James Dobbins, PhD

Professor in Radiology
Department: Radiology
Division: Radiology - General
Address: 2424 Erwin Road, Suite 302
Ravin Advanced Imaging Labs
Durham, NC 27705
Office Phone: (919) 684-7761
Email: james.dobbins@duke.edu
Web: http://www.medicalphysics.duke.edu

Research Interests

James T. Dobbins III, PhD., FAAPM
Director, Medical Physics Graduate Program
Professor of Radiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Physics
Co-founder, Society of Directors of Academic Medical Physics Programs, Inc.

The research in my laboratory focuses on three main areas:  (1) advanced imaging applications to improve diagnostic accuracy in clinical imaging, (2) the scientific assessment of image quality, and (3) developing lower cost imaging for the developing world.

Projects in the area of advanced imaging applications have included applications of dual-energy and digital tomosynthesis for improving detection of cancer in chest and breast imaging.  We are the leading laboratory in the world in the application of tomosynthesis to thoracic imaging applications, and were the first to demonstrate that tomosynthesis can triple the detection sensitivity of pulmonary nodules over conventional chest radiography.  We have had four NIH R01 grants funded to develop, optimize, and perform clinical studies of dual-energy and tomosynthesis imaging; commercial products in both these modalities are now available around the world as a result of our laboratory’s efforts.

My lab’s work in the science of image quality analysis has included substantial effort in the theory and experimental measurement of modulation transfer function, noise power spectrum, and detective quantum efficiency in undersampled digital systems.  We received the Sylvia Sorkin Greenfield award in 1996 for the best publication of the year in the journal Medical Physics as a result of this work.

Current projects include the development of a new noise reduction technique called Correlated-Polarity Noise Reduction for improvement of image quality and reduction of dose in CT imaging, and the development of a lower-cost CT scanner for the developing world.

In addition to these research interests, I also serve as the Director of the Medical Physics Graduate Program at Duke, which includes over 50 faculty and 50 MS and PhD students training in diagnostic imaging physics, radiation oncology physics, nuclear medicine physics, and medical health physics.


Kiarashi, N; Lo, JY; Lin, Y; Ikejimba, LC; Ghate, SV; Nolte, LW; Dobbins, JT; Segars, WP; Samei, E. Development and application of a suite of 4-D virtual breast phantoms for optimization and evaluation of breast imaging systems. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging. 2014;33:1401-1409. Abstract

Segars, WP; Veress, AI; Wells, JR; Sturgeon, GM; Kiarashi, N; Lo, JY; Samei, E; Dobbins, JT. Population of 100 realistic, patient-based computerized breast phantoms for multi-modality imaging research. Proceedings of SPIE. 2014;9033.

Dobbins, JT; Wells, JR; Segars, WP. Dose reduction in CT with correlated-polarity noise reduction: Context-dependent spatial resolution and noise properties demonstrating two-fold dose reduction with minimal artifacts. Proceedings of SPIE. 2014;9033.

III, JTD; Wells, JR; Segars, WP. Dose reduction in CT with correlated-polarity noise reduction: Comparable image quality at half the dose with projection space processing. Proceedings of SPIE. 2013;8668.

Wells, JR; III, JTD. Preliminary investigation of the frequency response and distortion properties of nonlinear image processing algorithms. Proceedings of SPIE. 2013;8668.

Wells, JR; Dobbins, JT. Frequency response and distortion properties of nonlinear image processing algorithms and the importance of imaging context. Medical Physics. 2013;40:091906. Abstract

Kiarashi, N; Sturgeon, GM; Nolte, LW; Lo, JY; III, JTD; Segars, WP; Samei, E. Development of matched virtual and physical breast phantoms based on patient data. Proceedings of SPIE. 2013;8668.

Samei, E; Majdi-Nasab, N; Dobbins, JT; McAdams, HP. Biplane correlation imaging: a feasibility study based on phantom and human data. Journal of Digital Imaging. 2012;25:137-147. Abstract

Lin, Y; Luo, H; Dobbins, JT; Page McAdams, H; Wang, X; Sehnert, WJ; Barski, L; Foos, DH; Samei, E. An image-based technique to assess the perceptual quality of clinical chest radiographs. Medical Physics. 2012;39:7019-7031. Abstract

Hsu, CM; Palmeri, ML; Segars, WP; Veress, AI; Dobbins, JT. An analysis of the mechanical parameters used for finite element compression of a high-resolution 3D breast phantom. Medical Physics. 2011;38:5756-5770. Abstract

Samei, E; Ranger, NT; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE. Effective dose efficiency: an application-specific metric of quality and dose for digital radiography. Physics in Medicine and Biology. 2011;56:5099-5118. Abstract

Dobbins, JT. Tomosynthesis imaging: at a translational crossroads. Medical Physics. 2009;36:1956-1967. Abstract

Dobbins, JT; McAdams, HP. Chest tomosynthesis: technical principles and clinical update. European Journal of Radiology. 2009;72:244-251. Abstract

Godfrey, DJ; McAdams, HP; Dobbins, JT. Stochastic noise characteristics in matrix inversion tomosynthesis (MITS). Medical Physics. 2009;36:1521-1532. Abstract

Li, CM; Segars, WP; Tourassi, GD; Boone, JM; Dobbins, JT. Methodology for generating a 3D computerized breast phantom from empirical data. Medical Physics. 2009;36:3122-3131. Abstract

Samei, E; Ranger, NT; MacKenzie, A; Honey, ID; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE. Effective DQE (eDQE) and speed of digital radiographic systems: an experimental methodology. Medical Physics. 2009;36:3806-3817. Abstract

James, TD; McAdams, HP; Song, JW; Li, CM; Godfrey, DJ; DeLong, DM; Paik, SH; Martinez-Jimenez, S. Digital tomosynthesis of the chest for lung nodule detection: interim sensitivity results from an ongoing NIH-sponsored trial. Medical Physics. 2008;35:2554-2557. Abstract

Samei, E; Ranger, NT; MacKenzie, A; Honey, ID; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE. Detector or system? Extending the concept of detective quantum efficiency to characterize the performance of digital radiographic imaging systems. Radiology. 2008;249:926-937. Abstract

Dobbins, JT; McAdams, HP; Godfrey, DJ; Li, CM. Digital tomosynthesis of the chest. Journal of Thoracic Imaging. 2008;23:86-92. Abstract

Chen, Y; Lo, JY; Dobbins, JT. Importance of point-by-point back projection correction for isocentric motion in digital breast tomosynthesis: relevance to morphology of structures such as microcalcifications. Medical Physics. 2007;34:3885-3892. Abstract

Samei, E; Stebbins, SA; Dobbins, JT; McAdams, HP; Lo, JY. Multiprojection correlation imaging for improved detection of pulmonary nodules. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2007;188:1239-1245. Abstract

Ranger, NT; Samei, E; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE. Assessment of detective quantum efficiency: intercomparison of a recently introduced international standard with prior methods. Radiology. 2007;243:785-795. Abstract

McAdams, HP; Samei, E; Dobbins, J; Tourassi, GD; Ravin, CE. Recent advances in chest radiography. Radiology. 2006;241:663-683. Abstract

Samei, E; Ranger, NT; Dobbins, JT; Chen, Y. Intercomparison of methods for image quality characterization. I. Modulation transfer function. Medical Physics. 2006;33:1454-1465. Abstract

Godfrey, DJ; McAdams, HP; Dobbins, JT. Optimization of the matrix inversion tomosynthesis (MITS) impulse response and modulation transfer function characteristics for chest imaging. Medical Physics. 2006;33:655-667. Abstract

Dobbins, JT; Samei, E; Ranger, NT; Chen, Y. Intercomparison of methods for image quality characterization. II. Noise power spectrum. Medical Physics. 2006;33:1466-1475. Abstract

Samei, E; Saunders, RS; Lo, JY; Dobbins, JT; Jesneck, JL; Floyd, CE; Ravin, CE. Fundamental imaging characteristics of a slot-scan digital chest radiographic system. Medical Physics. 2004;31:2687-2698. Abstract

Warp, RJ; Dobbins, JT. Quantitative evaluation of noise reduction strategies in dual-energy imaging. Medical Physics. 2003;30:190-198. Abstract

Dobbins, JT; Samei, E; Chotas, HG; Warp, RJ; Baydush, AH; Floyd, CE; Ravin, CE. Chest radiography: optimization of X-ray spectrum for cesium iodide-amorphous silicon flat-panel detector. Radiology. 2003;226:221-230. Abstract

Dobbins, JT; Godfrey, DJ. Digital x-ray tomosynthesis: current state of the art and clinical potential. Physics in Medicine and Biology. 2003;48:R65-106. Abstract

Duryea, J; Dobbins, JT; Lynch, JA. Digital tomosynthesis of hand joints for arthritis assessment. Medical Physics. 2003;30:325-333. Abstract

Floyd, CE; Warp, RJ; Dobbins, JT; Chotas, HG; Baydush, AH; Vargas-Voracek, R; Ravin, CE. Imaging characteristics of an amorphous silicon flat-panel detector for digital chest radiography. Radiology. 2001;218:683-688. Abstract

Bradford, CD; Peppler, WW; Dobbins, JT. Performance characteristics of a Kodak computed radiography system. Medical Physics. 1999;26:27-37. Abstract

Chotas, HG; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE. Principles of digital radiography with large-area, electronically readable detectors: a review of the basics. Radiology. 1999;210:595-599. Abstract

Althof, RJ; Wind, MG; Dobbins, JT. A rapid and automatic image registration algorithm with subpixel accuracy. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging. 1997;16:308-316. Abstract

Hinshaw, DA; Dobbins, JT. Plate scatter correction for improved performance in dual-energy imaging. Medical Physics. 1996;23:871-876. Abstract

Dobbins, JT; Ergun, DL; Rutz, L; Hinshaw, DA; Blume, H; Clark, DC. DQE(f) of four generations of computed radiography acquisition devices. Medical Physics. 1995;22:1581-1593. Abstract

Dobbins, JT. Effects of undersampling on the proper interpretation of modulation transfer function, noise power spectra, and noise equivalent quanta of digital imaging systems. Medical Physics. 1995;22:171-181. Abstract

Dobbins, JT; Rice, JJ; Goodman, PC; Patz, EF; Ravin, CE. Variable compensation chest radiography performed with a computed radiography system: design considerations and initial clinical experience. Radiology. 1993;187:55-63. Abstract

Chotas, HG; Floyd, CE; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE. Digital chest radiography with photostimulable storage phosphors: signal-to-noise ratio as a function of kilovoltage with matched exposure risk. Radiology. 1993;186:395-398. Abstract

Dobbins, JT; Chotas, HG; Benveniste, H. Direct digitization of optical images using a photostimulable phosphor system. Medical Physics. 1992;19:1071-1080. Abstract

Dobbins, JT; Rice, JJ; Beam, CA; Ravin, CE. Threshold perception performance with computed and screen-film radiography: implications for chest radiography. Radiology. 1992;183:179-187. Abstract

Chotas, HG; Dobbins, JT; Floyd, CE; Ravin, CE. Single-exposure conventional and computed radiography image acquisition. Investigative Radiology. 1991;26:438-445. Abstract

Floyd, CE; Chotas, HG; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE. Quantitative radiographic imaging using a photostimulable phosphor system. Medical Physics. 1990;17:454-459. Abstract

Chotas, HG; Floyd, CE; Dobbins, JT; Lo, JY; Ravin, CE. Scatter fractions in AMBER imaging. Radiology. 1990;177:879-880. Abstract

Dobbins, JT; Powell, AO. Variable compensation technique for digital radiography of the chest. Radiology. 1989;173:451-458. Abstract

Hasegawa, BH; Dobbins, JT; Naimuddin, S; Peppler, WW; Mistretta, CA. Geometrical properties of a digital beam attenuator system. Medical Physics. 1987;14:314-321. Abstract

Hasegawa, BH; Naimuddin, S; Dobbins, JT; Mistretta, CA; Peppler, WW; Hangiandreou, NJ; Cusma, JT; McDermott, JC; Kudva, BV; Melbye, KM. Digital beam attenuator technique for compensated chest radiography. Radiology. 1986;159:537-543. Abstract

Dobbins, JT; Pedersen, PL; Mazess, RB; Cameron, JR; Hansen, JL; Hefner, LV. A scanning-slit x-ray videoabsorptiometric technique for bone mineral measurement. Medical Physics. 1984;11:582-588. Abstract

Van Lysel, MS; Dobbins, JT; Peppler, WW; Hasegawa, BH; Lee, CS; Mistretta, CA; Zarnstorff, WC; Crummy, AB; Kubal, W; Bergsjordet, B; Strother, CM; Sackett, JF. Work in progress: hybrid temporal-energy subtraction in digital fluoroscopy. Radiology. 1983;147:869-874. Abstract

Swanson, DK; Myerowitz, PD; Hasegawa, B; Van Lysel, MS; Watson, KM; Frantz, DW; Banaszak, S; Hausman-Stokes, E; Peppler, WW; Dobbins, JT. Videodensitometric quantitation of mean blood flow. Journal of Surgical Research. 1983;34:524-532. Abstract

Shaw, CG; Ergun, DL; Lysel, MSV; Peppler, WW; Dobbins, JT; Zarnstorff, WC; Myerowitz, PD; Swanson, DK; Lasser, TA; Mistretta, CA; Dhanani, SP; Strother, CM; Crummy, AB. QUANTITATION TECHNIQUES IN DIGITAL SUBTRACTION VIDEOANGIOGRAPHY. 1981;314:121-129.