Sara Rockwell PhD

Professor Emeritus of Therapeutic Radiology; Associate Dean for Scientific Affairs


Sara Rockwell received her B.S. in Physics in from Penn State in 1965 and her Ph.D. in Biophysics from Stanford in 1971. She received postdoctoral training as a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University and as an Attache de Recherche at the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France. In 1974 she joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine and is now Professor of Therapeutic Radiology and Pharmacology. Professor Rockwell taught radiation biology, pharmacology, cancer biology, ethics, and career development skills in several Yale courses and lecture series. Her laboratory research focused on studying the unphysiological microenvironments of cells within solid tumors, with the goal of improving the treatment of cancer. She was among the first researchers to study the effects of hypoxia on the response of malignant cells in culture and solid tumors in vivo to radiation, anticancer drugs, and combined modality therapy and among the first to consider the implications of the hypoxia found in microscopic tumors for the development and evolution of solid malignancies. The results of this research have been published in over 200 scientific publications and presented in over 250 papers at national and international scientific meetings. Professor Rockwell has received numerous awards for her educational and research activities, including election to membership in the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering and selection as a Fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

Professor Rockwell had served on advisory panels for the NIH, DOD, NASA, OSTP and other governmental agencies, the American Cancer Society, other voluntary health organizations, and several universities. She served a two-year term as chair of the NCI Initial Review Group for Clinical Research Studies. She was an active member of several professional societies and had served on the editorial boards of five scientific journals. She served as the Editor-in-Chief of Radiation Research, the official journal of the Radiation Research Society and the preeminent multidisciplinary journal in the radiation sciences.

Dr. Rockwell also served as the Associate Dean for Scientific Affairs for the Yale School of Medicine. She directed the Evaluation Program for the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (Yale’s CTSA), served on the executive committee of the YCCI, and represented the YCCI on several committees of the national CTSA network. She was also the Medical School’s representative to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Research and Development. In addition, she served as Yale University’s designated Faculty Representative to the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) and recently completed a term as the chair of the FDP faculty committee and vice chair of the FDP.