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VCU Massey Cancer Center


Medical physics faculty

Jatinder Palta, Ph.D.
Christopher L. Bartee
Bruce Curran, M.E., M.S.
Rabten Datsang, M.S.
Josh Evans, Ph.D.
John C. Ford
Jeremy Horn, M.S., DABR
Priyanka Kapoor, M.S.
Rishabh Kapoor, M.S.
Siyong Kim, Ph.D.
Taeho Kim, Ph.D.
Laura Padilla, Ph.D.
Mihaela Rosu, Ph.D.
Ford Sleeman, M.S.
Dorin A. Todor, Ph.D.
Melodee Wolfe, M.P., DABR
Yan Wu, M.S.
Lisha Zhang, Ph.D.

Jatinder Palta image [View Image]

Chair, Division of Medical Physics
(804) 628-1940

Dr. Palta received his doctorate in medical physics in 1981 from the University of Missouri. Prior to coming to VCU Massey Cancer Center, he was professor and chief of physics in the Department of Radiation Oncology at University of Florida, 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 sections and the boards of both AAPM and ASTRO. In his assignment at the Veterans Hospital Administration (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.

Christopher Bartee image [View Image]

Research associate
(804) 628-0977

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, he joined Varian Oncology Systems as a senior field service engineer, where he was trained primarily on medical linear accelerators. Since 1998, Mr. Bartee has been the senior clinical engineer for the VCU Department of Radiation Oncology, where his activities include management of all the medical linear accelerators and simulators and research in intensity-modulated radiotherapy, electronic portal imaging and respiratory gating.

Bruce Curran image [View Image]

Associate professor
(804) 675-5000, ext. 3109

Mr. Curran received his master’s degree in of engineering from the Thayer School of Engineering (Dartmouth College) in 1982 and a master’s in computer science from Northeastern University in 1993. In 1978, he joined Tufts Medical Center and was 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 became 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 has served as president-elect and president of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and is currently chairman of the board of the AAPM.

Rabten Datsang image [View Image]
(804) 628-3437

Mr. Datsang received his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Virginia in 2007, and a master’s degree in medical physics from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011. He joined the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University 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.

Josh Evans image [View Image]

Assistant professor
(804) 628-0661

Dr. Evans completed his doctorate 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 VCU to join the faculty in 2012 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 he also remains active in the statistical CT reconstruction research group at VCU.

John "Chet" Ford, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Associate professor
(804) 828-7418

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.

Jeremy Horn image [View Image]

Director, medical physics at Spotsylvania Regional Cancer Center
(540) 498-4819

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, he graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a master’s degree in medical physics and joined the VCU 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).

Priyanka Kapoor image [View Image]
(804) 675-5000, ext 3098

Mrs. 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 two years. Before joining Virginia Commonwealth university as a clinical physicist, 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, Mrs. Kapoor focuses her research on quality improvement with treatment planning.

Rishabh Kapoor image [View Image]

(804) 828-0289

Mr. Kapoor received his master’s degree 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. In 2010, he joined the University of Florida as technical manager of the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise initiative in Radiation Oncology (IHE-RO). While at the University of Florida, he led the development of multiple software systems that improved the efficacy of radiation therapy such as the Peer Review software system. He joined the Virginia Commonwealth University faculty in 2012 and is working for the National Radiation Oncology program in the Veterans Health Administration (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.

Siyong Kim image [View Image]
Director, Clinical Medical Physics
Director, Medical Physics Residency Program
(804) 628-0981

Dr. Kim received his doctorate in medical physics in 1997 from the University of Florida, Gainesville. After completing a two-year clinical physics residency program at the University of Florida, he was appointed assistant professor at the University of Florida. From 2006 to 2013, he was a faculty member at the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, where he led them in in establishing an image-guided radiation therapy program. Dr. Kim joined Virginia Commonwealth University in September 2013 as a professor. He is interested in developing dose uncertainty models, respiratory motion management strategy, compact CT and MR simulator.

Taeho Kim image [View Image]

Assistant Professor
(804) 828-7418

Dr. Kim received his doctoral degree in physics from Washington University in St. Louis in 2007. He completed two post-doctoral fellowships, one in MRI (Radiology, University of Utah) and the other in radiation therapy (Radiation Oncology, Stanford University). He joined the University of Sydney in Australia as a faculty member and worked on several medical physics research projects, including respiratory motion management using MRI-guided audiovisual biofeedback and an integrated MRI-linear accelerator development. He also worked on quasi-breath-hold biofeedback in radiation oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville as a visiting physicist and completed his medical physics residency in the CAMPEP-accredited medical physics program at University of Virginia. He has extensive clinical research experience in medical physics and MRI from multiple universities in the USA and Australia. He currently has two primary interests in medical physics research: motion management and MRI in clinical practice.

Laura Padilla image [View Image]
Laura Padilla, Ph.D.

Assistant professor
(804) 628-0660

Dr. Padilla received her doctorate in medical physics from the University of Florida, Gainesville, in 2012. Her dissertation focused on radionuclide therapy dosimetry. Upon graduation she went on to complete a three-year residency program in therapeutic medical physics at the University of Chicago. During this time she performed research on collision detection techniques in radiation therapy. She joined the Virginia Commonwealth University faculty in 2015. Her research interests include collision detection, surface imaging, functional imaging for treatment planning and radionuclide therapy.

Mihaela Rosu image [View Image]

Associate professor
(804) 628-0980

Dr. Rosu joined Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007. She received her doctoral degree 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.

Ford Sleeman image [View Image]

Scientific programmer
(804) 628-7778

Mr. Sleeman received his master’s degree in computer engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007. While earning his master’s degree, he developed an autopilot control system for small unmanned aerial vehicles. After obtaining his master’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.

Dorin Todor image [View Image]

Associate professor
Director, Brachytherapy Program
(804) 628-7415

Dr. Todor joined the Virginia Commonwealth University faculty in 2001. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 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 doctorate from Old Dominion University, 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.

Melody Wolfe image [View Image]

Director of clinical physics, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital
(434) 774-2481

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, 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. Her main interests are in the areas of patient safety and quality improvement.

Yan Wu image [View Image]

(804) 628-0662

Mr. Wu received a master’s degree from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation at Tianjin University in Tianjin, China, in 1985 and a master’s degree 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, Mr. Wu focuses his research on delivery techniques of intensity-modulated radiotherapy, optimization, signal processing and neural networks.

Lisha Zhang image [View Image]

Assistant professor
(804) 977-5852

Dr. Zhang received her doctorate 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 the prostate and breast. After graduation, she 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 Virginia Commonwealth University 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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