Professor Paul Keall, Director, Radiation Physics Laboratory
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 Jamie Sherman, Research Fellow
Dr. Jamie Sherman's research interests and training are in the fields of Mathematical Biology and Proteomics and he is currently involved in research in improving radiotherapy. One project he is working on is improving the accuracy of dose delivering to the tumour, specifically in cases where the tumour moves over time. Another project of interest to Dr. Sherman is setting up metrics for moving tumours to measure the optimality of the treatment that was delivered, addressing questions such as Could the treatment have been done faster? and How close was the actual delivery to the desired delivery for the tumor? The significance of this work is evident given cancer statistics and, though there are many promising new molecular methodologies, it will be quite some time before biochemical approaches exist for all cancers. In proteomics Dr. Sherman's interests are two fold. Firstly, in the accuracy of protein identifications in complex samples such as lysates. Dr. Sherman is driving towards a robust framework which is hypothesis driven and integrates into an error correcting framework. His idea is when an investigator wants to measure the abundance of a protein, they dial in the protein and the allowable error, 0.0001 for example, and the software designs Mass Spectrometry based assays to detect the protein. Dr. Sherman's second area of interest is in using Selective Reaction Monitoring to better understand the mechanisms behind the efficacy of radiotherapy techniques with an eye to better improving treatment as well as to better understanding tumour responses to radiotherapy as well as other treatments.
Dr Ricky O'Brien, Software Developer
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. Dr. O’Brien 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. Dr. O’Brien’s interest are in software development, optimisation, astrodynamics, biological mathematics and mathematical modelling.
Mr Kuldeep Makhija, Software Developer
Mr. Kuldeep Makhija graduated with a Bachelor in Management Science and Masters in Computer Application. After that, Mr. Makhija 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 Mr. Makhija likes to travel, discover new places and take his 3 yr. old son swimming.
Dr Yuanyuan Ge, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
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. Dr. Ge 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
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. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Medical Physics at the University of Sydney.
Dr John Kipritidis, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
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, Dr. Kipritidis 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, Dr. Kipritidis 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, Dr. Kipritidis has developed an appreciation for Japanese culture and cuisine. He also enjoys classic cinema, minimalist music and writing in the third person.
Dr Chen-Yu Huang, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
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. Dr. Huang’s current task 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. Dr. Huang is passionate about hiking, swimming and enjoying different cuisines.
Dr Joubin Nasehi Tehrani, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr. Joubin Nasehi Tehrani is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Radiation physics Laboratory. Recently, He submitted his Ph.D. thesis at the University of Sydney (Electrical and Information Engineering department). His research topic was cardiac function imaging using Electrical Impedance Tomography. He is interested in topics such as: Mathematical modelling, Optimisation, biometrics imaging, inverse problems, and development of non-invasive biomedical measurement technologies and sensors, including the medical image and signal processing algorithms. Dr. Tehrani received the B.A.Sc. (honours) in Bioelectrical Engineering from the University of Shahid Beheshti, Iran in 1999, and a M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Tehran, Iran in 2002. He has more than seven years work experience in industrial companies such as: Drew scientific, Hitachi, and Pilkington. His current interest lies in estimating tumour rotation in real-time from rotating 2D projection of KV imaging system.
Dr Peter Lazarakis, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr. Peter Lazarakis is currently working on the Nano-X project; building a compact Linear Accelerator to facilitate a variety of radiation research projects. Dr. Lazarakis 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. Dr. Lazarakis’ main interests lie in radiation research, microdosimetry, nanodosimetry, and radiobiology modeling. In his spare time he also likes to participate in mud runs like Tough Mudder and spend time in a hammock with a good book.
Ben Cooper, PhD Student
Mr. Ben Cooper is a Ph.D. student at the University of Sydney. He is also an ACPSEM-accredited Medical Physicist at the Canberra Hospital. Mr. Cooper, 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
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). Dr. Hegi 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. 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
Mr. 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, Mr. Ng pursued an Honours degree in Computational Biophysics at the Australian National University. He 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 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
Mr. 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
Mr. 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, Mr. Shieh then completed his Honours degree with a nuclear medicine project based on Monte Carlo simulation and image reconstruction, supervised by A/Prof Zdenka Kuncic. In the project, Mr. Shieh 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. He will start his Ph.D. soon 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
Mr. Sean Pollock graduated with a B.Sc. majoring in physics and mathematics in 2010 at the University of Sydney before commencing a Masters of Medical Physics in 2011 at the University of Sydney. Having completed his coursework, Mr. Pollock is now engaged in his research project for his Masters' thesis, with Dr. Taeho Kim as his supervisor. This study is an evaluation of the effectiveness of the MRI-guided audio-visual biofeedback system in improving the motion prediction accuracy of respiratory motion.
Emma Colvill, PhD Student
Ms. 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. She will soon start a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Paul Keall, with the main focus of her research being the implementation of real-time adaptive radiotherapy.
Julie Baz, Executive Assistant
Ms. 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 seven years. Prior to joining the group when it was established in 2010, Ms. Baz worked in a range of positions across the University including Communications Advisor for the central Marketing and Communications Department. Outside the University, Ms. Baz is an independent theatre producer and director.