Jerry D Slater, MD

Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA

Dr. Slater, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Medicine at Loma Linda University (LLU), is one of the pioneers of hospital-based proton radiation therapy. He designed the treatment protocols under which proton radiation treatment was initiated at Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) in 1990, and has led clinical applications and research at LLUMC since that time.

Dr. Slater is a graduate of LLU School of Medicine. He took residency training in M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Houston, followed by a fellowship in radiation oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory, Boston. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, and well as several book chapters and presentations. He holds appointments at several other medical institutions in southern California, and is active on many national and regional cancer and radiation-therapy committees as well as institutional committees at LLU.

Dr. Slater’s prime professional pursuit is the use and optimization of radiation therapy, of which proton-beam irradiation is one component. As such, he had led clinical studies of proton therapy for many major cancers, such as those of the head and neck, lung, breast, and prostate, as well investigations of proton and combined-modality treatment of cancers and other diseases in a myriad of anatomic sites in adults and children. He conducts research to further enhance the precision of protons via engineering advancements that include improved delivery systems such as robotic positioning and active beam scanning, and also conducts research to apply proton radiation in novel ways, such as developing hypofractionation protocols and employing protons for radiosurgical and palliative applications. His clinical work rests on a comprehensive program of basic-science investigations; among those with which he is involved are studies of radiation sensitizers and radioprotective agents, nanodosimetry, proton computed tomography, and identifying intrinsic factors in cellular genotypes that affect their basic responses to radiation.

Dr. Slater’s fundamental commitment is to maximize the potential of radiation to effectively treat cancers and other diseases, while simultaneously minimizing or eliminating radiation-related side effects that compromise that potential. The entire clinical and research program at LLUMC, and his entire career as a physician, are dedicated to realizing those outcomes.