184(4):422-32. Epub 2015 Sep 28.
  2. Antonic V, Rabbani ZN, Jackson IL, Vujaskovic Z. Subcutaneous administration of bovine superoxide dismutase protects lungs from radiation-induced lung injury. Free Radic Res. 2015 Oct;49(10):1259-68. Epub 2015 Aug 11.
  3. Kimura M, Zodda AR, Mahmood J, Das SK, Nguyen GB, Jackson IL, Vujaskovic Z. Pilot study evaluating a rat model of radiation-induced erectile dysfunction using an image-guided microirradiator. Urology. 2015 May;85(5):1214.e1-6. Epub 2015 Mar 13.
  4. Jones JW, Scott AJ, Tudor G, Xu PT, Jackson IL, Vujaskovic Z, Booth C, MacVittie TJ, Ernst RK, Kane MA. Identification and quantitation of biomarkers for radiation-induced injury via mass spectrometry. Health Phys. 2014 Jan;106(1):106-19.
  5. Jackson IL, Xu PT, Nguyen G, Down JD, Johnson CS, Katz BP, Hadley CC, Vujaskovic Z. Characterization of the dose response relationship for lung injury following acute radiation exposure in three well-established murine strains: developing an interspecies bridge to link animal models with human lung. Health Phys. 2014 Jan;106(1):48-55.
  6. Down JD, Medhora M, Jackson IL, Cline JM, Vujaskovic Z. Do variations in mast cell hyperplasia account for differences in radiation-induced lung injury among different mouse strains, rats and nonhuman primates? Radiat Res. 2013 Aug;180(2):216-21. Epub 2013 Jul 2.
  7. Zhou S, Nissao E, Jackson IL, Leong W, Dancy L, Cuttitta F, Vujaskovic Z, Sunday ME. Radiation-induced lung injury is mitigated by blockade of gastrin-releasing peptide. Am J Pathol. 2013 Apr;182(4):1248-54. Epub 2013 Feb 8.
  8. Kelsey CR, Jackson IL, Langdon S, Owzar K, Hubbs J, Vujaskovic Z, Das S, Marks LB. Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms and radiation sensitivity of the lung assessed with an objective radiologic endpoint. Clin Lung Cancer. 2013 May;14(3):267-74. doi: 10.1016/j.cllc.2012.10.006. Epub 2013 Jan 10.
  9. McGurk R, Hadley C, Jackson IL, Vujaskovic Z. Development and dosimetry of a small animal lung irradiation platform. Health Phys. 2012 Oct;103(4):454-62.
  10. Jackson IL, Xu P, Hadley C, Katz BP, McGurk R, Down JD, Vujaskovic Z. A preclinical rodent model of radiation-induced lung injury for medical countermeasure screening in accordance with the FDA animal rule. Health Phys. 2012 Oct;103(4):463-73.
  11. Jackson IL, Zhang X, Hadley C, Rabbani ZN, Zhang Y, Marks S, Vujaskovic Z. Temporal expression of hypoxia-regulated genes is associated with early changes in redox status in irradiated lung. Free Radic Biol Med. 2012 Jul 15;53(2):337-46. Epub 2012 Apr 25.
  12. Kimura M, Rabbani ZN, Zodda AR, Yan H, Jackson IL, Polascik TJ, Donatucci CF, Moul JW, Vujaskovic Z, Koontz BF. Role of oxidative stress in a rat model of radiation-induced erectile dysfunction. J Sex Med. 2012 Jun;9(6):1535-49. Epub 2012 Apr 10.
  13. DiCarlo AL, Jackson IL, Shah JR, Czarniecki CW, Maidment BW, Williams JP. Development and licensure of medical countermeasures to treat lung damage resulting from a radiological or nuclear incident. Radiat Res. 2012 May;177(5):717-21. Epub 2012 Apr 2.
  14. Williams JP, Jackson IL, Shah JR, Czarniecki CW, Maidment BW, DiCarlo AL. Animal models and medical countermeasures development for radiation-induced lung damage: report from an NIAID Workshop. Radiat Res. 2012 May;177(5):e0025-39. Epub 2012 Apr 2.
  15. Zhang Y, Zhang X, Rabbani ZN, Jackson IL, Vujaskovic Z. Oxidative stress mediates radiation lung injury by inducing apoptosis. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Jun 1;83(2):740-8. Epub 2012 Jan 21.
  16. Jackson IL, Vujaskovic Z, Down JD. A further comparison of pathologies after thoracic irradiation among different mouse strains: finding the best preclinical model for evaluating therapies directed against radiation-induced lung damage. Radiat Res. 2011 Apr;175(4):510-18. Epub 2011 Feb 21.
  17. Kelsey CR, Jackson L, Langdon S, Owzar K, Hubbs J, Vujaskovic Z, Das S, Marks LB. A polymorphism within the promoter of the TGFβ1 gene is associated with radiation sensitivity using an objective radiologic endpoint. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Feb 1;82(2):e247-55. Epub 2011 May 24.
  18. Beketic-Oreskovic L, Ozretic P, Rabbani ZN, Jackson IL, Sarcevic B, Levanat S, Maric P, Babic I, Vujaskovic Z. Prognostic significance of carbonic anhydrase IX (CA-IX), endoglin (CD105) and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in breast cancer patients. Pathol Oncol Res. 2011 Sep;17(3):593-603. Epub 2011 Jan 20.
  19. Rabbani ZN, Mi J, Zhang Y, Delong M, Jackson IL, Fleckenstein K, Salahuddin FK, Zhang X, Clary B, Anscher MS, Vujaskovic Z. Hypoxia inducible factor 1alpha signaling in fractionated radiation-induced lung injury: role of oxidative stress and tissue hypoxia. Radiat Res. 2010 Feb;173(2):165-74.
  20. Jackson IL, Vujaskovic Z, Down JD. Revisiting strain-related differences in radiation sensitivity of the mouse lung: recognizing and avoiding the confounding effects of pleural effusions. Radiat Res. 2010 Jan;173(1):10-20.
  21. Vujaskovic Z, Thrasher BA, Jackson IL, Brizel MB, Brizel DM. Radioprotective effects of amifostine on acute and chronic esophageal injury in rodents. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Oct 1;69(2):534-40.
  22. Fleckenstein K, Zgonjanin L, Chen L, Rabbani Z, Jackson IL, Thrasher B, Kirkpatrick J, Foster WM, Vujaskovic Z. Temporal onset of hypoxia and oxidative stress after pulmonary irradiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 May 1;68(1):196-204.
  23. Fleckenstein K, Gauter-Fleckenstein B, Jackson IL, Rabbani Z, Anscher M, Vujaskovic Z. Using biological markers to predict risk of radiation injury. Semin Radiat Oncol. 2007 Apr;17(2):89-98. Review.
    24.   Jackson IL, Chen L, Batinic-Haberle I, Vujaskovic Z. Superoxide dismutase mimetic reduces hypoxia-induced O2*-, TGF-beta, and VEGF production by macrophages. Free Radic Res. 2007 Jan;41(1):8-14.
  24. Jackson IL, Batinic-Haberle I, Sonveaux P, Dewhirst MW, Vujaskovic Z. ROS production and angiogenic regulation by macrophages in response to heat therapy. Int J Hyperthermia. 2006 Jun;22(4):263-73.