Akila Viswanathan, M.D., M.P.H., is the interim director for Johns Hopkins Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, the director for the National Capital Region for radiation oncology, 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 Hospital and at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Sibley Memorial 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 cervical and uterine cancers and image-guided brachytherapy. She has developed numerous clinical innovations, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) techniques for gynecologic cancer treatment, a magnetic resonance (MR) active tracking catheter, and hydrogel spacer techniques. While at Johns Hopkins, she designed MR-compatible stirrups, and several software tools including Clinical Trial Management System and integrated system clinical informatics software. She served as Executive Vice Chair from 2016-2019 and during that time, initiated an independent Safety and Quality committee and several system-wide integration efforts for the Johns Hopkins Department of Radiation Oncology.
Dr. Viswanathan earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard, 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 at Harvard Medical School, where she served as chief resident. Dr. Viswanathan served as the director of gynecologic radiation oncology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 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; and developed treatment guidelines for an extended network of radiation oncology.
Dr. Viswanathan has been named one of America's Top Doctors by Newsweek, Who’s who in America, and a Super Doctor by the Washington Post magazine.
Dr. Viswanathan served as President and Chair of the Board of the American Brachytherapy Society; Chair of Education Committee for American Society for Radiation Oncology; and, on the Gynecologic Cancer Steering Committee and the uterine cancer task force for the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Akila Viswanathan has published more than 180 articles and chapters, and lectures nationally and internationally. 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 had grant support from the National Cancer Institute including a K07 for research on inflammation and endometrial cancer, and a R21 to further research MR-guided gynecologic brachytherapy. She is on the editorial board of Gynecologic Oncology and Brachytherapy, and is an editor of two textbooks including Gynecologic Radiation Therapy: Novel Approaches to Image-Guidance and Management, and Radiation Therapy Techniques for Gynecologic Cancers.