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Lab Members

Gabriel O. Sawakuchi, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Dr. Sawakuchi received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in Physics from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Oklahoma State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at in the Department of Radiation Physics at MD Anderson. Then, Dr. Sawakuchi joined the Physics Department at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada as a tenure-track Assistant Professor. Dr. Sawakuchi joined the Radiation Physics Department at MD Anderson as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Feb 2013. He is a member of the Physics Gastrointestinal group and a regular member of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. Dr. Sawakuchi’s research interests include radiation-induced DNA damage response mechanisms, development of new radiation detectors for applications in radiotherapy and radiobiology, and Monte Carlo radiation transport simulations. More information can be found here.


Michelle V. P. Mathis, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Mathis earned her B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in High Energy Particle Physics from Rice University in Houston, Texas. As a graduate student, Dr. Mathis joined the D0 (D-Zero) experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois. As a member of the D0 collaboration, she worked as an operations lead for the luminosity system and searched for the rare decay of the B_s meson to two muons. Dr. Mathis is currently a postdoctoral fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center doing research into dosimetry in the presence of a magnetic field.


Conor H. McFadden, M.Sc.
Senior Research Assistant

Conor received his B.Sc. in Physics from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Conor completed his M.Sc. in Physics at Carleton University under the supervision of Dr. Sawakuchi. Conor came to work at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Sept, 2013 as a research assistant under Dr. Gabriel Sawakuchi. His research entails developing instrumentation for reading out fluorescent nuclear track detectors for use in radiobiological experiments.


David B. Flint, B.Sc.
PhD student

In 2011, David began working in Dr. Sawakuchi’s lab at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, where he completed his undergraduate research project on the characterization of Al2O3:C OSLDs.  David continued his work on the OSL project as a research assistant in Dr. Sawakuchi’s lab in the summer of 2012. David received his B.Sc. in Physics and Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics from Carleton University in the spring of 2013. He worked as a research assistant at MD Anderson from May 2013 to May 2014. He is currently a 1st year predoctoral graduate student in Medical Physics at the University of Texas Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The current focus of his research is in the application of fluorescence nuclear track detectors (FNTDs) in live-cell imaging using confocal microscopy.


Dal A. Granville, M.Sc.
PhD student (based at Carleton University)

Dal received his B.Sc. in Physics from Acadia University in Canada, and his M.Sc. in Radiation Oncology Physics from the University of Calgary, Canada. He is currently a Ph.D. student at Carleton University in Canada, and began working with the Sawakuchi group in 2011. Dal’s research interests include Monte Carlo simulation of radiation transport, and the development of novel radiation detection systems. His Ph.D. research project focuses on the development of the optically stimulated luminescence technique for measurements of linear energy transfer in proton therapy beams.


Hannah J. Lee, B.Sc.
PhD student

Hannah Lee received her bachelor's degree in Biology and Physics with a minor in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. She is currently a 2nd year predoctoral graduate student in Medical Physics at the University of Texas Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Hannah's research interests are in image-guided therapy, and she is currently investigating Monte Carlo methods for determining ionization chamber correction factors in the presence of a magnetic field.


Mark Leibensperger
Undergraduate Student, AAPM undergrad summer research fellow (Physics Department Bucknell University)

Mark is a senior student in the Physics Department at Bucknell University. Mark received the AAPM undergrad summer research fellowship to perform research in our lab. Mark's research is on optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) detectors. He is characterizing temporal dependencies in the OSL signal of Al2O3:C exposed to x-rays.


Timothy Hallacy 
Undergraduate Student, Rice-Radiation Physics summer research fellow (Physics Department, Rice Univeristy) 

Tim is a senior student in the Physics Department at Rice University. Tim received the Rice-Radiation Physics summer research fellowship to perform research in our lab. Tim's research is on cell/radiation co-localization, which is a technique that our lab is developing to co-localize radiation injury in single live cells using fluorescence nuclear track detectors and confocal microscopy. 

Contact Information

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Radiation Physics
1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 94
Room: B1.4592
Phone: 713-794-4034

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center