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.


Felisberto A. Ferreira, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Ferreira received his undergraduate, master's and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. As a graduate student, Dr. Ferreira worked with the PENELOPE group at Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. As a Ph.D., Dr. Ferreira joined Paulista University as an Assistant Professor and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Sao Paulo under the supervision of Dr. Elisabeth M. Yoshimura. Dr. Ferreira holds a fellowship from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Brazil. His current research at MD Anderson is on radiation measurements using fluorescence nuclear track detectors (FNTDs).


Daniel J. O'Brien, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. O'Brien received his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from University College Dublin, Ireland. The topic of his Ph.D. thesis was the dosimetry of small fields for flattened and flattening-filter-free beams and focused on the calculation of detector correction factors for small fields using measurements and Monte Carlo simulations. He completed this work with the Saint Luke's Radiation Oncology Network in Dublin, Ireland under the supervision of Prof. Brendan McClean and Dr. Luis León-Vintró and continued to work there as a postdoctoral research fellow to support their research into adaptive radiotherapy techniques. Dr. O'Brien's current research at MD Anderson is on correcting for the effects of magnetic fields on the dosimetry of radiation beams from MRI-linacs.


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 in Sept, 2013 as a research assistant under Dr. Sawakuchi. His research entails developing instrumentation for reading out fluorescent nuclear track detectors for use in radiobiological experiments. Conor also performs research on gold-nanoparticle radiosensitization.


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.



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. He is also performing research on gold-nanoparticle radiosensitization.

Contact Information

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