MMND Faculty

Technical Director, Proton Therapy

A/Prof Ben Clasie

Technical Director, Proton Therapy

I am a physicist working on proton pencil beam scanning at Massachusetts General Hospital.  I finished my undergraduate degree at the University of Wollongong in 1998.   During this time, I worked on projects with Bill Zealey, David Martin, Anatoly Rozenfeld, and Chao Zhang.  I finished my Ph.D in experimental nuclear physics at the Massachusetts institute of Technology in 2006 and joined MGH to work on proton therapy.

Director of Physics Research

Prof Harald Paganetti

Director of Physics Research

Prof Harald Paganetti is the Director of Physics Research, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, with over 260 peer reviewed articles and 21 book chapters, specialising in proton therapy physics.

Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy

Dr Jeffery Chancellor

Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy

Dr Jeffery Chancellor is an Assistant Professor of physics, with interest in applications of how heavy ion radiation interacts with soft and condensed matter for ground-based analogs, manned spaceflight vehicle structure, shielding, and clinical healthcare. Utilization of high-performance, multi-core computers and sophisticated numerical techniques for studying complex dynamics that are otherwise difficult to mimic in a laboratory setting. Monte Carlo modeling of heavy charged nuclei and materials and the angular discrepancy in off-axis fragments produced by inelastic nuclear interactions in particle transport code

  • Heavy ion interactions with soft and condensed matter
  • Radiation transport modeling (PHITS,FLUKA)
  • Spacecraft shielding development
  • Simulation of radiation environments in space
  • Nuclear fission products
  • Radiobiology
  • Space radiation dosimetry

Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology

A/Prof Jerimy Polf

Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology

Dr. Polf is currently an Associate Professor at the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, University of Maryland Baltimore. He is a faculty member in the department of Radiation Oncology at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center. Dr. Polf did his graduate studies at Oklahoma State University where he received an IGERT fellowship from the National Science Foundation. He received his PhD in physics in 2002. After completing graduate school Dr. Polf did a post doctoral fellowship in Proton Beam Radiotherapy at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer center, and following its completion, joined the faculty at MD Anderson in 2005. Dr. Polf joined the University of Maryland, Baltimore faculty in 2013 where he has worked as a clinical medical physicist at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center.

Dr. Polf has published over 40 pier reviewed articles and book chapters and has been funded by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute for his research into prompt gamma imaging during Proton Beam Radiotherapy. Currently Dr. Polf and his research team is funded by an Academic Industrial Partnership R01 grant from the NIH focused on the development of a clinical prompt gamma imaging system capable of imaging the proton beam during treatment delivery as a means of verifying proper dose delivery to the patient. Additionally, Dr. Polf is actively studying the application of the new imaging technology developed for proton beam radiotherapy to other areas such as diagnostic imaging, theranostics, and radio-isotope monitoring/imaging for industrial and military applications.

NIRS-QST Chiba Japan

Taku Inaniwa, PhD

Group leader NIRS-QST

National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS), National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST) in Japan

Taku Inaniwa, Ph.D, is a group leader of treatment beam research group at National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS), National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST) in Japan. His research focuses on developing dose calculation algorithms and biological models used for charged particle therapy treatment planning. In addition, he is also interested in the development of novel treatment methods.

He has contributed ~100 peer reviewed publications. Three of his first author publications have been selected as Highlights from Physics in Medicine and Biology. He is a member of the international scientific advisory board of the journal. For his works, he has received several national and international awards.

Director , Biophysics Department, GSI

Prof Marco Durante, PhD

Director , Biophysics Department, GSI

Prof. Dr. Marco Durante is Director of the Biophysics Department at GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research (Darmstadt, Germany) and Full Professor of Physics at the Technical University of Darmstadt. He is also Professor of Physics at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy, and at the Gunma College of Medicine in Japan.

Dr. Durante got his Ph.D. in physics in 1992 and has dedicated his research efforts to the biophysics of high-energy charged particles, with applications in cancer therapy and space radiation protection. He is generally recognized as world leader in the field of particle radiobiology and medical physics and is co-author of over 300 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals (h-index=45) and one patent on proton therapy (EU patent WO2013083333). He is currently chair of the ESA Life Sciences Advisory Group and of the ESA Topical Team on Space Radiation, vice-chair of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG), member of the technical-scientific Committee of the Italian Hadrontherapy Center (CNAO) and of the Program Advisory Committee of the GANIL (Caen, France), KVI (Groningen, The Netherlands), iThemba (South Africa), and Rez (Czech Republic) accelerators. Dr. Durante was President of the International Association for Radiation Research (IARR) 2011-15, and is Associate Editor in several International scientific journals (Br. J. Radiol., Int. J. Particle Ther., Int. J. Radiat. Biol., Phys. Med., Radiat. Environ. Biophys., J. Radiat. Res., Life Sci. Space Res., JINST, Front. Oncol.).

He has been awarded several prizes for his contributions to charged particle biophysics, including the 2004 Galileo Galilei Award in Medical Physics, the 60th Timofeeff-Ressovsky medal by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the 8th Warren K. Sinclair Award of the US National Academy of Sciences, the 2013 IBA-Europhysics Award for Applied Nuclear Science and Nuclear Methods in Medicine (European Physics Society), the 2013 Bacq & Alexander award of the European Radiation Research Society (ERRS), and the 2019 Martin Schneider memorial lecture of the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston, TX).

Ten selected Publications 

  1. Jakob B, Splinter J, Durante M, Taucher-Scholz G. Live cell microscopy analysis of radiation-induced DNA double-strand break motion. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106 (2009) 3172-3177.
  2. Durante M, Loeffler JS. Charged particles in radiation oncology. Nat. Rev. Clin. Oncol. 7 (2010) 37-43.
  3. Newhauser WD, Durante M. Assessing the risk of second malignancies after modern radiotherapy. Nat. Rev. Cancer 11 (2011) 438-448.
  4. Durante M, Cucinotta FA. Physical basis of radiation protection in space travel. Rev. Mod. Phys83 (2011) 1245-1281.
  5. Mirsch J, Tommasino F, Frohns A, Conrad S, Durante M, Scholz M, Friedrich T, Löbrich M. Direct measurement of the 3-dimensional DNA lesion distribution induced by energetic charged particles in a mouse model tissue. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112 (2015) 12396-12401.
  6. M. Durante and H. Paganetti, Nuclear physics in particle therapy: a review. Rep. Prog. Phys79 (2016) 096702.
  7. Lehmann HI, Graeff C, Simoniello P, Constantinescu A, Takami M, Lugenbiel P, Richter D, Eichhorn A, Prall M, Kaderka R, Fiedler F, Helmbrecht S, Fournier C, Erbeldinger N, Rahm AK, Rivinius R, Thomas D, Katus HA, Johnson SB, Parker KD, Debus J, Asirvatham SJ, Bert C, Durante M, Packer DL., Feasibility Study on Cardiac Arrhythmia Ablation Using High-Energy Heavy Ion Beams. Sci. Rep. 6 (2016) 38895.
  8. M.Durante, R. Orecchia and J.S. Loeffler, Charged-particle therapy in cancer: clinical uses and future perspectives. Nat. Rev. Clin. Oncol. 14 (2017) 483-95.
  9. F.Natale, A. Rapp, W. Yu, A. Maiser, H. Harz, A. Scholl, S. Grulich, T.Anton, D. Hörl, W. Chen, M. Durante, G. Taucher-Scholz, H. Leonhardt and M.C. Cardoso, Identification of the elementary structural units of the DNA damage response. Nat. Commun8 (2017) 15760.
  10. R.L. Hughson, A.Helm and M.Durante, Heart in space: effect of the extraterrestrial environment on the cardiovascular system. Nat. Rev. Cardiol15 (2018) 167-180.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in New York City

Prof Joseph Deasy, PhD

Chair of the Department of Medical Physics

Chair of the Department of Medical Physics and Chief of the Service for Predictive Informatics

I am an attending physicist with expertise in applying statistical modeling to the analysis of large, complex datasets in order to understand the relationship between treatment, patient, and disease characteristics and the probability of local control and normal tissue toxicity. My group’s research has focused specifically on algorithms that can be used to optimize treatment planning dose-distribution characteristics (calculating the best way to deliver increased radiation to the tumor while reducing radiation to surrounding tissue) and modeling the probability of treatment success (tumor eradication) and normal tissue complications as the radiation dose distribution varies.