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Isabel G. Newton

Isabel G. Newton


  • Ph.D.   

  • M.D.

Current Position(s): 

  • VA Physician

  • UCSD Associate Professor of Radiology

Personal Statement:

Since beginning in a laboratory as an undergraduate at Princeton University, Dr. Newton has been interested in basic science research as an avenue to improve the lives of patients. Prior to residency in Diagnostic Radiology at UCSD, she earned her MD-PhD at Wake Forest University, focusing her graduate studies in Neurobiology on aging and memory.  As a resident in the T32-funded, Clinician-Scientist Radiology Residency Program at UCSD, Dr. Newton became interested in cancer and joined the laboratory of Catriona Jamieson, who focuses on isolating, characterizing, and targeting cancer stem cells (CSC).  There, she imaged progenitor cell homing to solid tumors as a potential method for detection and directed delivery of therapy. This research exposed challenges which are common to molecular and cellular medicine and could be circumvented through the use of minimally invasive techniques developed by Interventional Radiologists (IR). Drawn by this opportunity, Dr. Newton pursued a fellowship in IR, which she completed in June of 2013.
Today IRs treat solid tumors such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) through catheter-directed and percutaneous ablative techniques. Percutaneous thermal ablation is the local destruction of a tumor with heat or cold delivered through a probe passed through the skin, under imaging guidance.  Minimally invasive techniques like these offer new hope for patients but patients with advanced and metastatic disease are not candidates. Combining cryoablation, a cold-based form of percutaneous ablation, with immunomodulatory agents could increase the number of patients eligible for therapy and improve patient survival.  For that reason, Dr. Newton's lab has focused on understanding how cryoablation affects the immune response in preclinical models of HCC. They have observed benefits of combining cryoablation with immunostimulants and checkpoint inhibitors.
As an IR with a primary clinical focus on interventional oncology and a scientist trained in molecular biology and imaging science, Dr. Newton is prepared and committed to improving treatments for HCC through research from the bench to the bedside through collaboration and innovation. She is currently a full-time Staff Physician in Radiology at the VA San Diego Healthcare System with a dual appointment as a salaried Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Diego. 


  • Wake Forest University              7/99-6/06                Winston-Salem, NC     Neurobiology             Ph.D.                 2003

  • SOM                                                                                                                      Medicine                    M.D.                   2006

  • Moses Cone Hospital                  7/1/06-9/30/07      Greensboro, NC            Internal Medicine Internship

  • UCSD                                            7/1/07-6/30/12      San Diego, CA               Radiology Residency                           6/12

  • UCSD                                            7/1/12-6/30/13      San Diego, CA               Interventional Radiology Fellowship 6/13

Professional History:

  • 2013-present    VA San Diego Healthcare System    San Diego, CA    Physician

  • 7/1/13- 6/30/17    UC San Diego                                 La Jolla, CA       (HS) Assistant Clinical Professor, Non-Salaried

  • 7/1/17- Present     UC San Diego                                 La Jolla, CA       (HS) Assistant Clinical Professor

  • 7/1/19- Present     UC San Diego                                 La Jolla, CA       (HS) Associate Clinical Professor

Awards and Honors: 

  • 1995 – 1998    Robert C. Byrd Scholarship

  • 1998        B.A. Molecular Biology, Cum Laude, Princeton University

  • 1999 – 2006    MD-PhD Academic Merit Scholarship; Wake Forest University School of Medicine

  • 2001        Medical School Class of 2003 Appreciation Award

  • 2001        American Women's Medical Association "Smart Cookie" Award

  • 2001 – 2003    Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Student Service Project Award ($3000 for expansion of “Share the Health” community health fair)

  • 2001 – 2004    Graduate Student Fellowship; Wake Forest University Graduate School  

  • 2002 – 2005    American Association of Medical Colleges Caring for Community Supplemental Grant ($20,000 for health promotion campaign)

  • 2003        Travel Award; American Aging Association Annual Meeting; Baltimore, MD

  • 2004        Travel Award; Federation of European Neuroscience Societies Forum; Lisbon, Portugal

  • 2006        Excellence in Dermatology Award

  • 2007 – 2008    National Institute of Biomedical Imaging & BioEngineering Institutional Grant (co-author)

  • 2009        Travel Award; AUR, Introduction to Molecular Imaging Course

  • 2010    Siemens-AUR Radiology Resident Academic Development  (SARRAD) Program Selected Participant, Stipend Recipient

  • 2012        UCSD Research Resident Award

  • 2013        Travel Award; World Congress of Interventional Oncology; New York, NY  

  • 2015    Academic Faculty Development Program Selected Participant; AUR

  • 2015        SIR Foundation Leadership Academy Selected Participant

  • 2015        Teaching Award in Interventional Radiology (awarded by UCSD residents)

  • 2016         Hamed Aryafar Vascular and Interventional Radiology Teaching Award (awarded by   
                          UCSD residents)

  • 2016        UCSD Faculty Award for Faculty Mentorship

  • 2016                San Diego Magazine Top Doctor (elected by peers)

  • 2017                UCSD Faculty Research Award (Interventional Radiology)

  • 2017 San Diego Magazine Top Doctor (elected by peers)

  • 2018 – 2020        UCSD Hispanic Center of Excellence Fellow (Competitive Mentored Career
                           Development Program with $10,000/year stipend; Mentor: Christine Chung, MD

  • 2018                Society for Interventional Oncology Award for Best Oral Presentation at the 2018 WCIO        
                           Meeting in Boston, MA

  • 2018                UCSD Faculty Research Award (Interventional Radiology)

  • 2018                San Diego Magazine Top Doctor (elected by peers)

  • 2018                39th Annual Telly Awards, “Without A Scalpel,” recipient of the Bronze Award for Series
                           Webseries: Documentary for Online

  • 2018                39th Annual Telly Awards, “Without A Scalpel,
                           recipient of the Silver Award for a Series-Webseries: Non-Scripted for Online

  • 2018                39th Annual Telly Awards, “Origins of Minimally Invasive Medicine,” recipient of the Bronze Award for General – History for Non-Broadcast

  • 2019                San Diego Magazine Top Doctors (elected by peers)

  • 2019                Selected to participate in RSNA’s 2020 Clinical Trials Methodology Workshop,
                          January 11-17, 2020. Coronado, CA.

  • 2020                Editor’s Award for Outstanding Laboratory Investigation. Stress Conditions Induced by
                           Locoregional Therapies Stimulate Enrichment and Proliferations of Liver Cancer Stem       
                           Cells. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (JVIR).         

National/Global Website:    National Center for Biotechnology Information

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