Radiation Biophysics Core

Mark Hill, Core Leader

The Radiation Biophysics Core facilitates radiation research within the department and investigates the health implications of human exposure.

Website: The Radiation Biophysics Core Online Resource

+44 (0)1865 617328
Wolfson College

Research Summary

The Radiation Biophysics Core develops and supports a unique range of radiation resources and techniques along with providing associated expertise. These facilities range from those used for basic cell irradiations (including techniques capable of manipulating radiation fields on the sub-cellular micron scale), through to supporting and developing a SARRP image guided pre-clinical x-ray irradiator and also includes developing techniques for dosimetry on clinical machines.

One of the main research interests includes investigating how and why ionising radiation initiates a diverse range of biological responses. We are also interested in how this correlates to differences in the temporal and spatial pattern of energy deposition events on the scale of DNA, cells and tissues associated with different radiation qualities of ionizing radiation. Mechanisms are thus formulated which are interpreted in the context of risk associated with exposure or which can potentially be exploited in radiotherapy.



Mark Hill has been Head of the Radiation Biophysics Core at the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology within the Department of Oncology since 2008, following the move of his research group from the MRC Radiation and Genome Stability Unit.

Mark has over 30 years of experience in the field of radiation biology and physics with 70 plus related peer-reviewed publications, building on an MSc in Radiation Physics at St Bart’s Medical College and related PhD at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, prior to moving to the MRC Unit in 1994.  The main focus of the work over this period relates to understanding the mechanisms behind initial DNA damage and subsequent biological response in the context of radiation track structure and ultimately the associated human health implications.  Following the move to the University of Oxford his interests have expanded to include, not only in vivo and preclinical experiments, but also clinically related research.

Mark is Course Director of the MSc in Radiation Biology in the Department of Oncology. In addition to teaching on this course, he is a specialist radiobiology examiner on the First FRCR examination board for the Royal College of Radiologists and lectures on the Annual Radiological Protection Summer School held at the University of Cambridge.  He has also been involved with a number of national and international committees including being a member of the International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC) working group preparing the monograph on ionising radiation and cancer, a member of the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) working group on the dosimetry of low-dose exposures of ionsing radiation and a member of the Tritium Subgroup of the UK Advisory Group on Ionizing Radiation (AGIR). 

Mark is also a member of the ESTRO ACROP task group on Technology for Precision Small Animal Radiotherapy Research.



Selected peer reviewed publications:

M.A. Hill, P. O’Neill and W.G. McKenna, Comments on potential health effects of MRI-induced DNA lesions: quality is more important to consider than quantity. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 17, 1230-1238 (2016) [PMID: 27550664]

A. Corroyer-Dulmont, N. Falzone, V. Kersemans, J. Thompson, M. Hill, P.D. Allen, J. Beech, S. Gilchrist, P. Kinchesh, B. Vojnovic, I. Tullis, M.N. Gaze, S. Smart, K.A. Vallis. MRI-guided radiotherapy of the SK-N-SH neuroblastoma xenograft model using a small animal radiation research platform. Br. J. Radiol. 2016 Sep 2:20160427 (Epub ahead of print) [PMID: 27524406]

M.A. Hill and B. Vojnovic, Implications of respiratory motion for small animal image-guided radiotherapy. Br. J. Radiol.  2016 Jul 22:20160482. (Epub ahead of print) [PMID: 27384471]

A.B. Abdelrazzak, S. J. Pottgießer, M.A. Hill, P. O`Neill and G. Bauer, Enhancement of peroxidase release from non-malignant and malignant cells through low-dose irradiation with different radiation quality. Radiat. Res. 185, 199-213 (2016) [PMID: 26849404]

S.J. Seo, S.M. Han, J.H. Cho, K. Hyodo, A. Zaboronok, H. You, K. Peach, M.A. Hill, and J.K. Kim, Enhanced production of reactive oxygen species by gadolinium oxide nanoparticles under core–inner-shell excitation by proton or monochromatic X-ray irradiation: implication of the contribution from the interatomic de-excitation-mediated nanoradiator effect to dose enhancement. Radiat. Environ. Biophys. 54, 423-31 (2015) [PMID: 26242374]

R. Morrison, J. Thompson, L. Bird, M.A. Hill and Helen Townley, Synthesis and characterization of polystyrene embolization particles doped with tantalum oxide nanoparticles for X-ray contrast. J. Mater. Sci: Mater. Med. 26, 5549 (2015) [PMID: 26223792]

B.L. Tracy, D.L. Stevens, D.T. Goodhead and M.A. Hill, Variation in RBE for survival of V79-4 cells as a function of alpha-particle (helium ion) energy. Radiat. Res. 182, 33-45 (2015) [PMID: 26121227]

D. Warren, M. Partridge, M.A. Hill and K. Peach, Improved calibration of mass stopping power in low density tissue for a proton pencil beam algorithm. Phys. Med. Biol. 60, 4243-4261 (2015) [PMID: 25973866]

M.A. Kadhim and M.A. Hill, Non-targeted effects of radiation exposure: recent advances and implications. Radiat. Prot. Dosim (2015) doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncv167 (Epub ahead of print) [PMID: 25897137]

L.G. Mariotti, A.B. Abdelrazzak, A. Ottolenghi, P. O'Neill and M.A. Hill, Stimulation of intercellular induction of apoptosis in transformed cells at very low doses of ionising radiation: spatial and temporal features. Radiat. Prot. Dosim. (2015) doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncv176 (Epub ahead of print) [PMID: 25883313]

M.A. Hill, Fishing for radiation quality: Chromosome aberrations and the role of the radiation track structure. Radiat. Prot. Dosim. (2015) doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncv151(Epub ahead of print). [PMID: 25883310]

T.S.A. Underwood, J. Thompson, L. Bird, A.J. Scott, P. Patmore, H.C. Winter, M.A. Hill and J.D. Fenwick, Validation of a prototype DiodeAir for small field dosimetry. Phys Med Biol. 60, 2939-2953 (2015) [PMID: 25789823]

G.B. Curwen, N.V. Sotnik, K. K. Cadwell, T.V. Azizova, M.A. Hill and · E.J. Tawn, Chromosome aberrations in workers with exposure to α-particle radiation from internal deposits of plutonium – expectations from in vitro studies and comparisons with workers with predominantly external γ-radiation exposure, Radiat. Environ. Biophys. 54, 195-206 (2015) [PMID: 25649482]

D.L. Stevens, S. Bradley, D.T. Goodhead and M.A. Hill, The influence of dose rate on the induction of chromosome aberrations and gene mutation following exposure of plateau phase V79-4 cells with high-LET alpha-particles. Radiat. Res. 183, 331-337 (2014) [PMID: 25117623]

F. Fiorini, D. Kirby, J. Thompson, S. Green, D.J. Parker, B. Jones and M.A. Hill, Under-response correction for EBT3 films in the presence of proton spread out Bragg peaks. Physica Medica 30, 454-461 (2014)  [PMID: 24461335]

T.S.A. Underwood, H.C. Winter, M.A. Hill and J.D. Fenwick, Mass-density compensation can improve the performance of a range of different detectors under non-equilibrium conditions. Phys. Med. Biol. 58, 8295-8310 (2013) [PMID: 24216601]

N. Falzone, S. Myhra, R. Chakalova, M.A. Hill, J. Thomson and K.A. Vallis, Characterization of single α-tracks by photoresist detection and AFM analysis–focus on biomedical science and technology. Phys. Med. Biol. 58, 7673–7682 (2013) [PMID: 24113400]

T.S.A. Underwood, H.C. Winter, M.A. Hill, J.D. Fenwick, Detector density and small field dosimetry: Integral versus point dose measurement schemes. Med. Phys.40, 082101-1 - 082101-16 (2013) [PMID: 23927339]

E.M. O’Brien, J.M. Senra, S. Anbalagan, M.A. Hill, E.M. Hammond, Impact of Wee1 inhibition on the hypoxia-induced DNA damage response. Tumor Microenvironment and Therapy. 1, 37–45 (2013) [DOI: 10.2478/tumor-2013-0002]

M. Themis, E. Garimberti, M.A. Hill and R.M. Anderson, Reduced chromosome aberration complexity in normal human bronchial epithelial cells exposed to low-LET g-rays and high-LET a-particles. Int. J. Radiat. Biol. Jun 13. [Epub ahead of print] (2013) [PMID: 23679558]

H.A. Foster, G. Estrada-Girona, M. Themis, E. Garimberti, M.A. Hill, J.M. Bridger and R.M. Anderson, Relative proximity of chromosome territories influences chromosome exchange partners in radiation-induced chromosome rearrangements in primary human bronchial epithelial cells. Mut. Res. 756,66-77  (2013) [PMID: 23791770]

P. Reynolds, J.A. Anderson, J.V. Harper, M.A. Hill, S.W. Botchway, A.W. Parker and P. O'Neill, The dynamics of Ku70/80 and DNA-PKcs at DSBs induced by ionizing radiation is dependent on the complexity of damage. Nucleic Acids Res. 40, 10821-31 (2012) [PMID: 23012265]

G.B. Curwen, E.J.Tawn, K.K. Cadwell, L. Guyatt, J. Thompson and M.A. Hill, mFISH Analysis of Chromosome Aberrations Induced In Vitro by α-Particle Radiation: Examination of Dose-Response Relationships, Radiat. Res. 178, 414-424 (2012) [PMID: 23083107]

S. Anbalagan, I.M. Pires, C. Blick, M.A. Hill, D.J.P. Ferguson, D.A. Chan and E.M. Hammond, Radiosensitization of Renal Cell Carcinoma in vitro through the induction of autophagy, Radiotherapy and Oncology, 103, 388–393 (2012) [PMID: 22551566]

V. Kersemans, J. Thompson, B. Cornelissen, M. Woodcock, P.D. Allen, N. Buls, R.J. Muschel, M.A.  Hill and S.C.  Smart, Micro-CT for Anatomic Referencing in PET and SPECT: Radiation Dose, Biologic Damage, and Image Quality. . J Nucl Med. 52, 1827-33 (2011) [PMID: 21984798]

A.B. Abdelrazzak, D. L. Stevens, G. Bauer, P. O’Neill and M.A. Hill, The role of radiation quality in the stimulation of intercellular induction of apoptosis in transformed cells at very low doses, Radiat. Res.176, 346355 (2011) [PMID: 21663396]

B. Cornelissen, V. Kersemans, S. Darbar, J. Thompson, K. Shah, K. Sleeth, M.A. Hill, and K. Vallis, Imaging DNA damage in vivo using γH2AX-targeted immunoconjugates, Cancer Res. 71, 4539-4549 (2011) [PMID: 21586614]

C. Bauerschmidt, M. Woodcock, D.L Stevens, M.A. Hill, K. Rothkamm and T. Helleday, Cohesin Phosphorylation and mobility of SMC1 at ionizing radiation induced DNA double strand breaks in human cells, Exp. Cell Res. 317, 330-337 (2011) [PMID: 21056556]

C.E. Tambini, K.G. Spink, C.J. Ross, M.A. Hill and J. Thacker, The importance of xrcc2 in rad51-relate DNA damage repair, DNA Repair 9, 517-525 (2010) [PMID: 20189471].

M.-A. Hervé du Penhoat, A. Eschenbrenner, F. Abel, A. Boissière, J.-M Guigner, A. Chetioui, M.-F. Politis, A. Touati, E. Sage, T.J. Jenner, D.L. Stevens, M.A. Hill, Double-strand break induction and repair in V79-4 hamster cells: the role of core ionizations, as probed by ultrasoft X-rays, Int. J. Radiat. Biol. 86, 205-219 (2010) [PMID: 20201649]

C. Bauerschmidt, C. Arrichiello, S. Burdak-Rothkamm,M. Woodcock, M.A. Hill, D.L. Stevens and K. Rothkamm, Cohesin promotes the repair of ionizing radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks in replicated chromatin, Nucleic Acids Research, 38, 477-487 (2010) [PMID: 19906707]

S. Badie, C. Liao, M. Thanasoula, P. Barber, M.A. Hill and M. Tarsounas, RAD51C facilitates checkpoint signaling by promoting CHK2 phosphorylation, J. Cell Biol. 185, 587-600 (2009) [PMID: 19451272]

D.I. Portess, G. Bauer, M.A. Hill and P. O’Neill Low dose irradiation of non-transformed cells stimulates the selective removal of pre-cancerous cells via intercellular induction of apoptosis, Cancer Res., 67, 1246-1253 (2007). [PMID: 17283161]

Reports from working groups

IARC (2012) IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Vol 100D, A Review of Human Carcinogens. D. Radiation, Lyon, IARC Press. [PMID: 23189752]

ICRU (2011), Quantification and Reporting of Low-Dose and Other Heterogeneous Exposures (ICRU Report 86), J. ICRU 2011: 11(2):1-77. [PMID: 24174422]

AGIR (2007), Review of risks from tritium, report of the independent Advisory Group on Ionising Radiation, Documents of the Health Protection Agency Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards November 2007

IARC (2001) IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Vol 78, Ionizing Radiation: part II: Internal Sources, Lyon, IARC Press. [PMID: 11421248]

Associated Researchers



Group Members

James Thompson, Postdoctoral Researcher
Amy Elliot, Research Assistant

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