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In 1958, the Yale School of Medicine committed itself to a long-range program in support of research and training in clinical radiation therapy and radiobiology with the construction of the Robert E. Hunter Radiation Therapy Center. In 1962, Yale was awarded one of the original NIH Program Project Grants in Radiation Therapy and Radiobiology. This program provided funds for the support of a nucleus of physicians with a focused interest in the therapeutic application of radiation and related basic research.

A variety of sources provide millions of dollars annually for support of research activities within the department. A separate training program in therapeutic radiology was established in 1961, and since the original NIH Program Project Grant in the early 1960s, the department has developed and expanded to provide a multitude of scientific and translational research opportunities. In 1972, Therapeutic Radiology became an independent department at Yale and was organized into three major divisions: Radiation Therapy, Radiobiology and Radiological Physics. Currently, there are 25 radiation oncology attending physician faculty who provide specialized clinical service, multidisciplinary care, education for housestaff/students, and pursue clinical and basic research endeavors.