Medical Physics Graduate Programs

Faculty

 The Medical Physics Graduate Program provides students with the opportunity to work closely with faculty in the departments of Radiation Oncology, Radiology, and Bioengineering.  Faculty members teach courses and provide students with research, clinical, and professional development opportunities.

From the Department of Radiation Oncology

Shannon O’Reilly, PhD

Shannon O’Reilly, PhD
Director of the Medical Physics Graduate Programs and Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Shannon O’Reilly is the Faculty Director of the Medical Physics Graduate Programs. Dr. O'Reilly earned her BS in Nuclear Engineering and an MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Florida. She is certified by the American Board of Radiology. Dr. O’Reilly’s research interests include 4DCT ventilation, Monte Carlo dosimetry, and reducing radiation-induced toxicities. Her clinical responsibilities include proton and photon radiotherapy, quality assurance, and HDR brachytherapy. Dr. O'Reilly teaches MPHY 6040: Radiological Physics. She serves on the Faculty Advisory Committee and Research Committee. Dr. O’Reilly is the current president of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. 


Rodney Wiersma, PhD

Rodney Wiersma, PhD
Associate Director of the Medical Physics Graduate Programs and Research Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Rodney Wiersma earned a BS in Physics from University Of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; an MS in Physics from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada; and a PhD in Physics from Max Planck Institute For Solid State Research, Stuttgart, Germany.  Dr. Wiersma is certified by the American Board of Radiology.  He serves on the Faculty Advisory Committee and is the Chair of the Research Committee.


Lei Dong, PhD

Lei Dong, PhD
Vice Chair and Director of the Medical Physics Division; Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Lei Dong holds a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Modern Applied Physics from Tsinghua University, China. He earned a PhD in Biomedical Science/Medical Physics from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. A nationally recognized expert in radiation therapy, Dr. Dong has co-authored more than 170 peer-reviewed articles and 14 book chapters. He has conducted innovative research and clinical development in image-guided radiation therapy and proton therapy. Many of his research and developmental work have been translated into clinical practice. His clinical responsibilities include advanced technology development and clinical implementations, managing the medical physics team, and strategic planning.  Dr. Dong is the chair of the programs' Faculty Advisory Committee. He is certified by the American Board of Medical Physics and has been named a Fellow by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.  


Stephen Avery, PhD

Stephen Avery, PhD
Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Stephen Avery directed the programs from 2010 – 2015 and 2018-2021.  He holds a BS in Physics from Millersville University and an MS and PhD in Experimental Nuclear Physics from Hampton University. Dr. Avery’s research interests include quality assurance in proton therapy treatment delivery and treatment planning techniques as well as global health.  Dr. Avery’s clinical responsibilities include commissioning of new treatment modalities, machine/patient quality assurance for proton therapy, and treatment planning support for the proton clinic. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology.  He is a fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and member of the AAPM Board of Directors.  Dr. Avery teaches and coordinates MPHY 6060: Physics of Radiation Therapy. He serves on the Faculty Advisory Committee and the Admissions Committee.


Douglas Bollinger, MMP

Douglas Bollinger, MMP
Clinical Physicist, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Mr. Bollinger earned BA degrees in Physics and East Asian Languages & Civilizations as well as a Master of Medical Physics from the University of Pennsylvania. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology.  His clinical responsibilities are cross coverage on photon, and proton and brachytherapy services. His research interests include Halcyon, EPID, and Brachytherapy. 


Brendan Burgdorf, MMP

Brendan Burgdorf, MMP
Clinical Physicist, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Mr. Burgdorf earned a BS in Physics from Bucknell University and a Master of Medical Physics from the University of Pennsylvania.  He is certified by the American Board of Radiology.  Mr. Burgdorf's research interests include proton therapy treatment planning techniques, knowledge-based treatment planning, and adaptive proton therapy.  His clinical responsibilities include proton clinical physics support and proton treatment planning.  Mr. Burgdorf serves on the Curriculum Committee.


Theresa M. Busch, PhD

Theresa M. Busch, PhD
Associate Director of Radiation Oncology Research and Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Dr. Theresa M. Busch holds a BS in Biophysics from the University of Scranton and a PhD in Biophysics from the University of New York at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute.  Her research interests include tumor microenvironment, photodynamic therapy, radiotherapy, fluence rate, extracellular matrix, hypoxia, and innate immunity.  She serves on the Research Committee. 


Keith Cengel, MD, PhD

Keith Cengel, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Keith Cengel holds BS degrees in Biology and Biochemistry, MS and PhD degrees in Cellular/Molecular Biology, and an MD degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests and clinical expertise is in photogynamic therapy and radiation therapy for neuroendocrine and thoracic tumors.  He teaches Radiation Biology.


Eric Diffenderfer, PhD

Eric Diffenderfer, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Eric Diffenderfer earned a BS in Physics from The Evergreen State College, and an MS in Physics and PhD in Nuclear Physics from Florida State University. Dr. Diffenderfer’s research interests center on proton SARRP development, proton and neutron microdosimetry, and machine learning applications in radiation oncology.  His clinical responsibilities include proton and X-ray therapy physics and dosimetry.  He is board certified by the American Board of Radiology. Dr. Diffenderfer teaches Introduction to Radiation Protection and Medical Ethics/Governmental Regulation. Dr. Diffenderfer is the chair of the Curriculum Committee and serves on the Faculty Advisory Committee.


Elizabeth Garver, MMP

Elizabeth Garver, MMP
Chief of Medical Physics - Proton Division, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Ms. Garver earned her Master of Medical Physics from the University of Pennsylvania and she is certified by the American Board of Radiology.  Her research interests include quality assurance practices in the proton clinic.  Her clinical responsibilities include commissioning of proton treatment modalities, machine and patient quality assurance in the proton clinic, and machine/treatment planning support for the proton clinic. Ms. Garver is a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee.


Alireza Kassaee, PhD

Alireza Kassaee, PhD
Associate Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Alireza Kassaee holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and PhD in Physics from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  His research interests include proton, photon, and electron clinical beam dosimetry; protoacoustic method for in vivo proton range verifications; and proton treatment planning.  His clinical responsibilities include proton, photon, and electron clinical radiotherapy and dosimetery measurements; and machine acceptance, commissioning, quality assurance and quality control in radiotherapy. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology. Dr. Kassaee co-teaches Radiation Detection and Measurement and serves on the Curriculum Committee.


Michele Kim, PhD

Michele Kim, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Michele Kim earned her BA in Physics and Biophysics as well as her MS and PhD in Physics and Certificate in Medical Physics from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include Proton FLASH radiation dosimetry and instrumentation, small animal radiobiological studies, and photodynamic therapy dosimetry. Dr. Kim's clinical responsibilities include proton and photon radiotherapy, quality assurance, and machine/treatment planning support. Dr. Kim coordinates MPHY 6000: Professional Development Seminar.


William Levin, MD

William Levin, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. William Levin earned a BA in Psychbiology from Franklin and Marshall College, an MS in Physiology from Georgetown University and an MD from the Sackler School of Medicine, Israel. His post-graduate medical education includes a medical internship at Yale, a residency in radiation oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, and a fellowship in proton therapy at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  His clinical focus is on the management of lung cancer and soft tissue sarcomas.  Dr. Levin is the Medical Director of Global Network Operations.  His research interests include investigation of integrative oncology modalities as well as mind-body medicine.  Dr. Levin is certified by the American Board of Radiology. He teaches Image-Based Anatomy


Taoran Li, PhD

Taoran Li, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Director of the Medical Physics Residency Program, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Taoran Li earned a BS in Physics from Nanjing University, China and a PhD in Medical Physics from Duke University.  His research interests include Adaptive Radiation Therapy, knowledge-based treatment planning, advanced QA techniques, and deformable image registration.  His clinical responsibilities include treatment planning support, QA, and treatment delivery machine support.  He is certified by the American Board of Radiology and is a member of the AAPM workforce assessment committee. Dr. Li co-teaches MPHY 6100: Computational Medical Physics. He serves on the Faculty Advisory Committee.


Rafe McBeth, PhD

Rafe McBeth, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Rafe McBeth is a clinical scientist with expertise in computational methods for radiation therapy including artificial intelligence, Monte Carlo simulation, and automation techniques. He completed his Ph.D. in Radiation Physics in 2017 at Colorado State University, where he worked extensively on a NASA-funded research project investigating novel heavy-ion radiation dosimetry techniques for space applications. He then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship and Medical Physics Residency Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. His clinical research interests include the ethical and safe integration of artificial intelligence and automation into clinical practice.


Dimitris Mihailidis, PhD

Dimitris Mihailidis, PhD
Associate Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Dimitris Mihailidis holds a BS in Physics from the University of Ioannina, Greece and a PhD in Nuclear Physics from the University of Minnesota.  His research interests include new technologies in radiation therapy and treatment deliveries, treatment plan optimization based on biological parameters, and electron beam dosimetry.  His clinical responsibilities include the clinical development of new treatment techniques, implementation of novel clinical techniques in the radiotherapy external beam and brachytherapy treatments, developing polices for managing RT patients with implanted cardiac devices, starting up new radiotherapy physics programs, shielding and quality assurance of radiation physics, and radiation safety and protection. He  has chaired numerous committees and task groups of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and has published over 100 peer  reviewed scientific articles, reports and book chapters.  He is co-author of “Khan's Lectures: Handbook of the Physics of Radiation Therapy” and the Editor for Book Reviews for the Medical Physics Journal.  He is a Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the American College of Medical Physics. Dr. Mihailidis is certified by the American Board of Medical Physics and the American Board of Radiology and serves as examiner for both certification boards. Dr. Mihailidis co-teaches Radiation Detection and Measurement and Medical Ethics/Governmental Regulation and serves on the Curriculum Committee.


Janet Reddin, PhD

Janet Reddin, PhD
Senior Research Investigator, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Janet Reddin holds a BS in Physics and Geophysics from the University of Utah and a PhD in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona. Her research interests include quantitative analysis of patient data, clinical development of the PennPET Explorer Total Body PET scanner, and clinical trials involving novel PET compounds. Dr. Reddin performs monthly, quarterly, and annual quality control procedures on clinical PET/CT and SPECT/CT scanners and acceptance testing of new scanners. She is certified by the American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine (ABSNM) in Nuclear Physics and Instrumentation.  Dr. Reddin is a member of the MPGP Curriculum Committee and the American College of Radiology Imaging Network’s PET Quality Assurance Committee.


Ivan Rosenberg, PhD

Ivan Rosenberg, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Ivan Rosenberg earned his PhD at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.  He is certified by the American Board of Radiology.  His research interests are in proton therapy. Dr. Rosenberg serves on the Research Committee and is an instructor for MPHY 604: Radiological Physics.


Kevin Teo, PhD

Kevin Teo, PhD
Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Director of the Medical Physics Residency Program, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Kevin Teo holds a BSc in Physics from National University of Singapore and a PhD in Physics from the University of Michigan. Dr. Teo’s research interests focus on adaptive therapy, proton imaging, and quantitative imaging techniques for use in radiation therapy.  His clinical responsibilities include proton therapy, brachytherapy, and imaging support. Dr. Teo teaches the Medical Physics Laboratory course. Dr. Teo is certified by the American Board of Radiology. 


Ying Xiao, PhD

Ying Xiao, PhD
Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Ying Xiao earned a BS in Optical Engineering from Tsinghua University, China. She holds an MS and PhD in Physics from Temple University.  Dr. Xiao’s research focuses on the quality assurance of imaging and radiotherapy, clinical trails, and big data.  Her clinical responsibilities include proton physics and informatics.  She is the chair of the Medical Physics Subcommittee of NRG Oncology and she is certified by the American Board of Radiology. Dr. Xiao serves on the MPGP Faculty Advisory Committee and Research Committee.


Timothy Zhu, PhD

Timothy Zhu, PhD
Professor of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Timothy Zhu holds a BS in Electronic Engineering from Fudan University, China and an MSc in Physics, MSc in Engineering, and a PhD in Physics from Brown University. His research interests include external beam treatment planning and photodynamic therapy (PDT) physics.  Dr. Zhu's clinical responsibilities include PDT physics, external beam radiation therapy, IGRT/IMRT, MU calculations, TSE/TBI, in-vivo radiation dosimetry, and machine QA.  He is certified by the American Board of Radiology and American Board of Medical Physics, and has been named a Fellow by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.  Dr. Zhu co-teaches Computational Medical Physics and serves on the Curriculum Committee. 


Jennifer Wei Zou, PhD

Jennifer Wei Zou, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Jennifer Wei Zou earned a BS in Physics from Nanjing University, China; an MMP in Medical Physics from the University of Pennsylvania; and a PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University.  Her research interests include proton knowledge based planning, machine learning, and imaging radiomics.  Her clinical responsibilities include photon and proton planning support, QA and machine support, and new treatment and imaging modality commissioning and clinical application.  She is certified by the American Board of Radiology. Dr. Zou co-teaches Physics of Medical/Molecular Imaging. Dr. Zou serves on the MPGP Research Committee.



From the Department of Radiology

Joel Karp, PhD

Joel Karp, PhD
Professor Of Radiologic Physics, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Joel Karp earned a BS in Physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is Director of the Nuclear Medicine Physics and Instrumentation Group and is the Sub Core Director for positron emission tomography (PET), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and computed tomography (CT) of the Small Animal Imaging Facility. Dr. Karp serves on the Faculty Advisory Committee and the Research Committee.


Andrew Maidment, PhD

Andrew Maidment, PhD
Associate Professor of Radiology and Chief, Physics Section, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Andrew Maidment earned a BASc in Engineering Science and a PhD in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto. He is a member of the Abraham Cancer Center and the Institute of Medicine and Engineering as well as the Co-Director of the HHMI-NIBIB Interfaces Scholars Program in Biomedical Imaging and Informational Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Maidment is certified by the American Board of Radiology in Diagnostic Physics and is a fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM).  Dr. Maidment serves on the Faculty Advisory Committee and the Curriculum Committee.


Peter Noël, PhD

Peter Noël, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiology and Director of Computed Tomography Research, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Peter Noël earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Guissen, Germany, and master’s and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research interests include spectral imaging with photon-counting detectors, advanced x-ray tube concepts, phase-contrast and darkfield imaging, reconstruction approaches, and the clinical translation of advanced technologies.  Dr. Noël is a member of the Research Committee.


Andrew Tsourkas, PhD

Andrew Tsourkas, PhD
Professor, Department of Bioengineering; Assistant Professor of Radiology in Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Andrew Tsourkas holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering through a joint program at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. He is a Co-Director of the Center for Targeted Therapeutics and Translational Nanomedicine (CT3N) and a Co-Director of the Chemical and Nanoparticle Synthesis Core at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Tsourkas is also an active member of the Institute for Medicine and Engineering (IME), the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT), and the Radiation Biology and Imaging Program at the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn. He is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.  Dr. Tsourkas coordinates and co-teaches Physics of Medical/Molecular Imaging. Dr. Tsourkas serves on the Faculty Advisory Committee.



From the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Elliot Lipeles, PhD

Elliot Lipeles, PhD
Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania School of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Elliot Lipeles earned a BA in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Experimental Particle Physics from California Institute of Technology. He works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider searching for the production of dark matter and supersymmetry particles, and he previously participated in the Higgs discovery using the WW channel. Dr. Lipeles currently serves on the Research Committee.  



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