Richard C. Zellars, M.D.

Associate Director of Clinical Affairs

David A. Boothman

Richard Zellars, M.D., is the William A. Mitchell Professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Indiana University, the associate director of clinical affairs at the IU Simon Cancer Center and the physician-in-chief of cancer services for Indiana University Health.

Before he joined the IU team in 2015, Dr. Zellars was an associate professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and assistant director of clinical trial accrual at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. 

Dr. Zellars graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and subsequently completed a residency in radiation oncology at the University of Michigan where he was chief resident from 1995 to 1996. After residency, Dr. Zellars became an assistant professor / vice chair and clinic director in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Prior to returning to Johns Hopkins in 2001, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Medicine at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. 

At Johns Hopkins, Dr. Zellars served as a member of the admissions board for the JHU School of Medicine, Data Safety Monitoring Committee, Cancer Research Committee and the Institutional Radiation Safety Board as well as the vice president of the Medical School Council. 

Dr. Zellars’ grant funded research aims to improve the facility, safety and efficacy of radiation for breast cancer.  Dr. Zellars has designed and completed two phase 1 trials evaluating partial breast irradiation and concurrent chemotherapy, a phase III randomized control trial evaluating cardiac perfusion changes in women receiving radiation with or without active breathing control and a trial to assess the use of PET/CT to better identify the lumpectomy bed for radiation treatment. 

Presently he has an open phase I trial evaluating a PARP inhibitor and concurrent pre-operative radiation in breast cancer and an open randomized phase III trial of PBI with sequential vs. concurrent chemotherapy in women with ER negative breast cancer. His research has been funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  

Dr. Zellars was the founder and co-director of the Cancer in the Under-Privileged Indigent or Disadvantaged (CUPID) summer fellowship at Johns Hopkins. The goal of CUPID is to promote the discipline of oncology in first-year medical students who have a demonstrated interest in serving disadvantaged populations. Given the success of CUPID, Dr. Zellars subsequently co-founded the NCI grant-funded Summer Translational Oncology Program (STOP) to promote the discipline of oncology to medical students from schools without an NCI designated cancer center.

Dr. Zellars is a member of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He also served on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Breast Cancer Panel and was co-chair of the NCI Breast Oncology – Local Disease (BOLD) Task Force. Dr. Zellars has been listed as a top doctor for women in Redbook, Ladies Home Journal and Newsweek magazines.