These courses are open to enrollment only by matriculated students in the Graduate Program in Medical Physics.
Nuclear Medicine Physics
This course will provide a comprehensive survey of modern nuclear medical imaging as well as a look into the emerging field of molecular imaging. The basic principles of radioactive decay and radionuclide production, radiopharmaceutical formulation and pharmacology, scintigraphic imaging, tomographic image reconstruction, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), and hybrid imaging (combination of nuclear imaging with CT or MRI) will be reviewed. Students will also be introduced to the acceptance testing and quality control for the various imaging systems. Advanced topics will include the correction for the physics of imaging during reconstruction, and the latest in imaging system design and advances in molecular imaging.
Methods in Biomedical Informatics
Will provide a methodological survey of approaches used in biomedical informatics. Particular emphasis will be given to formalisms and algorithms used within the context of biomedical research and health care, including those used in biomolecular sequence analysis, electronic health records, clinical decision support, and public health surveillance. Practical programming skills will also be taught within these contexts. The final project of the course is to demonstrate an understanding of biomedical informatics approaches through development of a solution within biomedical research or healthcare context. Enrollment: 20 students. For biological science concentrators, graduate students and others, with permission.
MR Imaging Technology, Ultrasound, and Interventional
This course will provide an introduction to magnetic resonance imaging scanner hardware, image acquisition methods used in the clinical setting for various contrast weightings, imaging of physiologic function, and image reconstruction methods. Causes and corrective measures for image artifacts will be discussed. Image-guided interventions for therapeutic purposes are becoming increasingly common as minimally-invasive treatments increase in popularity. The course will discuss some common methods used in interventional techniques with attention to the hardware and real-time image acquisition methods used for such therapies. An introduction to ultrasound imaging will be given which will include the physical principles of image formation, application of real-time techniques, Doppler methods for assessing blood flow, and ultrasound use in interventional procedures.
Radiation Therapy Physics
This course will provide a comprehensive survey of basic radiotherapy physics, fundamental radiation therapy, and contemporary radiation therapy. The basic principles of radiotherapy treatment modalities, radiation detection, dose calibration methods, and image-based treatment planning will be reviewed. Topics to be covered include external beam radiation therapy (photons, protons, and electrons), brachytherapy, and special procedures. Image guidance methods will be discussed as well as patient and machine quality assurance.
Applied Radiation Therapy Physics
Applied Radiation Therapy is meant to serve as a guided self-study of advanced / applied topics in radiation therapy with emphasis on current clinical usage. Optional topics include, but are not limited to, dose calculation algorithms, optimization techniques, deformable registration techniques, modeling within treatment planning systems, and treatment planning.
Radiological Physics & Dosimetry
This course will cover the fundamental physics behind radiation production and interaction, including a review of pertinent mathematics, classical mechanics, and nuclear physics. Topics to be covered within basic radiation physics: radioactive decay, radiation producing devices, characteristics of the different types of radiation (photons, charged and uncharged particles), mechanisms of their interactions with materials, and essentials of the determination of absorbed doses, by measurement and calculation, from ionizing radiation sources used in medical physics (clinical) situations.
This program provides a comprehensive overview of radiation biology with a particular emphasis on aspects of direct relevance to the practice of radiation oncology. It addresses the molecular and cellular responses to radiation-induced damage that influence cell death in both tumors and normal tissues. Quantification of radiation effects and the underlying biological basis for fractionation of radiotherapy and dose-response relationships in the clinic are covered in depth. The biological basis for current approaches to improve radiotherapy will be described including novel fractionation schemes, retreatment issues, targeting hypoxia, and biological modifiers.
Computational Medical Physics
The aim of the Computational Medical Physics course is to familiarize students with mathematical, statistical and computational techniques in Medical Physics and how they integrate at a systems level. Students will learn about the emerging field of Computational Medical Physics through the application of mathematical modeling, computer simulations and quantitative and data-intensive analyses to medical data towards enhancing the accuracy, safety and efficiency of patient care and providing an understanding of cancer research. Basic programming skills are expected.
This course will focus on major organ systems and disease areas. Anatomic structures will be presented from a radiologic or imaging (including cross-sectional) viewpoint in addition to a standard anatomy and physiology presentation. The fundamentals of various imaging modalities (X-ray Mammography and Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance, Positron Emission Tomography, Ultrasound) and their relevance to treatment planning will be addressed. Organs at risk and dose tolerance to normal structures will be discussed. Image Registration and Fusion will also be covered, as will motion management.
Radiation Protection, Safety, and Instrumentation
This course examines the principles of radiation protection with application to the hospital setting in radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging, and nuclear medicine. Designs of facilities and quality management programs are examined. Radiation safety practices are reviewed for involved hospital staff, patients, and the general public. This includes various radiation sources: electronically-generated photons and electrons, sources of sealed radioactivity, and unsealed sources of radioactivity. Additionally, the practice of radiation measurements as performed by the medical physicist is taught. This aspect includes associated dosimetry protocols, instrumentation, and clinical contexts. A practicum permits hands-on opportunities to assimilate the theoretical basis and rationale for radiation measurements.
Physics of Medical Imaging
The course provides the necessary physics background that underpins day-to-day medical imaging physics activities. It is aimed primarily at new entrants to the profession, but should be of benefit to postgraduate students, postdoctoral research workers, physicist-managers, representatives of allied commercial organizations and anyone wishing to deepen or re-establish their understanding of the physics of medical imaging. Overviews of specialized or research related topics, such as positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance spectroscopy are given.