Skip to main content

Assistant Professor Research Collaborator


Gastrointestinal cancer
Intraoperative radiotherapy
Symptom palliation

Areas of Interest

Dr. Yanagihara is a board-certified radiation oncologist who specializes in gastrointestinal cancers and soft tissue sarcoma. He has clinical and research interests in advanced radiation techniques, including intraoperative radiotherapy, stereotactic treatment (such as CyberKnife radiosurgery), and spatially fractionated radiation. He is a member of the American Association for Radiation Oncology, the American Board of Radiology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and is a senior reviewer for the national maintenance of certification assessment in radiation oncology.

Dr. Yanagihara is an active member of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, Bone and Soft Tissue Oncology Program, and Spinal Tumor Program:

Dr. Yanagihara is a tenure track assistant professor in the School of Medicine and oversees a wide range of research activities that aim to improve the efficacy and safety of radiotherapy while also investigating new applications where radiation could benefit patients.


BS, Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA

PhD, Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York, NY

MD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY

Residency, Columbia University—New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY (Chief Resident 2016–2017)

Active Research Protocols

Safety, Efficacy, and Mechanism of Pre-operative Spatially Fractionated GRID Radiation Therapy in Patients with Extremity Soft Tissue Sarcoma: A Pilot Study (LCCC2250). Role: Principal Investigator

Development of a circulating tumor DNA fragmentomics assay for monitoring treatment response in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (IRB 23-2975). Role: Principal Investigator

Patient Reported Outcomes following Low-dose irradiation for Osteoarthritis (PRO-LO): A single-arm prospective registry (IRB 22-3256). Role: Principal Investigator

Disease outcomes and toxicities in patients with gastrointestinal and sarcomatous malignancies (LCCC 2247). Role: Principal Investigator

Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma with Electron Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (PACER) (LCCC1413). Role: UNC Principal Investigator under a national clinical trial

Disease outcomes and toxicities in patients with gastrointestinal and sarcomatous malignancies: A retrospective database (IRB 23-1226). Role: Principal Investigator

ETERNITY: Biorepository to accelerate advances in Radiation Therapy (LCCC 2224). Role: Coinvestigator

Honors and Awards

August 2023–July 2025 Sponsored research: Extramural research funding from the Radiation Oncology Institute for research in spatially fractionated radiotherapy

August 2023–July 2024 Intramural research funding from the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center for research in circulating tumor DNA

2023 Finalist, UNC School of Medicine Fall Convocation and Award Ceremony Lecturer for the 2023 Fall Convocation and Awards Ceremony

2018–2019 ARRO Teacher of the Year Award—New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital

2018 New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital Healer’s Hall of Fame

2017 Radiological Society of North America Resident/Fellow Annual Institutional Research Award

2015 State of the Art Radiation Therapy Travel Grant Award Recipient—Las Vegas, NV

December 2013 Employee of the Month: New York Presbyterian Hospital—Columbia University Medical Center

August 2005–May 2012 National Institutes of Health Medical Scientist Training Program

September 2000–June 2004 National Institutes of Mental Health Research Training Fellowship

2004 Delegate to the California state government to lobby for research funding on behalf of the University of California

2004 Office of the Chancellor, Chancellor’s annual Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research—University of California, Irvine

2004 Alumni Association annual Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Undergraduate Research—University of California, Irvine

September 2001–June 2003 Department of Graduate Studies, Undergraduate Research Training Fellowship—University of California, Irvine

Yanagihara headshot
  • Radiation Oncology