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Physics Residency Program: Resources

Faculty and Staff

The faculty of the Radiation Oncology Physics Residency Program represents the foundation and strength of our Program. All of our faculty have appointments at Washington University and provide clinical support to the Barnes-Jewish Hospital radiation oncology clinic. The faculty has a broad teaching expertise and access to a wealth of clinical physics equipment and training resources.

The faculty and staff interact regularly through (1) physics faculty meetings, (2) seminars, (3) case conferences, (4) quarterly departmental faculty meetings, (5) hospital or medical school committee meetings, (6) Physics Residency Committee meetings, and (7) annual retreats of the Department’s faculty.

The faculty‑resident interactions occur at (1) clinical physics rotations, (2) classroom environment, (3) seminars, (4) private appointments to discuss the designated comprehensions, clinical rotation, or personal problems, and (5) social activities (Division parties, etc.). In addition to the routine meetings, the residents also have access to the Program Director and Division Director to discuss sensitive personal or training problems. We feel there is relatively open communications between residents, faculty, Program Director, and the Division Director.

For an estimated Program capacity of 6 residents and a planned 12 radiation oncology physics faculty, our resident to faculty ratio is approximately 1:2.

Table 4: List of Key Faculty

Physics Faculty Faculty Rank Board Certification Year Appointed
Sasa Mutic, Ph.D. Professor and
Div. Director
ABR (00) 1998
Jacqueline Esthappan Zoberi, Ph.D. Associate Professor ABR (03) 2002
S. Murty Goddu, Ph.D. Associate Professor ABR (01) 2003
H. Harold Li, Ph.D. Associate Professor ABR (06) 2004
Lakshmi Santanam, Ph.D. Associate Professor ABR (04) 2005
Jose Garcia-Ramirez, M.S. Assistant Professor ABR (02) 2006
Deshan Yang, Ph.D. Associate Professor 2009
Hua, Li, Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR (11) 2010
Olga Green, Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR (13) 2011
Rojano Kashani, Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR (13) 2011
Michael Altman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR (13) 2012
Tianyu Zhao, Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR (13) 2012
James Kavanaugh, M.S. Instructor ABR (14) 2013
Baozhou Sun, Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR (15) 2014
Tiezhi Zhang, Ph.D, Assistant Professor ABR (07) 2014
Bin Cai, Ph.D. Instructor ABR (16) 2015
Justin Park, Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR part 1(15) 2016
Hong Chen, Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR 2015
Rao Khan, Ph.D. Associate Professor ABR 2016
Tim Mitchell, Ph.D. 2016
Nels Knutson, M.S. Instructor ABR 2016
Mike Reilly, Ph.D. Instructor 2016
Jeffrey Williamson, Ph.D. 2016
 
Physics Staff
Vivian Rodriguez Staff Physicist 2014
 
Physics Research Faculty Computer Science
Wm B. Straube, M.S. Assistant Professor 1992
Walter R. Bosch, D.Sc. Associate Professor 1995
 
Radiation Oncology Physician Faculty
Dennis Hallahan, M.D. Professor and
Dept. Chair
ABR 2009
Perry Grigsby, M.D. Professor ABR 1986
Jeff Michalski, M.D. Professor, Vice Chair and
Director for Clinical Programs
ABR 1991
Jeffrey D. Bradley, M.D. Professor ABR 1998
Wade Thorstad, M.D. Associate Professor ABR 2000
Imran Zoberi, M.D. Professor ABR 2001
Parag Parikh, BSE. M.D. Associate Professor ABR 2006
Hiram Gay, M.D. Associate Professor ABR 2009
Clifford Robinson, M.D. Associate Professor ABR 2009
Julie Schwarz, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor ABR 2009
Jiayi Huang, M.D. Assistant Professor ABR 2012
Stephanie Perkins, M.D. Associate Professor ABR 2012
Maria Thomas, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR 2013
Christina Tsien, M.D. Professor ABR 2014
Mackenzie D. Daly, M.D. Assistant Professor ABR 2014
Anthony Apicelli, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR 2014
Stephanie Markovina, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR 2015
Gregory Vlacich, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor 2015
Michael Roach, M.D. Assistant Professor 2016
Christopher Abraham, M.D. Assistant Professor   2016
       
Cancer Biology Faculty Faculty Rank Year  Appointed
Dennis Hallahan, M.D. Professor  and
Dept. Chair
ABR 2009
Julie Schwarz, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor
and Interm Director
ABR 2009
Andrei Laszlo, Ph.D. Associate Professor 1984
Buck Rogers, Ph.D. Professor 1989
Girdhar Sharma, Ph.D. Assistant Professor 2002
Qin Yang, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor 2005
Xiaowei Wang, Ph.D. Assistant Professor 2007
Dinesh Thotala, Ph.D. Assistant Professor 2009
Heping Yan, M.D. Research Assistant
Professor
2010
Igor Dmitriev, Ph.D. Research Assistant
Professor
2011
Sergey Kaliberov, M.D., Ph.D. Research Assistant
Professor
2011
Abdel Kareem Azab, Ph.D. Assistant Professor 2012
Hong Chen, Ph.D.     2015
Stehpanie Markovina, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor ABR 2015

The faculty-resident interactions occur at (1) clinical physics rotations, (2) classroom environment, (3) seminars, (4) private appointments to discuss clinical rotation or personal problems, and (5) social activities (Physics Division parties, etc.). The residents also have access to the Program Director and Division Director to discuss sensitive personal or training problems. We feel there is relatively open communications between residents, faculty, Program Director, and the Division Director.

Financial

The typical financial burdens of a physics resident based on actual data provided by the residents are as follows:

 

Resident A

Resident B

Rent

$700/mth

$700/mth

Car Insurance

$1,000/year

$800/year

Health Insurance

$45/mth

$45/mth

Utilities

$50/mth

$75/mth

Books

$120

$0

Food

$60/week

$75/week

Gas

$15/week

$30/week

Parking

$50/mth

$42/mth

Resident Funding

Effective July 1, 2014, the following funding levels are in effect for physics residents:

•  1st year Physics Resident:         $48,000

•  2nd year Physics Resident:        $49,200

In addition to direct compensation, physics residents are afforded benefits consistent with other hospital employees including medical and dental insurance, paid vacation and holiday benefits (3 weeks), 5 paid meeting and/or interview days in their second year, sick pay benefits, and disability insurance.  The expense of these benefits varies and is shared between the physics resident and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
  
The residents are funded up to $1,200 so each attends a national meeting in their second year.  At the beginning of the second year, the resident receives a book allowance of $500 to be spent within 90 days.

Resident Offices, Classrooms, and Conference Rooms

The Physics Residency Program provides office space for each resident in the program. The Resident Office, for medical and physics residents, is currently located in Siteman Cancer Center’s Radiation Oncology Department.  The room is allocated for the capacity for 6 physics residents.  Residents are provided a cubicle including a desk, file cabinet and bookcase, computer terminal connected to LAN, telephone access, and standard office supplies. Residents have access to departmental copying equipment. The Physics residents are also provided with a library account for electronic access to journals and journal searches (Medline, OVID).

Ample space is available for resident advisory meetings, didactic lectures, exams, seminars, and oral examinations. Three meeting rooms/classrooms are in the department.  They each contain whiteboards, LCD video projectors, and computer or computer connections for LCD projection.  Additional conference rooms are available in the SCC if needed.

Clinical Facilities, Laboratories, and Shops

The residents have access to a myriad of laboratory and shop facilities including: (1) a dosimetry instrumentation lab in the physics research area; (2) a brachytherapy lab in the Brachytherapy Suite; and (3) other research labs and offices in the Clinical Science Research Building.  Residents submit work orders to a campus machine shop as required.  In all, the availability of dosimetry and clinical treatment areas and equipment is more than adequate to serve the needs of the residency training program.  Procedures are in place that (1) allow the resident reasonable access time to clinical equipment, (2) provide residents sufficient training and technical support to ensure safe and proper use of equipment, and (3) to ensure equipment is left in the proper state for clinical use.

Treatment planning and external beam delivery equipment utilized in the training program include 7 Varian (incl. 2 Trilogy units and 2 True Beam), Gamma Knife planning and delivery, a therapeutic x-ray unit, 2 Philips Brilliance CT-simulators (16-slice-large and 64-slice-small “bore”), a 3.2T MRI simulator capable of HiFu, 26 Pinnacle TP workstations, and Varian Eclipse workstations.  We have the world’s 1st compact, single room proton machine from Mevion Medical Systems.  Testing began clinical start up in December of 2013.  In addition we began treatment with the world’s first combination real-time MRI and IMRT system from ViewRay.  The founder and Chief Scientific Officer is a former resident.  Specialized equipment and features include the DMLC-IMRT delivery, linac and Gamma Knife stereotactic radio-surgery/therapy, and image guidance provided by on-board x-ray imaging, portal photon imaging, video surface imaging, internal transponders for tracking, and kV-CT systems.  Clinical rotations are also provided within our HDR, LDR, prostate seed, and radiopharmaceutical program, including image guided interstitial, intracavitary and surface implant planning and delivery.

Table 5: Clinical and Dosimetry Resources

External Beam Treatment Machines:

  • 4 Varian Trilogy/TrueBeam IGRT Linear Accelerator (including kv imager and portal imager)
  • 3 Varian Clinac 21EX Linear Accelerator (DM - IMRT)
  • 1 Elekta Gamma Knife Unit – Perfexion
  • 1 Xoft Electronic Brachytherapy System

Simulators:

  • 1 Philips ACQSIM CT Simulator (Large-bore, 16 slice)
  • 1 Philips Brilliance CT Simulator (64 slice)

Treatment Planning Systems:

  • Philips Pinnacle Treatment Planning Workstation (14)
  • Varian HDR Treatment Planning Workstation
  • Varian Eclipse (Eclipse IMRT) Workstation (8)
  • Variseed Transperineal Ultrasound-guided Implant Treatment Planning System
  • Varian Fastplan Stereotactic Radiosurgery Treatment Planning System
  • Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiosurgery Treatment Planning System
  • Varian Eclipse Proton Planning Workstations (4)
  • ViewRay Planning Systems (2)

Brachytherapy:

  • Varisource/HDR Remote Afterloading Machine
  • Ultrasound guided interstitial  implant (I-125 or Pd-103) system
  • Traditional intracavitary (Cs-137) and interstitial (Ir-192) brachytherapy sources
  • Eye Plaques
  • Radiopharmaceuticals (i.e., monoclonal antibody agents, and SirSpheres)
  • 1 Xoft Electronic Brachytherapy System

Dosimetry Resources:

  • NIST-calibrated ion chamber and electrometer dosimetry systems (3)
  • Farmer type ion chamber and Keithley 602 electrometer dosimetry systems
  • Parallel-plate ion chamber
  • TLD dosimetry facility - Harshaw 2000 A-B
  • Radiochromic film dosimetry system-Molecular Dynamics 2D laser densitometer
  • Si diode dosimetry systems
  • Welhoffer water phantom scanning systems
  • Sun Nuclear Radiation QA Devices
  • Mercury barometer
  • Multiple Aneroid barometers and numerous thermometers
  • Multiple anthropomorphic phantoms
  • Multiple water and polystyreen phantoms of varying sizes
  • Solid-water, lung, and bone phantoms
  • Multiple radiation survey meters
  • RITT film dosimetry system
  • Multi-diode System (MapCheck), Matrixx
  • Multi IC Systems

Special Procedures:

  • IMRT
    • Pinncale MLC based IMRT
    • Eclipse based MLC IMRT
  • Total Body Irradiation
  • MR-guided RT (ViewRay)
  • Proton RT (Mevion)
  • Cranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery
  • Extra-cranial Linac Radiosurgery
  • Extensive Pediatric Service
  • Sealed Source Brachytherapy
    • Prostate Seed Implant
    • HDR for GYN, Thorax, Breast
    • LDR for GYN, Colorectal
  • Radiotherapy Cervical Therapy
    • P-32 for cystic lesions
    • I-131 for carcinoma
    • Y-90 with Monoclonal Antibodies
    • Sm-153 for metastatic disease

Libraries

The major libraries available to students are the Washington University Medical School Library and the Washington University Main Campus Library. Students also have access to the Division of Radiation Physics’ Library in Meeting Room #2 in the Department which maintains bound volumes of Medical Physics, Physics in Medicine and Biology, and International Journal Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics.  Medline accounts are available for the residents for manuscript keyword/author searches.