Paul W. Doetsch PhD


Titles and Roles

Professor, Radiation Oncology, Biochemistry, Hematology and Medical Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Department of Radiation Oncology Distinguished Chair of Cancer Research
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Research Program
Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics


Paul W. Doetsch, PhD, has been a faculty member engaged in basic cancer research at Emory University in Atlanta since 1985. He is internationally recognized for his studies and publications in the areas of DNA damage repair, mutagenesis, genetic instability and the mechanism of action of DNA targeting antitumor agents. As Professor of Biochemistry, Radiation Oncology, and Hematology and Medical Oncology; Distinguished Chair of Cancer Research, Dr. Doetsch provides leadership for more than 150 Winship Cancer Institute core members engaged in research. His trainees include dozens of PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and physician scientists at the Emory University School of Medicine.


Dr. Doetsch received a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland and a MS in Medicinal Chemistry from Purdue University. He obtained his doctoral training in nucleic acids biochemistry in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Suhadolnik at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He conducted postdoctoral work at Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Dr. William Haseltine where they pioneered the application of DNA sequencing technology for the characterization of DNA repair enzymes and for mapping DNA damage at single molecule resolution.


Dr. Doetsch is internationally recognized for his studies and publications in the areas of DNA damage repair, mutagenesis, genetic instability and elucidating the mode of action of antitumor agents. In his laboratory at Emory, he and his team discovered and characterized DNA repair enzymes, elucidated the regulation of repair pathways, and defined relationships between DNA damage management and genetic events leading to basic processes important in tumor development. This information is being used for understanding cancer cell resistance to radiation and chemotherapy as well as to develop new therapeutic strategies for cancer treatments.


Dr. Doetsch’s past and current service on journal editorial boards or as associate editor include Radiation Research; Free Radical Biology and Medicine; Cancer Biology and Therapy;  DNA Repair; Research Letters in Biochemistry; Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology; Biochemistry Research International; and Nucleic Acids Research.

  • PublicationsPublication Date


Over two decades ago, Dr. Doetsch discovered transcriptional mutagenesis and has been a pioneer in this area and its leading authority. His awards include the recipient of the Radiation Research Award (Michael Fry Award) from the Radiation Research Society (1995); the Albert E. Levy Science Faculty Research Award from Emory University (1996); the Tenth Annual Robert H. Hamilton Lecture from Temple University School of Medicine (2007); and the Orton K. Stark Distinguished Lecture from Miami University (2010). He has served as a member of the Radiation Study Section at the National Institutes of Health and the Carcinogenesis, Nutrition and Environment Study Section of the American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Chair Emeritus for the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program Integration Panel.

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