Program Format & Course Catalog

Program Format

The certificate program may be completed over the course of one or two years:

One Year Course Schedule

Fall Semester:

·         BIOL 4580: Principles of Human Anatomy and Development (3 credits)

·         BME 507: Radiological Physics and Dosimetry (3 credits)

·         BME 5073: Radiation Protection and Safety (2 credits)

Spring Semester: 

·         BME 589: Biological Imaging Technology (3 credits)

·         BME 5071: Radiobiology (2 credits)

·         BME 5072: Radiation Oncology Physics (3 credits)

Summer Semester:

·         BME 5074: Advanced Clinical Medical Physics Laboratory (2 credits)

Two Year Course Schedule

Year 1 – Fall Semester:

·         Biol 4580: Principles of Human Anatomy and Development (3 credits)

·         BME 507: Radiological Physics and Dosimetry (3 credits)

Year 1 – Spring Semester: 

·         BME 589: Biological Imaging Technology (3 credits)

·         BME 5071: Radiobiology (2 credits)

Year 2 – Fall Semester:

·         BME 5073: Radiation Protection and Safety (2 credits)

Year 2 – Spring Semester: 

·         BME 5072: Radiation Oncology Physics (3 credits)

Summer Semester:

·         BME 5074: Advanced Clinical Medical Physics Laboratory (2 credits)

Course Descriptions

BME 507: Radiological Physics and Dosimetry (3 Credits)

This class is designed to construct a theoretical foundation for ionizing radiation dose calculations and measurements in a medical context and prepare graduate students for proper scientific presentations of in the field of x-ray imaging and radiation therapy. This course will cover the fundamental concepts of radiation physics, how ionizing radiation interacts with matter, and how the energy that is deposited in the matter can be measured in theory and practice. Specifically, a student completing this course will be able to do the following:

  1. Understand and apply key concepts specific to energy deposition for both ionizing photon interactions and transport in matter and for energetic charged particle interactions and transport in matter. Radiation sources include radioactivity, x-ray tubes, and linear accelerators.
  2. Understand the theoretical details of ion-chamber based dosimetry and of cavity-theories based clinical dose measurement protocols.
  3. Perform and present real world style research projects as a group, and present these projects in a typical professional scientific format and style.
  4. Achieve an appreciation of the history and potential future developments in ionizing radiation detection and dosimetry

Textbook: Introduction to radiological physics and dosimetry (F.H. Attix)

Prerequisite: Calculus and modern physics

BME 5073: Radiation Protection and Safety (2 Credits)

This class is designed to introduce concepts of radiation protection and safety and biological consequences of human radiation exposure. Protection and safety of the radiation worker and patient, as well as detection equipment and shielding analysis will be main focus. This course will broadly cover regulations, and radiological protection in various clinical environments.

Textbook: Physics of Radiation Protection (J.E. Martin)

Prerequisites: One year each of biology, physics and organic chemistry physics

BME 5071: Radiobiology (2 Credits)

This class is designed to establish a foundation for ionizing radiation interaction with biological tissues. This course will cover the fundamental concepts of cell biology, how ionizing radiation interacts with cells, radiation damage and carcinogenesis, radiation therapy fractionation and related concepts. The effects of ionizing radiations on living cells and organisms, including physical, chemical, and physiological bases of radiation cytotoxicity, mutagenicity, and carcinogenesis are also covered.

Textbook: Radiobiology for the radiologist (E.J. Hall, A.J. Giaccia)

Prerequisites: One year each of biology, physics and organic chemistry

Biol 4580: Principles of Human Anatomy and Development (3 Credits)

This course will discuss the anatomy of most of the functional systems of the human body. Topics covered will include the peripheral nervous system, respiration, circulation, the skeletal system, the gastro-intestinal tract, the urogenital system, the male and female reproductive systems, locomotion, manipulation, mastication, vocalization, the visual system, the auditory system and the olfactory system. Selected topics in human embryology will also be introduced. The course provides valuable preparation for any student interested in human biology, anthropology, medicine or the health sciences.

Textbook: Essential Clinical Anatomy (K.L. Moore)

BME 589: Biological Imaging Technology (3 Credits)

This class will develop a fundamental understanding of the physics and mathematical methods that underlie biological imaging and critically examine case studies of seminal biological imaging technology literature. The physics sections will examine how electromagnetic and acoustic waves interact with tissues and cells, how waves can be used to image the biological structure and function, image formation methods and diffraction limited imaging. The math sections will examine image formation and analysis using basis functions (e.g. Fourier transforms), synthesis of measurement data, reduction of multi-dimensional imaging datasets, and statistical image analysis. Original literature on electron, confocal and two photon microscopy, ultrasound, nuclear imaging, computed tomography, functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging and other emerging imaging technology will be critiqued.

BME 5072: Radiation Oncology Physics (3 credits)

This class is designed to build on to the concept of radiation dosimetry techniques and bring them into clinical realm. The graduate students will learn clinical applications of radiation dose measurements as used in radiation therapy of cancer. Ionizing radiation producing devices such as external beam, brachytherapy, protons and charged particles, imaging modalities, simulation, radiation delivery, treatment verification imaging, quality assurance, motion management and image guided techniques will be the major focus.

Textbook: The Physics of Radiation Therapy (F.M. Khan)

Prerequisites: Radiological Physics and Dosimetry

BME 5074: Advanced Clinical Medical Physics Laboratory (2 Credits)

The main objective of this laboratory course is to provide practica, experiments and special lectures designed to consolidate concepts developed in didactic courses to understand the physics behind the clinical radiotherapy cancer treatment process, and imaging acquired as part of disease diagnosis. The various experiments will cover areas of absolute dosimetry, relative dose measurement, in vivo dosimetry, imaging quality, radiation beam modeling, simulation, preparing a treatment plan, quality assurance, brachytherapy, and radiosurgery. Special lectures will cover topics such as ethics and errors, leadership traits, professionalism, new technologies and a job shadow. Professional and ethical issues will be delivered through both via didactic lectures and practiced during the clinical shadowing as part of laboratory course.

Prerequisites: Radiological Physics and Dosimetry, Radiation Oncology Physics

Orientation

The program will provide a half day facility orientation to the students admitted to the program. The orientation will include HIPAA training and clinical safety.