News & Events

Physics in Medicine Summit 2017

(Photo courtesy of Hananiel Setiawan. From left to right: Cielle Collins and Jingxi Weng, Duke Medical Physics Graduate Program MS students)

(2017-11-03) The Duke Medical Physics Graduate Program, in conjunction with the Departments of Physics and Biomedical Engineering, held the first Physics in Medicine tri-program interdisciplinary summit, which brought together students and faculties from Medical Physics, Physics, and Biomedical Engineering. Dr. T. Rockwell Mackie, Emeritus Professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Co-founder of Tomotherapy, Inc., gave the plenary talk, titled “Physics, Medicine, Engineering: What Does the Future Hold?” In his talk, Dr. Mackie highlighted the importance of looking for gaps between physical sciences and engineering disciplinaries and operating at these edges to solve current challenges facing the medical physics field. In addition, Dr. Ehsan Samei (Medical Physics Program Director), Dr. Warren Warren (Chair of Physics Department), and Dr. Kathy Nightingale (BME Professor and Director of the Medical Imaging Training Program) delivered remarks for the event.

Over 30 students and faculties presented their research works during the event through poster session, which had five main themes: EM Radiation and Energy in Medicine and Biology, Applications of Modeling and Simulation, Measurement Instrumentation in Action, Physics in Medical Imaging, and Physics in Radiation Therapy. Congratulations to Robert Morhard (1st place), James Spencer (2nd place), and Paul Yoon (3rd place) for winning the best poster presentation award.



New Imaging Residency Program

(2017-10-27) The Duke Imaging Physics Residency Program and the Clinical Imaging Physics Group are pleased to announce the formation of an affiliate imaging residency program with Physics Associates, LLC. This new program offers specialized imaging physics training in line with Duke's CAMPEP-accredited requirements with educational training provided jointly by Physics Associates and Duke CIPG.

One residency position is currently available through the Medical Physics Matching Program ( More information about this position, including how to apply, is available on the Duke CIPG website ( under the Residency tab.


Bringing new value to patient care

(2017-10-27) Responding to the ever-changing healthcare field, medical physicists are obligated to utilize their expertise to provide precise, consistent, and optimal patient-centered care. Medical Physics Program Director Dr. Samei, current chair of AAPM Medical Physics 3.0 initiative, recently published an article titled, “Medical Physicists Bring New Value to Patient-Centered Care” for PSQH (Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare). In this article, Dr. Samei discusses aspects medical physicists can address to have a more direct role in patient care, such as optimizing imaging dose and quality through better monitoring, developing a universal metric of radiation objective, and making imaging modalities, with an emphasis on making MRI safer for patients with stimulators. He concludes by highlighting that medical physicists bring unique value to healthcare by enabling innovative, personalized precise care through clinical application of physical sciences. (Read the full article here)


System of Radiological Protection

(2017-10-27) Dr. Donald Cool, current Technical Executive for Radiation Safety with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and Chairman of International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) Committee 4 on Application of the Commission’s Recommendations for the 2017 – 2021 term, delivered the second distinguished lecture, titled “The System of Radiological Protection: What is it, and how is it developed,” on October 26 at the Duke North Hospital. During the talk, Dr. Cool discusses the evolution of protection from earlier attempts to manage harm associated with radiation exposure to the current attempt to manage the probability of harm. In addition, he highlighted the importance of building the “bridge” linking radiation biology and epidemiology through experience, science, and social/ethical principles. He concluded his talk by describing ICRP’s Committee 4 current program of work related to different exposure situations and emergencies, as well as many ethical issues surrounding the radiation protection field.Immediately following the lecture, the program held a townhall forum at Hock Plaza where students were able to ask follow-up questions and discusses the current state of national and international radiation protection system with Dr. Cool.

Dr. Zeljko Vujaskovic from the University of Maryland School of Medicine will deliver the next distinguished lecture regarding pencil beam scanning proton therapy and hyperthermia on November 16, 2017.

ASTRO Award Winner

(2017-10-13) Congratulations to Leith Rankine (PhD student) for being awarded TRAVEL AWARD (Radiation Physics Category) at the ASTRO 2017 Annual Meeting, scoring highest in the abstract review process and judged by the Scientific Program Directors to reflect the highest level of scientific quality and innovation. In his work tiled “Is Lung Ventilation Imaging a Reasonable Surrogate for Gas Exchange? Implications for Functionally Guided Radiation Therapy Planning”, Leith and his colleagues used a novel Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technique to measure and compare spatial distributions of lung ventilation and gas exchange in humans. The Annual Meeting Travel Award recognizes outstanding research by early-career scientists, biologists and physicists. Lead authors of 15 high-scoring abstracts selected for the meeting will receive awards of $1,000 to support travel to the meeting. Read abstract here.