Our people

Professor Paul Keall, Director, Radiation Physics Laboratory

Paul Keall

Prof. Paul Keall is currently a Professor at the University of Sydney and Director of the Radiation Physics Laboratory. His work is broadly supported by the NHMRC Australia Fellowship Innovations in Medical Physics to Improve Human Health with additional funding supporting individual projects. The program has international funded collaborations with Stanford University and Virginia Commonwealth University, and also partners with several institutions in Asia, Europe and the US on image guided radiation therapy research projects. Previously Prof. Keall was an Associate Professor and Director of the Radiation Physics Division of the Radiation Oncology Department at Stanford University. Prof. Keall earned his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Adelaide in Australia and his B.Sc. degree at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Prof. Keall’s main scientific interests involve image guided radiation therapy and accounting for anatomic and physiologic changes in healthy and pathologic tissue throughout a radiation treatment course. Additional areas of investigation include ventilation imaging, audiovisual biofeedback, compact plasma proton accelerators and MRI and PET-guided linear accelerators. These research activities have resulted in over 130 scientific articles and several awards and honors. He has developed new methods for medical imaging and image guided radiation therapy. Several of these innovations have been translated to clinical practice for improved health care. He is an editorial board member for several journals in the radiation oncology field and participates in professional activities and committees of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

Dr Ricky O'Brien, Lead Software Developer

Ricky O

Dr Ricky O’Brien is currently a software developer in the Radiation Physics Laboratory working on the DMLC tracking, Audiovisual Biofeedback and RM4DCBCT software projects. Ricky completed his undergraduate studies in Pure and Applied Mathematics from RMIT University and his Ph.D. in biological mathematics at the University of Western Australia . After completing his Ph.D. studies he worked for five years at EOS Space Systems in Canberra developing astrodynamics applications for space debris tracking and satellite laser ranging. More recently he spent five years as a Senior Developer at Optimo Financial where he developed financial optimisation software. Ricky’s interests are in software development, optimisation, astrodynamics, biological mathematics and mathematical modelling.

Kuldeep Makhija, Software Developer

Kuldeep Makhija

Kuldeep Makhija graduated with a Bachelor in Management Science and Masters in Computer Application. After that, Kuldeep worked with Dell Perot Systems and Halliburton Energy Services as a software developer in Pune, India and partly in Houston, USA. He is currently assisting the group in building the software tools to advance the various projects underway, under the guidance of Dr Ricky O'brien. His interests are new Microsoft technologies and team and project dynamics. When not working, Kuldeep likes to travel, discover new places and take his son swimming.

Dr Ilana Feain, Research Fellow

Ilana Feain

Dr Ilana Feain obtained her PhD in Astrophysics from The University of Sydney in 2006. From 2006 until 2014, Ilana was a Research and Project Scientist at CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science Division, where she focused on radio interferometric imaging of super massive black holes in order to understand galaxy formation and evolution in the distant Universe. Ilana is also an adjunct senior lecturer at the School of Physics and currently co-supervises one PhD student at the Sydney Institute for Astrophysics. Ilana is a vocal advocate for encouraging young women to pursue careers in science, and in supporting female scientists as they progress through their career jungle gyms. In 2007, Ilana was awarded the Inaugural L'Oreal For Women in Science Fellowship for her research and outreach work with Global Jet Watch, placing telescopes in girls schools across the world. In 2014, Ilana changed direction, choosing to pursue a career in medical physics and took up a three year research fellowship with Paul Keall in the School of Medicine Radiation Physics Laboratory. For fun, Ilana runs, cycles and swims in the hope that she'll be able to do another half-ironman triathlon at some point soon.

Dr Yuanyuan Ge, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Yuanyuan Ge

Dr Yuanyuan Ge received her B.Sc. degree in applied physics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2002 and her D.Sc. degree in particle physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, in 2007. She then moved to the USA and changed her research direction to medical physics. She started as a volunteer post-doc at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago and then took a job as a software engineer on treatment planning systems in Prowess Inc. Yuanyuan went back to academia in 2008 and worked with Prof. Bruce Faddegon at theUniversity of California, San Francisco. Her work mainly focused on reducing radiation dose to healthy tissue by mixing X-ray and electron treatment. In 2010, she migrated to Australia and joined Prof. Keall's group. Her current interest lies in the real-time tracking of tumour deformation with dynamic multi-leaf collimator.

Dr Enid Eslick, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Enid Eslick

Dr Enid Eslick completed her Ph.D. in Biophysics in 2010 at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her research project involved using atomic force microscopy to measure and characterise the physical properties of live cells. She commenced working in the Radiation Physics Laboratory in November 2010. Prior to her PhD she has worked as a junior physicist in the Radiation Oncology Department at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She is a member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Enid is currently completing her Masters degree in Medical Physics at the University of Sydney.

Dr John Kipritidis, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

John Kipritidis

Dr John Kipritidis received his Ph.D. from the School of Physics at The University of Sydney (2009), where his research focused on the simulation and spectroscopic analysis of energetic particle beams.
Following this, John held a postdoctoral position at Kyoto University, Japan (2010) where he performed nuclear emission spectroscopy on small-scale fusion plasmas. He has also acted as an Honorary Research Fellow of the School of Physics at Sydney. Having recently joined the RPL as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, John hopes to apply his knowledge of experimental and computational physics towards improving techniques for ventilation image reconstruction in four-dimensional cone-beam computed tomography (4D CBCT). Essentially this technique aims to image time-resolved air-flow and pulmonary function using conically shaped, kilovoltage X-ray beams. Improving the resolution and quality of these images could drastically improve the accuracy of pre-planning for radiotherapy treatments of lung tumours, which are highly susceptible to motion. Thanks to his time in Kyoto, John has developed an appreciation for Japanese culture and cuisine. He also enjoys classic cinema and minimalist music.

Dr Chen-Yu Huang, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Chen-Yu Huang

Dr Chen-Yu Huang completed her B.Sc. degree from Sun Yat-sen University with CT image registration as her graduation project. She was awarded a Ph.D. from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales. Her research was focused on physical and biological aspects of Targeted Alpha Therapy for cancer. She developed Monte Carlo micro-dosimetric models for different stages of cancer. Further, she carried out in vitro and in vivo experiments on radio-immunoconjugate bio-distributions and the potential synergism of Tumor Anti-Vascular Alpha Therapy and vascular disrupting agents. Chen-Yu's current project at the Radiation Physics Laboratory is to investigate tumour rotation in real-time from rotating 2D projection images. Tracking tumour rotation and applying corrections in real-time will allow the prescribed radiation dose to be more accurately delivered to the tumour volume compared to current capabilities. Chen-Yu is passionate about hiking, swimming and enjoying different cuisines.

Dr Peter Lazarakis, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Peter Lazarakis

Dr Peter Lazarakis is currently working on the Nano-X project; building a compact Linear Accelerator to facilitate a variety of radiation research projects. Peter completed his Undergraduate and Postgraduate studies at the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics, University of Wollongong. His research involved investigating the radiobiological implications of exposing biological samples to a static magnetic field during irradiation. This was achieved using a combination of Monte Carlo methods (Geant4), in vitro cell irradiation experiments and single-ion microbeam experiments. Peter's main interests lie in radiation research, microdosimetry, nanodosimetry, and radiobiology modeling. In his spare time, he likes to participate in mud runs like Tough Mudder and spend time in a hammock with a good book.

Ben Cooper, PhD Student

Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper is a Ph.D. student at the University of Sydney. He is also an ACPSEM-accredited Medical Physicist at the Canberra Hospital. Ben, who has adapted the reconstruction algorithm leading to the preliminary data for the NHMRC Project Grant, will continue to contribute to the theoretical developments, simulation studies and implementation of experimental phantom studies investigating respiratory modulated 4D CBCT.

Dr Fiona Hegi, PhD Student

Fiona Hegi

Dr Fiona Hegi-Johnson is a radiation oncologist working at the Northern Sydney Cancer Centre. She completed her advanced training at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney and is currently undertaking her Ph.D. in the area of management of intrafractional organ motion in stereotactic radiotherapy under the supervision of Professor Paul Keall (University of Sydney). Fiona has a strong interest in stereotactic body radiotherapy for primary lung cancer and pulmonary metastases. She also treats patients with stereotactic body radiotherapy at other sites, including the liver and spine. She is the principle investigator on several multicentre trials, examining the role of stereotactic body radiotherapy in the lung and spine. Fiona's key areas of research are stereotactic body radiotherapy for lung, spine and liver, anagement of intrafractional organ motion in stereotactic radiotherapy and informatics – novel methods of data collection and text based analysis.

Jin Aun Ng, PhD Student

Jin Aun Ng

Jin Aun Ng, a Malaysian national, graduated with a B.Sc. in Advanced Science majoring in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Sydney. Following that, he pursued an Honours degree in Computational Biophysics at the Australian National University. Jin is currently undertaking his Ph.D. in Medical Physics at the University of Sydney and is supervised by Prof. Paul Keall.

Brendan Whelan, PhD Student

Brendan Whelan

Brendan Whelan is PhD student studying under Professor Paul Keall. Brendan graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2009 with a Bachelor of Physics and a Diploma of Music. He completed the Master of Medical Physics program at the University of Sydney in 2011. Brendan is working on the MRI-Linac program; specifically on the development of a patient rotation system, and the impact of magnetic fields on the linac electron gun. Brendan is widely acknowledged as the best looking and cleverest member of the research group. He also writes his own bios.

Danny Lee, PhD Student

Danny Lee

Danny Lee graduated with B.Sc. in Computer Science and M.Sc. in Korea. Following that, Mr. Lee worked for KISTI (Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information), IBM and Fujitsu. He is currently undertaking his Ph.D. in Medical Physics at the University of Sydney and is supervised by Prof. Paul Keall and Dr. Taeho Kim.

Andy Shieh, PhD Student

Andy Shieh

Andy Shieh is a Taiwanese national who graduated with a B.Sc. in Advanced Mathematics majoring in Physics, Applied Mathematics and Computational Science from the University of Sydney. Continuing to study at the University of Sydney, Andy then completed his Honours degree with a nuclear medicine project based on Monte Carlo simulation and image reconstruction, supervised by A/Prof Zdenka Kuncic. During the project, he developed an original code to reconstruct images in a Compton camera system, using a novel technique which involves the use of photon polarization information. He is now assisting the research group to optimize the real-time tumour tracking software. Andy has started his Ph.D. in Medical Physics at the University of Sydney with a project looking at respiratory motion 4DCBCT reconstruction, supervised by both A/Prof Zdenka Kuncic and Prof Paul Keall.

Sean Pollock, PhD Student

Sean Pollock

Sean Pollock graduated with a B.Sc. majoring in physics and mathematics in 2010 at the University of Sydney before completing a Masters of Medical Physics in 2012 also at the University of Sydney. Sean continues to remain at the University of Sydney and is now a PhD student spearheading the clinical investigation of the respiratory guidance system: audiovisual (AV) biofeedback. Upcoming studies include a liver cancer patient study at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital as well as a multi-site lung cancer study across 7 hospitals in NSW and ACT to assess the impact of AV biofeedback on tumour motion, image quality, clinical compatibility and patient outcomes. Sean spends his free time surfing and writing up ethics and protocol forms.

Emma Colvill, PhD Student

Emma Colvill

Emma Colvill graduated with a B.Sc. majoring in physics and mathematics from the University of Sydney in 2009 and went on to complete the Master of Medical Physics program at the University of Sydney in 2012. In 2013, Emma commenced a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Paul Keall, with the main focus of her research being the implementation of real-time adaptive radiotherapy.

Svenja Ipsen - University of Luebeck

Svenja Ipsen

Svenja Ipsen is currently enrolled at the University of Luebeck, Northern Germany, in the Master’s program of ‘Medical Engineering Science’. She completed her Bachelor thesis in early 2013, focussing on integrating 4D ultrasound imaging into a robotic radiotherapy system for motion compensation during treatment. Her interest in real-time imaging and tracking paved the way for finally joining the research group of Paul Keall in September 2013. During her visit she will be investigating a new potential treatment branch of the MRI-Linac beyond the realms of cancer therapy: treating cardiac arrhythmia with radiotherapy. This does not only involve challenges in dose calculations and modelling but also requires sophisticated real-time tracking methods. By the end of 2014 she will return to Germany to finish her Master's thesis. As the first ambassador of Luebeck she is looking forward to close collaboration and a vivid exchange of ideas within this exceptional research group - and of course many unforgettable moments in Australia.

Julie Baz, Executive Officer

Julie Baz

Julie Baz manages the administrative functions of the group including grant applications and management, HR, logistics, travel and events. She has a degree in Communications and has worked at the University for the past eight years. Prior to joining the group when it was established in 2010, Julie worked in a range of positions across the University including Communications Advisor for the central Marketing and Communications Team. Outside the University, Julie is an independent theatre producer and director.