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Targeting Cancer Care

Colleen A. F. Lawton


Immediate Past Chair

Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee


  • MD, Medical College of Wisconsin, 1983
  • BS, Biology (Summa Cum Laude), Marquette University, 1979.

Postgraduate Education

  • Radiation Oncology Residency, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 1983-1987.

Academic Appointments

  • Tenured Professor, Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 2003-present.
  • Professor, Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 1997-present.
  • Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 1992-1997.
  • Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 1988-1992.
  • Instructor, Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 1987-1988.

Hospital/Institution Appointments

  • Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital.
  • Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
  • Community Memorial Hospital.
  • Veterans Administration Hospital.

Biographical Statement

I’m a native of Milwaukee, where I completed my grade school and high school work. As one of eight children, (seven brothers!), it was easy to decide where to attend college since my parents offered only one choice: Marquette University. Marquette offered a great education at a very reasonable price, which was particularly appealing to my parents since all of their children could live at home while attending the university.

Following graduation from Marquette, I matriculated at the Medical College of Wisconsin where I completed my medical degree. Early in my senior year I discovered the fascinating field of radiation oncology and had the unique opportunity for residency training at the Medical College of Wisconsin under the direction of Drs. Frank Wilson, Larry Kun, Ritsuko Komaki and Jim Cox, just to name a few inspiring mentors. 

During residency, my twin boys (Andy and Chris), who currently are 26 years old, were born. In addition, Pat, my husband of 29 years and I were blessed with two other children: our daughter Shannon, age 22, and our son Matt, age 18.

My professional career began under the leadership of Dr. J. Frank Wilson at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where I have spent the last 24 years. I have had the privilege of working with exceptional colleagues under great leadership and have been allowed to focus on my two principal research interests, the first being the role and process of total body irradiation in stem cell transplantation. In addition, I have had the opportunity to participate extensively, (especially through the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG)), in prostate cancer research. I have been chairman or co-chairman of multiple RTOG prostate cancer trials defining the role of nodal radiation therapy, adjunctive hormones, brachytherapy and hypofractionation. This has been a most rewarding personal, as well as professional, experience, acquainting me with many Society members and leading to durable friendships.

During my career, I have spent 16 years extensively involved within ASTRO, both at the Annual Meeting, as well as faculty for refresher courses and moderator for GU sessions. From 2002-2005 I served on the Board of Directors, which has afforded me the opportunity to fully understand the inner workings of ASTRO and the specialty it represents. With the recent development of the Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI), I have had the opportunity to further interact with many ASTRO members on this important initiative to further our field. In 2007 I was made the Vice-president of the ROI, and I have worked very hard with exceptionally dedicated ASTRO members to bring the ROI from a concept to a reality.

In summary, I have had the opportunity not only to develop my professional career in significant research endeavors, but also to develop leadership skills within ASTRO as well as in service to other organizations such the American College of Radiology, the ACGME, (where I chaired the RRC (1998 – 2002)), and the American Board of Radiology. I look forward to many more years of service to our ever changing professional Society.

Content last updated 11/13/2014
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