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Akila Viswanathan, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc.

Akila Ninette Viswanathan, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc.

Photo of Dr. Akila Viswanathan, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc.

Interim Director, Johns Hopkins Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences

Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences


Expertise: Brachytherapy, Gynecologic Cancers, Gynecologic Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Uterine Cancer

Research Interests: Gynecologic malignancies; uterine cancers and image-guided brachytherapy

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Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center


401 N. Broadway Baltimore, MD 21231 map

Sibley Memorial Hospital


5255 Loughboro Road NW Washington, DC 20016 map

Phone: 202-537-4787


Akila Viswanathan, M.D., M.P.H., is the interim director for Johns Hopkins Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, the director of gynecologic radiation for Johns Hopkins Medicine, and a professor of radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences for Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Viswanathan sees patients at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is board certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology.

Dr. Viswanathan has expertise with gynecologic cancers and their treatment, including uterine cancers and image-guided brachytherapy. She has developed numerous clinical innovations, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) techniques for gynecologic cancer treatment, whole abdomen IMRT protocol, a new vaginal balloon applicator, a new magnetic resonance (MR) tracking catheter, MR-compatible stirrups and Clinical Trial Management System software for the Johns Hopkins Department of Radiation Oncology. 

Dr. Viswanathan earned her medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, followed by her Masters in Public Health and Masters in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed a residency in radiation oncology at the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, where she served as chief resident. Dr. Viswanathan went on to serve as an associate professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School and has served as an attending physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, The Children's Hospital, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, where she served as the director of gynecologic radiation oncology and 3D image-guided gynecologic brachytherapy. In this role, Dr. Viswanathan led the development of a dedicated brachytherapy suite from a standard plain x-ray film-based service to an internationally leading program in the use of MR and CT imaging to improve patient care; created a dedicated weekly gynecologic tumor board, as well as brachytherapy chart rounds for bi-monthly peer-review of cases; and development of treatment guidelines for an extended network of radiation oncology. 

Dr. Viswanathan has been named one of America's Top Doctors by Newsweek and a Super Doctor by the Washington Post magazine.

Dr. Viswanathan has held leadership positions in the American Brachytherapy Society and the American Society for Radiation Oncology, and serves on the committees of the Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup and the Gynecologic Cancer Steering Committee for the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Akila Viswanathan has published more than 130 articles and chapters, with her primary research interests focused on gynecologic malignancies, uterine cancers and image-guided brachytherapy. Her publications on contouring guidelines for 3D image-guided gynecologic brachytherapy have set the international standard. Dr. Viswanathan is also involved with clinical trials using novel therapeutics to improve survival for patients at a high risk of death from disease. She has grant support from the National Cancer Institute for research on inflammation and endometrial cancer, as well as support from the National Institutes of Health to further research MR-guided gynecologic brachytherapy. She is on the editorial board of Gynecologic Oncology and Brachytherapy, and is an editor of the text Gynecologic Radiation Therapy: Novel Approaches to Image-Guidance and Management. more


  • Interim Director, Johns Hopkins Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences
  • Director of National Capital Region, Johns Hopkins Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences
  • Director of Johns Hopkins Gynecological Radiation Oncology
  • Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences
  • Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics
  • Professor of Oncology



  • MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1997)


  • Brigham and Womens Hospital / Radiation Oncology (2002)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Anand-Apte B, Zetter BR, Viswanathan AN, Qiu RG, Chen J, Ruggieri R, Symons M. "Platelet-derived growth factor and fibronectin-stimulated migration are differentially regulated by the Rac and extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathways." J Biol Chem. 1997;272(49):30688-92.

Arbiser JL, Karalis K, Viswanathan AN, Koike C, Anand-Apte B, Flynn E, Zetter B, Majzoub JA. "Corticotropin-releasing hormone stimulates angiogenesis and epithelial tumor growth in the skin." J Invest Dermatol. 1999;113(5):838-42.

Cutler C, Giri S, Jeyapalan S, Paniagua D, Viswanathan AN, Antin J. "Acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic peripheral blood stem-cell and bone marrow transplantation: A meta-analysis." J Clin Oncol. 2001;19(16):3685-3691.

Viswanathan AN, Jhingran A, Deavers M, Ramirez P, Levenback C, Eifel P. "Small cell carcinoma: Patterns of recurrence and outcome." Gynecolog Oncol. 2004; 93(1):27-33.

Viswanathan AN, Grier H, Litman H, Perez-Atayde A, Tarbell N, Shamberger R, Neuberg D, Marcus K. "Outcome for children with group III rhabdomyosarcoma treated with and without radiation therapy." Int J Rad Oncol Biol Phys. 2004; 58(4):1208-1214.

Activities & Honors


  • "America's Top Doctors", Newsweek, 2014 - 2015
  • Super Doctor, Washington Post Magazine


  • American Brachytherapy Society
  • American Society for Radiation Oncology
  • Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup and the Gynecologic Cancer Steering Committee for the National Cancer Institute

Videos & Media

StoryCorps: Dr. Akila Viswanathan and Fatima

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

The Johns Hopkins Medicine Report with WTOP-FM: specialized imaging and tumor therapy. (12/21/2019)

Cervical Cancer Treatment Has Higher Survival Rates, Boston Magazine. (09/16/2013)

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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