Translational Medicine/Medical Physics Research

Radiation Physics Research Laboratories

Information for potential graduate students, who are interested in Radiation Physics Research.

Research Overview

Our group applies physical principles and new technologies to clinical problems arising from treatment of cancer using radiation therapy. While the research often has immediate applications, we emphasize the understanding of the fundamentals of radiation therapy and imaging physics to solve these clinical problems. We have established strong links with the Robarts Research Institute to encourage collaboration in imaging research as it applies to radiation therapy. We have also established strong commercial links to turn our ideas into clinically usable products.

The laboratories are located at the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCC) on the Victoria-West Campus of the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). While the research laboratories are located on the fourth floor, students have access to equipment located throughout the Centre. The irradiation facilities include radio-isotope machines (60Co), small radionuclide seeds (137Cs, 192Ir, 198Au), low-energy X-ray sources (40-125 kVp), and linear accelerators which produce X-ray and electron beams with energies up to 20 MeV. Computer resources include a cluster of workstations (VAX, SUN, PC's) and special software packages (e.g., EGS4 Monte Carlo code) for the modelling of interactions of radiation with matter. Radiation dosimetry equipment includes ionisation chambers, semi-conductors, film, radiochromic gels, scintillators, thermoluminescence detectors, and calorimeters. Specialized radiation sensors such as a high purity germanium spectrometer are also available.

London, Ontario has a long-standing research tradition in radiation therapy.

  • Cobalt-60 was first used in London for cancer treatment in October 1951.
  • We helped develop a new Ytterbium-169 brachytherapy source. The world's first treatment of a patient using this source took place in London in October 1990.
  • Stereotactic radio-surgery has been developed as a facility to localize and irradiate small brain lesions with narrow X-ray beams. In February 1991, we became the third Centre in Canada to adopt this technology.
  • We are one of the first centres in the world to begin using tomotherapy, treating tumours in 3-D.
  • We are leaders in portal imaging research. One of our portal imaging devices has been commercialized and is now marketed worldwide.
  • In addition, our students and staff have won several awards, including a prize for the "best poster" at the national meeting of The Canadian Organization of Medical Physics (1996) and several Canadian and American awards for "Best published paper in Medical Physics" (1989, 1992).