News & Events

International Day of Medical Physics



Duke Medical Physics Program joined Medical Physicists around the world in celebrating the 7th International Day of Medical Physics “It’s a Medical Physics World.” During the event, students and faculty gathered in the MedPhys area with great food, medical physics trivia, and Image Challenge.

November 7 is an important date in the history of medical physics. On that day in 1867, Marie Sklodowska-Curie, known for her pioneering research on radioactivity, was born in Poland. We celebrate the works and contributions Medical Physicists make every day in research, education, and the clinic.

Find the photographs from the event here. Photo credit: Joseph Lo



Samulski Lecture 2019 Recap

(2019-11-01) The Department of Radiation Oncology and the Medical Physics Graduate Program jointly hosted the 2019 Samulski Lectureship to honor the legacy of Dr. Thaddeus V. Samulski. The topic of this year’s lectureship was “State-of-the Art of AI/Machine Learning in Medical Physics.” The lectures were delivered by Maryellen L. Giger, PhD, A.N. Pritzker Professor of Radiology at the University of Chicago and Joseph O. Deasy, PhD, the Chair of the Department of Medical Physics at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. During the lecture, Dr. Giger discussed the history of Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD) in detecting abnormalities in human breasts such as lesions and micro-calcifications, as well as the role of AI in improving the performance of CAD in the clinic. Speaking after Dr. Giger, Dr. Deasy presented about his work in applying different data-driven machine learning methods to explore topics in the Radiation Therapy field, including the correlation of Dose Volume Histogram profile for some organs-at-risk and the overall patient survival rate.

About Dr. Samulski:

Dr. Thaddeus V. Samulski (Thad) was recruited to Duke in 1986 to join the hyperthermia program under the leadership of Drs. James Oleson and Mark Dewhirst.  Thad later assumed the leadership role of the Physics Division in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Among his many accomplishments while at Duke was the development of the magnetic resonance imaging for noninvasive temperature measurement in real time, in patients undergoing hyperthermia treatments. In addition to Thad’s many accomplishments, his research efforts in hyperthermia were recognized by his receipt of the J.Eugene Robinson Award for Excellence in Hyperthermia Research awarded to him in 1999 by the Society for Thermal Medicine.


MedPhys with Habitat for Humanity

(2019-11-01) Duke Medical Physics Program students and faculty members participated in community outreach event, Habitat for Humanity in Durham, NC.  Per Ala Amini, second year MS student and Students Leadership Administrative Council (SLAC) Outreach Coordinator, it was a great opportunity for MedPhys volunteers who helped with building the deck of a family's house that were truly excited to finally become homeowners for the first time. The presence of the family, while the deck was being constructed, made the experience even more rewarding and memorable.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home, and believes that affordable housing plays a critical role in keeping a community strong and stable.



New NIH R01 Grant Received

(2019-09-27) Drs. Lei Ren (PI) and Fang-Fang Yin (co-PI) in Radiation Oncology have recently received an R01 grant titled: ”Hybrid virtual-MRI/CBCT: A new paradigm for image guidance in liver SBRT”. The project focuses on establishing a novel cone-beam CT (CBCT) system that generates hybrid virtual-MRI/CBCT images for image guidance in liver SBRT treatments.

The precision of image guidance is highly correlated to the tumor control probability and normal tissue toxicities of radiation therapy treatments. Currently, CBCT is widely available on most modern radiotherapy machines, and has become the standard imaging technique for image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). However, CBCT has very limited accuracy in localizing liver tumors due to its poor soft-tissue contrast.  The project proposes to address this challenge by developing several state-of-the-art software techniques in image reconstruction, augmentation, registration, and deep learning, to generate virtual MRI on standard CBCT-Radiotherapy machines to drastically improve the precision of image guidance for liver SBRT. The software-based approach ensures that the techniques can be widely implemented on most modern radiotherapy machines with minimal cost and interference with the machine. The long-term goal is to establish the next generation of CBCT system with virtual multi-modality imaging capabilities, which can create a paradigm shift in IGRT by enabling a new era of high-precision virtual multi-modality guided radiotherapy. The enhancement of image guidance accuracy can lead to a breakthrough in escalating the tumor control and minimizing the toxicities of liver SBRT, as well as treatments of other sites with soft tissue tumors.



MedPhys Fall 2019 Open House

(2019-09-27) Medical Physics Program welcomed 18 prospective students at the Fall Open House on Saturday, September 21, 2019. The Open House began with presentations by the Program Director, Dr. Ehsan Samei, and DGS, Dr. Anuj Kapadia. After an introductory part and session about admissions process, the Open House guests had imaging and radiation oncology facility tours at the Duke University Hospital Cancer Center, hosted by faculty members of the program.

The Open House concluded with Student Research Showcase session, round table talks, Why Duke, presented by MS students Theodore Arsenault, and a Q & A session with the Student Leadership Advisory Council (SLAC) members.