The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Radiation Oncology
My research efforts are focused on novel imaging methodologies and applications in target delineation and normal tissue assessment in patients receiving head and neck radiotherapy. Head and neck cancers are difficult to treat, as tumor often lies immediately adjacent to radiation-sensitive structures. Spatially accurate imaging before, during, and after therapy is essential to optimizing radiation therapy delivery. My work focuses on using CT/PET/MR data to modify treatment planning through identification of tumor voxels, as well as deriving information regarding the physiology of tumor and non-tumor organ-at-risk volumes. Additionally, we aim to implement novel magnetic resonance techniques for radiotherapy planning and radiobiological assessment of tumor and normal tissue imaging biomarkers for response to radiotherapy/chemoradiotherapy.
A student working in this environment will become familiar with radiographic imaging and radiation therapy treatment planning systems. Relevant possible projects, techniques and learner activities in our research group may include:
- Novel MR contrast agent implementation: Trainees would participate in projects designed to assess the kinetics, optimal imaging parameters, clinical correlates of a nanoparticle candidate MR contrast agent.
- Analysis of imaging and dosimetric correlates of clinical outcome: Trainees would participate in projects designed to evaluate imaging data for correlation of clinical outcomes (e.g. local tumor recurrence, swallowing dysfunction) with radiotherapy dose in previously treated patients.
- In silico adaptive planning based on quantitative MRI: Trainees would investigate candidate quantitative imaging biomarkers for utility for adaptive radiotherapy treatment planning.
Education & Training
M.D. - The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio - 2006
Ph.D. - The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio - 2011