Uzoma Iheagwara, MD, PhD

  • Clinical Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology

Uzoma K. Iheagwara MD, PhD is a Clinical Assistant Professor in radiation oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and serves as the clinical director of radiation oncology at Hillman Cancer Center at UPMC Horizon. His educational background includes attendance of Phillips Academy Andover, an independent boarding high school with an intensive academic curriculum. Upon graduating in 2004, he attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) as a Meyerhoff Scholar and a MARCU*STAR Scholar. Here he developed a love for medicine and cancer research under the mentorship of Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, PhD. This experience led him to attend the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as a part of Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). He went on to complete his PhD training in Immunology in 2013 under the mentorship of Olivera Finn, PhD working on the development of new mechanisms of immunosurveillance.  He later went on to complete medical school training in 2015 and radiation oncology residency at UPMC in 2020 under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Sushil Beriwal and Dr. Ryan Smith. He was co-chief resident during his PGY5 year. During residency, he had extensive training in all cancer types and treatment modalities; specifically, gynecologic and prostate brachytherapy, SBRT, and SRS with the Cyberknife, Gammaknife and TrueBeam platforms. He is an active member of ASTRO, ABS, SITC, AAI, and AACR.


He currently provides oncologic care for all cancer types in the community setting for the Shenango Valley and surrounding areas. He has a special interest in radiation and immunotherapy research and bringing clinical trials to the community setting. Lastly, he aspires to be a pillar of the community through community outreach, awareness, and mentorship. 

Teaching activities: Radiation Oncology Residents


Representative Publications

  1. Iheagwara UK, Vargo JA, Boisen MM, Taylor SE, Berger JL, Comerci JT, Orr BC, Sukumvanich P, Olawaiye AB, Kelley JL, Edwards RP. Regional Control and Chemoradiotherapy Dose Response for Clinically Involved Lymph Nodes in Patients with Locally Advanced Endometrial Cancers Who are Not Candidates for Upfront Surgical Staging Extrafascial Hysterectomy. Clinical Oncology. 2020 Sep 10.
  2. Iheagwara UK, Vargo JA, Chen KS, Burton D, Taylor SE, Berger JL, Boisen MM, Comerci JT, Orr B, Sukumvanich P, Olawaiye AB, Kelley JL, Edwards RP, Courtney-Brooks M, Beriwal S, Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy Followed by Extrafascial Hysterectomy in Locally Advanced Type II Endometrial Cancer Clinically Extending to Cervix. Practical Radiation Oncology. 2019 Feb 22.
  3. Iheagwara UK, Clump DA, Heron DE. Immunoradiosurgery: The Convergence of SBRT and the Immune Response. Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT). 2018 Sep 28:321.
  4. Iheagwara UK, Beatty PL, Van PT, Ross TM, Minden JS, Finn OJ. 2013. Influenza virus infection elicits antibodies and T cells to host cell antigens previously identified as tumor associated antigens: a new view of cancer immunosurveillance, Cancer Immunol Res, 2(3), 263-273
  5. Iheagwara UK, Beatty PL, Chan S, Rigatti LH, Ross TM, and Finn OJ; Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy, “Chapter 19: MUC-1 as a therapeutic target in cancer: programming the immune system through childhood infections”, Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, 265-280
  6. Bosch JJ, Iheagwara UK, Reid S, Srivastava MK, Wolf J, Lotem M, Ksander BR, Ostrand-Rosenberg, S. (2010). Uveal melanoma cell-based vaccines express MHC II molecules that traffic via the endocytic and secretory pathways and activate CD8(+) cytotoxic, tumor-specific T cells. Cancer Immunol Immunother, 59(1), 103-112.
  7. Bosch JJ, Thompson JA, Srivastava MK, Iheagwara UK, Murray TG, Lotem, M, Ksander BR, Ostrand-Rosenberg, S. (2007). MHC class II-transduced tumor cells originating in the immune-privileged eye prime and boost CD4(+) T lymphocytes that cross-react with primary and metastatic uveal melanoma cells. Cancer Res, 67(9), 4499-4506.


Research Interests

As a physician scientist, his research interest lies in combining immunotherapeutics and radiation treatment. He is currently working closely with the leaders of the Head and Neck SPORE and Phase 2 clinical trial program in development of interesting basic science questions and development of novel early phase clinical trials. He looks forward to increasing awareness and access to innovative clinical trials in the community.

Research Grants


UNCF/MERCK Graduate Science Research Dissertation Fellowship 09/01/12-08/31/14

The overall goal of the fellowship is to provide support to African-American graduate students to complete coursework, conduct research, and prepare the dissertation required for a doctoral degree in the biomedically related life or physical science and engineering.

Role: PI