Radiation Physics and Radiobiology Courses

All residents must take three semesters of Medical Physics and one semester of Radiation and Cancer Biology. Medical Physics is taught by our physics staff and meets twice weekly. This course is taken during the first year (PGY2) from September through May and second year (PGY3) from September through December.    

The Radiation Biology course is taught by our radiation biology faculty and covers the basic principles of radiobiology and cancer biology. This course meets twice weekly from September through December and is given every other year on even years.  Depending on the year it is offered, residents take this course during either PGY3 or PGY4.   

Both courses require the passing of written exams. Failure to achieve a grade B- or better results in mandatory retake of the course. This is a prerequisite for graduation.

Physics Course

Yoichi Watanabe

MPHY 5170 - Basic Radiological Physics

Course Director: Yoichi Watanabe, PhD

Lecture Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4-5:15pm

This course is the first of three focused on radiation therapy physics. The topics covered are theoretical and experimental aspects of radiation therapy physics. Production of x-rays, clinical radiation generators, interactions of ionizing radiation with matter, methods of radiation dose measurement, and measurements of absorbed dose are some of the topics covered in the course. The concepts employed in radiation therapy dose calculations are also covered. This course is intended for medical physics graduate students and medical residents but is open to graduate and upper level undergraduate students in related fields. This course is offered in the Fall.

Textbook: The Physics of Radiation Therapy, 5th edition, F. M. Khan and J. P. Gibbons.

A syllabus of the fall 2020 class can be found here.

Physics Course

Parham Alaei

MPHY 5173 - Medical and Health Physics of Radiation Therapy

Course Director: Parham Alaei, PhD

Lecture Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4-5:15pm

This course is the second of three focused on radiation therapy physics. Among the topics covered are methods of determining dose distributions for radiation therapy treatment planning, patient data acquisition, and various factors affecting dose distribution in patient for photon and electron beams. Other topics covered include brachytherapy, radiation protection, and quality assurance in radiation oncology. This course is intended for medical physics graduate students and medical residents but is open to graduate and upper level undergraduate students in related fields. This course is offered in the Spring.

Textbook: The Physics of Radiation Therapy, 5th edition, F. M. Khan and J. P. Gibbons

Physics Course

MPHY 8149 - Advanced Topics in Radiation Therapy Physics

Course Director: Parham Alaei, PhD

Class Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 3-3:50pm

This course is the third in the series focused on radiation therapy physics. Special topics in radiation therapy physics such as IMRT, SBRT, SRS, IGRT, and proton therapy are covered in this course. This course is intended for medical physics graduate students and medical residents. This course is offered in the Fall.

Textbook: The Physics of Radiation Therapy, 5th edition, F. M. Khan and J. P. Gibbons

A syllabus of the fall 2020 class can be found here.

Radiobiology Course

Jianling Yuan

MPHY 5172 – Radiation and Cancer Biology 

Course Director: Jianling Yuan, MD/PhD

Class time: Mondays 4:00-5:15; Thursdays 7:30-8:45

This course covers classic radiobiological concepts including mechanisms of DNA damage and repair, characteristics of cell survival curves, and radiation effect on somatic cells, germ cells, embryos and developing fetus. Lectures also include detailed discussion of principles governing clinical applications such as alpha/beta ratio, dose-response relationships, dose-fractionation, and alternative radiation modalities. Finally, cancer biology and mechanisms of commonly used chemotherapeutic agents will be presented with an emphasis on how they relate to the practice of radiation oncology. This course is intended for medical physics graduate students and medical residents. This course is offered in the Fall during even years.

Textbook: Radiobiology for the Radiologist, 8th edition, E. Hall, and A. J. Giaccia. 

A syllabus of the fall 2020 class can be found here.