Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Medical physics faculty

Jatinder Palta, Ph.D.
Geoffrey Hugo, Ph.D.

Siyong Kim, Ph.D.
Christopher L. Bartee
Bruce Curran, M.S.
Rabten Datsang
Josh Evans, Ph.D.
John C. Ford
Jeremy Horn, M.S., DABR
Priyanka Kapoor, M.S.
Rishabh Kapoor, M.S.
Martin J. Murphy, Ph.D.
Andrei Pugachev, Ph.D.
Mihaela Rosu, Ph.D.
Ford Sleeman, M.S.
Dorin A. Todor, Ph.D.
Jeffrey F. Williamson, Ph.D.
Melodee Wolfe, M.P., DABR
Yan Wu, M.S.
Lisa Zhang, Ph.D.


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Jatinder Palta, Ph.D., Chair Division of Medical Physics
Professor
jpalta@mcvh-vcu.edu

Dr. Palta received his Ph.D. in medical physics in 1981 from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Prior to coming to VCU's Massey Cancer Center, he was Professor and Chief of Physics in the Department of Radiation Oncology at University of Florida, Gainesville, FL., where he achieved national and international recognition for his clinical research and educational activities in advanced radiotherapy techniques, quality assessment, and quality assurance. Dr. Palta is a recipient of several NIH awards in medical informatics and optimization research. He has served on NIH study section and the Boards of both AAPM and ASTRO. In his assignment at VHA, Dr. Palta is developing and implementing programs that will ensure safe, effective, state-of-the-art radiation treatments to our Veterans and bring VHA Radiation Oncology Services (ROS) to a position of national excellence. He provides subject matter expertise to the VHA National Radiation Oncology Program on policy development, criteria and evaluation factors of equipment, staffing, resource needs, and development of comprehensive guidelines for medical physics.
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Geoffrey Hugo, Ph.D.
Associate professor
Director, Medical Physics graduate program
(804) 628-3457
gdhugo@mcvh-vcu.edu

Dr. Hugo received his Ph.D. in biomedical physics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2003. After obtaining his degree, he joined the staff of William Beaumont Hospital, where he participated in the clinical implementation of cone beam CT and was actively involved in developing an adaptive radiotherapy program for lung cancer. He joined the VCU Department of Radiation Oncology in 2008 as an assistant professor. His research interests include respiration and motion management, image-guided adaptive radiotherapy for lung cancer, and improving dynamic techniques to image moving anatomy.
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Siyong Kim, Ph.D.
Professor
Director, Clinical Medical Physics
Director, Medical Physics Residency Program
skim2@mcvh-vcu.edu

Dr. Kim received his Ph.D. in medical physics in 1997 from the University of Florida, Gainesville. Subsequently, he underwent the clinical physics residency training for 2 years and then became an assistant professor in the University of Florida. From 2006 to 2013, he worked in Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida as a faculty and led in establishing an image guided radiation therapy program. Dr. Kim joined the VCU Department of Radiation Oncology in Sep, 2013 as a professor. He is interested in developing dose uncertainty model, respiratory motion management strategy, compact CT, and MR simulator.
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Christopher L. Bartee
Research associate
(804) 628-0977
cbartee@mcvh-vcu.edu

Mr. Bartee began his career in 1983 with the United States Air Force, where he received extensive training in radio-frequency production and radar. In 1990, Mr. Bartee joined Varian Oncology Systems as a senior field service engineer, where he was trained primarily on state-of-the-art medical linear accelerators. Since 1998, Mr. Bartee has been the senior clinical engineer for the Department of Radiation Oncology, and his activities include management of all the medical linear accelerators and simulators and research in intensity-modulated radiotherapy, electronic portal imaging and respiratory gating.
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Bruce Curran, M.S.
Associate professor of radiation oncology
(804) 675-5000 ext. 3109
bcurran@mcvh-vcu.edu

Bruce Curran received his M.E. from the Thayer School of Engineering (Dartmouth College) in 1982 and an M.S. in Computer Science from Northeastern University in 1993. In 1978, he joined Tufts Medical Center, promoted to Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Radiology in 1984. In 1995, he moved to Nomos Corporation, becoming Vice-President for Clinical Affairs (2001) and Technology (2002). While at Nomos, he was involved in the development of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and clinical use of Monte Carlo techniques for treatment planning. He returned to academics in 2003, joining the faculty at the University of Michigan. In 2008, he moved to Providence RI, becoming Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Brown University and Associate Chief Physicist at Rhode Island Hospital. He joined the VCU faculty in 2014. Mr. Curran's research interests are in improving interoperability of computer systems in radiation oncology. He is a founding member of DICOM Working Group-7 and the IHE-RO Technical Committee. He will be President-elect of the AAPM starting in January, 2015, becoming President in 2016, and Chairman of the Board in 2017.
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Rabten Datsang, M.S.
Instructor
(804) 628-3437
khekhor@vcu.edu

Mr. Datsang received a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Virginia in 2007, and a master's in Medical Physics from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011. Mr. Datsang joined the clinical medical physics faculty in the VCU Department of Radiation Oncology later that year. His primary interests are LDR and HDR brachytherapy treatments of prostate cancer, as well as improvement of quality assurance practices in radiation therapy.
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Josh Evans, Ph.D.
Assistant professor
(804) 628-0661
jevans2@mcvh-vcu.edu

Dr. Evans completed his Ph.D. in Medical Physics at Virginia Commonwealth University in June 2011, where his dissertation focused on statistical iterative reconstruction algorithms for quantitative dual-energy CT and improved CT dose utilization. He then joined the University of Virginia in July 2011 for a year of focused training in their clinical radiotherapy physics residency program. He returned to Richmond in July 2012 to join the faculty at VCU to help ensure that radiation treatments are delivered to each patient with the highest level of precision, accuracy and efficiency possible. His main clinical interests include hypo-fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy, high dose rate brachytherapy, and efficient QA processes and also remains active in the statistical CT reconstruction research group at VCU.
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John "Chet" Ford, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Associate professor
(804) 828-7418
jford2@mcvh-vcu.edu

Dr. Ford joined the Department of Radiation Oncology in 2009. He received his PhD in Physics at University of Connecticut, studying nuclear magnetic resonance of metallic glasses. Following graduation he was an NIH Post-Doctoral Fellow at University of Pennsylvania before joining the faculty there as Assistant Professor of Radiology. At UPenn he performed research in MRI and served as Technical Director of the Animal MR facility. He subsequently spent a decade in industry designing and developing scientific and medical instrumentation and software, and held positions as Senior Scientist at Radiation Monitoring Devices in Watertown, MA and Chief Science Officer at MicroMRI in Philadelphia, PA. He has also served as MR physicist at University of Massachusetts and the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia. His current research interest is utilization of MR image guidance to provide focal radiation therapy that maximizes tumor control while minimizing radiation to normal organs.
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Jeremy Horn, M.S., DABR
Instructor
Director, Medical Physics at Spotsylvania Regional Cancer Center
(540) 498-4819
jhorn@mcvh-vcu.edu

Mr. Horn began his career in 2000 with Computer Sciences Corporation as a junior test engineer and programmer analyst, where he tested and analyzed software systems responsible for the control and release of high energy events. In 2003, Mr. Horn joined Northrop Grumman Corporation, Defense Mission Systems division as a lead software safety engineer. During his service with Northrop Grumman, Mr. Horn was responsible for hazard analysis, risk assessment, and the design and implementation of mitigation strategies to reduce overall system mishap risk. In May 2008, Mr. Horn graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a MS in Medical Physics and joined the clinical physics staff in the fall of 2008. His clinical interests include improvement and execution of quality assurance program, LDR & HDR brachytherapy, and stereotactic radiosugery (SRS/SBRT).
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Priyanka Kapoor, M.S.
Assistant professor
(804) 675-5000 ext. 3098
pkapur@mcvh-vcu.edu

Ms. Kapoor graduated from University of Delhi, India with a Master's degree in Physics in 2007 and received a Master's degree in Medical Physics from Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Mumbai, India in 2008. She started her career as a Clinical Medical Physicist with a commercial hospital in India and worked with them for 2 years. Before joining the Department of Radiation Oncology as a Clinical Physicist at VCU, she worked at University of Florida as a physicist-in-training and was part of several research projects like Peer Review System and Automated Plan Evaluation System. A member of VCU faculty since April 2014, her research interests are Quality improvement with Treatment Planning.
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Rishabh Kapoor, M.S.
(804) 828-0289
rkapoor@mcvh-vcu.edu

Mr. Kapoor received his M.S. in Medical Physics from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in 2007. In 2008, he joined TSG Integrations, a commercial treatment planning software company in India. While at TSG, he was involved in several projects such as designing computer algorithms for inverse planning, developing automated plan QA software, and developing software solutions for ophthalmology and radiology, etc. In 2010, he joined University of Florida as Technical Manager of the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise initiative in Radiation Oncology (IHE-RO). Being at UF, he was leading the development of multiple software systems that improved the efficacy of radiation therapy such as the Peer Review software system. He joined the VCU faculty in 2012 and is working for the National Radiation Oncology program in the VHA system. In his assignment at VHA, Mr. Kapoor is developing and implementing programs that will ensure safe, effective, state-of-the-art radiation treatments to our veterans and bring VHA Radiation Oncology Services (ROS) to a position of national excellence. He has been working on implementing the Radiotherapy Incident Reporting and Analysis database for VHA that will keep a log of incidents, near misses / good catches in radiation therapy and helps the community learn and derive best practices from this database. Mr. Kapoor’s research interests are in improving interoperability of computer systems and developing pathways that enable quality improvement using clinical informatics in radiation oncology.
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Martin J. Murphy, Ph.D.
Professor
(804) 628-7777
mmurphy@mcvh-vcu.edu

Dr. Murphy received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1980. Subsequently, he held research posts in nuclear physics, astrophysics, X-Ray and gamma-ray astronomy at UC/Berkeley's Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, the University of Washington, and the Lockheed Space Sciences Laboratory in Palo Alto CA. In 1992, Dr. Murphy became involved in research and development for the CyberKnife, a robotic image-guided radiosurgical system invented at Stanford University to treat cancer and central nervous system lesions. In 2003, he moved from Stanford, where he was a senior research scientist, to join the Medical Physics faculty at VCU. His research interests are in image fusion, computer-guided medical image segmentation, real-time image processing and registration, and machine vision applied to radiotherapy. The goal of his research is to develop fast, automatic image-guided procedures for the planning and delivery of radiation treatments via both external beams and brachytherapy.
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Andrei Pugachev, Ph.D.
Assistant professor
(804) 628-3436
apugachev@mcvh-vcu.edu

Dr. Pugachev received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University where he was working on beam angle optimization for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). After graduation in 2002 he joined Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center first as a Research Fellow and then as an Instructor. There he received training in clinical nuclear medicine physics and worked on different aspects of pre-clinical validation of positron emission tomography (PET) tracers. Before joining VCU in 2008, Dr Pugachev was employed by Toronto Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre as a Scientist and University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor. His main research interest is the use of PET imaging in radiation oncology for both treatment planning and response assessment.
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Mihaela Rosu, Ph.D.
Associate professor
(804) 628-0980
mrosu@mcvh-vcu.edu

Dr. Rosu joined the Department of Radiation Oncology in 2007. She received her Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences from the University of Michigan in 2005. Following graduation Dr. Rosu was a postdoctoral fellow in the Radiation Oncology Department at the University of Michigan and her research represented one of the first comprehensive studies of the influence of motion in three-dimensional and four-dimensional treatment planning in deformable organs using Monte Carlo dose computation engine. Her current research interests include further investigations of the motion effects on dose calculation, treatment delivery and clinical outcomes.
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Ford Sleeman, M.S.
Scientific programmer
(804) 628-7778
wsleemaniv@mcvh-vcu.edu

Mr. Sleeman received his M.S. in Computer Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007. During his M.S. study, he developed an autopilot control system for small unmanned aerial vehicles. After obtaining his M.S., he worked for SENTEL Corporation, an engineering services company headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. As a software engineer at SENTEL, Mr. Sleeman wrote software to integrate sensors into physical security systems for government facilities. A member of the VCU faculty since 2007, his research interests include control systems, parallel computing, embedded systems, and signal processing.
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Dorin A. Todor, Ph.D.
Associate professor
Director, Brachytherapy Program
(804) 628-7415
dtodor@mcvh-vcu.edu

Dr. Todor joined the Clinical Physics faculty of the Department of Radiation Oncology in 2001. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where he was involved in radiological physics research in brachytherapy, the creation of a novel method for real-time intraoperative dosimetry of permanent prostate implants, and external beam portal image processing and enhancement. Dr. Todor received his Ph.D. from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA., where his work included collaboration with the Radiation Oncology and Biophysics Departments at Eastern Virginia Medical School. His clinical activities include LDR and HDR brachytherapy for prostate and breast cancer treatment. Currently funded by a grant from the American Cancer Society, Dr. Todor is actively involved in a number of research projects dealing with intraoperative assessment of LDR implants, the automatic tracking of markers in EPID images for lung treatments and real-time imaging techniques for HDR breast catheter implants. His long-term goals are the development of a brachytherapy-like system for the planning and delivery of gene therapy and the establishment of new techniques for the analysis of dose distributions in tissues.
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Jeffrey F. Williamson, Ph.D.
Professor
(804) 828-8451
jwilliamson@mcvh-vcu.edu

Dr. Williamson received his Ph.D. in biophysical sciences in 1982 from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Prior to coming to VCU Massey Cancer Center, he was a senior faculty member in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., where he solidified his national reputation as an innovative researcher in brachytherapy. Dr. Williamson has several National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded projects in the physics of this modality and is currently looking at novel methods for using imaging technology to improve the planning and delivery of brachytherapy to patients. One of his primary goals with this research is to extend the well-established role of Monte Carlo simulation as an accurate dosimetry tool to individual treatment planning. Dr. Williamson is also working in the area of deformable image registration. The goal of this research is to model distortion and movement of internal organs due to brachytherapy applicator insertion, tumor regression and changes in patient position.
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Melodee Wolfe, M.P., DABR
Director of Clinical Physics, South Hill, VA
mlwolfe2@vcu.edu

Ms. Wolfe graduated from East Carolina University with a Master's degree in Physics in May 1992. She began her career as a clinical medical physicist with Mountain Radiation Oncology in Asheville, NC and was there from 1992 to 2000. After leaving Asheville, she joined the faculty at East Carolina University in Greenville NC and continued to provide clinical physics support for their external beam, stereotactic and brachytherapy programs. Ms. Wolfe also taught clinical physics on a graduate and undergraduate level and was heavily involved in quality assurance, ACR accreditation and Radiation Safety while at ECU. In February 2013, Ms. Wolfe joined the Virginia Commonwealth University faculty and serves as the Director of Medical Physics at the South Hill VA facility. Her main interests are in the areas of patient safety and quality improvement.


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Yan Wu, M.S.
Instructor
(804) 628-0662
ywu@mcvh-vcu.edu

Mr. Wu received an M.S. from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation at Tianjin University in Tianjin, China, in 1985 and an M.S. from the Department of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton in Southampton, United Kingdom, in 1992. He lectured and conducted research at both universities as well as at the University of Portsmouth in Portsmouth, United Kingdom, prior to working as a research associate in the Department of Radiation Oncology at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan. A member of the VCU faculty since 1999, his research interests include delivery techniques of intensity-modulated radiotherapy, optimization, signal processing and neural networks.
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Lisa Zhang, Ph.D.
Assistant professor
lzhang6@vcu.edu

Dr. Zhang received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in 2004 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she focused on developing a Compton gamma-ray imaging probe for high resolution and high sensitivity imaging of prostate and breast. After graduation, she then joined the Radiation Oncology Department of Washington University in St. Louis for her medical physics residency training. She received comprehensive training in all aspects of clinical radiotherapy physics during her residency and joined the Department of Radiation Oncology at VCU in 2007. She left VCU in 2011 and rejoined the department in 2013. Her research interests include characterization of OBI photon spectrum and its impact on the reconstructed images and image guided high dose rate brachytherapy.
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