Professor - Department of Radiation Physics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Chief of Clinical Research - Department of Radiation Physics
Adjunct Professor - Université Laval, Québec City, QC, Canada
Adjunct Professor - University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Ph.D. – Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 1990
M.S. – Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 1984
M.S. – Theoretical Physics, University of Constantine, Constantine, Algeria, 1981
B.S. – Physics, University of Constantine, Constantine, Algeria, 1980
Dr. Beddar was born in Constantine, Algeria, and went to the University of Wisconsin – Madison to study medical physics. He concentrated his research on plastic scintillation dosimetry, publishing several seminal papers on the subject and receiving his doctorate in 1990.
He next joined Princess Margaret Hospital as a staff physicist. In 1993 became an Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Following a post at Albany Medical College he accepted a position at Cleveland Clinic in 1998, where he established an intraoperative radiation therapy program using the first commercially available Mobetron portable linear accelerator.
In 2002, he became an Associate Professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center, joining the Brachytherapy Service. In 2005, he became Chief of the Gastrointestinal Service, focusing his clinical attention on developing 4D-CT with intravenous contrast for the liver, respiratory-gated radiation therapy for GI cancers, and in charge of the intraoperative radiation therapy program. Dr. Beddar was promoted to Professor, Tenured Clinical Faculty in 2012. In 2013, he was promoted to the position of Director of Clinical Research in the department of Radiation Physics at MD Anderson.
For more information, please visit the MD Anderson profile.
Current Lab Members
Dennis Mackin, Ph.D.
Ph.D. – Physics and Astronomy, Rice University, TX, 2010
B.S. – Mathematics, University of Notre Dame, IN, 1995
Since joining the Beddar Lab Group in 2011, Dr. Mackin has been investigating methods for in vivo range verification of proton therapy treatments, with an emphasis on developing 3D image reconstruction algorithms for multi-stage Compton gamma cameras. More recently, he has collaborated with members of the group to develop novel methods for reducing the effects of noise on the image quality. His primary research interest is the application of high-performance computing and machine learning to problems in medical physics.
He is now working in clinical medical physics as a member of MD Anderson’s CNS (central nervous system) Physics Group. This group primarily supports stereotactic radiosurgery treatments of the brain and spine. Dr. Mackin’s clinical research efforts focus on methods for making Leksell Gamma Knife radio-surgery more comfortable, conformal and efficient.
Fahed Alsanea, Ph.D.
Resident, Medical Physics
Ph.D.–Medical Physics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
M.S.–Medical Physics, Purdue University, IN, 2014
B.S.–Clinical Radiation Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, VA, 2012
Dr. Alsanea is currently a Medical Physics resident in the department of Radiation Physics at MD Anderson. He joined Dr. Beddar’s lab in 2014 for his Ph.D. graduate degree. His doctoral work in Dr. Beddar’s lab focused on correcting for ionization quenching in 3D organic liquid scintillator for proton therapy dosimetry. Dr. Alsanea’s Master’s thesis work at Purdue University was in the application of thermoacoustics with pulsed protons to develop a 3D dosimeter for proton therapy.
Dr. Alsanea’s research interests are in developing and characterizing novel detectors for radiation dosimetry, imaging and real-time dosimetry.
Chinmay Darne, Ph.D.
Ph.D. – Electrical Engineering, University of Houston, TX, 2008
M.S. – Electrical Engineering, University of Houston, TX, 2004
B.E. – Electronics Engineering, Mumbai University, India, 2002
Dr. Darne’s research interest is in application of volumetric scintillators for proton therapy. He developed a volumetric scintillator-based 3D detector that can be used in near real-time for proton beam dosimetry, machine quality assurance studies and beam commissioning.
Dr. Darne’s current research interest is in using a 3D scintillator-based system for generating proton radiographs and proton CT images. The proton images can be used to reduce range uncertainties for proton treatment planning and to enable image-guided proton therapy.
He was previously involved with the development of a near infrared fluorescence (NIRF)-based optical imaging system. He used a frequency-domain photon migration approach to NIRF imaging allowing him to precisely detect fluorescence signatures from targets embedded within a medium. He engineered the optical system to be integrated into the gantry of a commercial CT scanner in order to generate a trimodal (NIRF/CT/PET) imager capable of 3D imaging of fluorescence-labeled tumors located in patients.
Rajesh Panthi, Ph.D.
Ph.D. — Physics, Oklahoma State University, OK
M.S. — Medical Physics, Oklahoma State University, OK
M.Sc.— Physics, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Dr. Panthi earned his Ph.D. in Physics with a dissertation on the determination of the energy spectra of clinical x-ray beams using dose-depth datasets. He has plenty of experience with computational and experimental studies in Radiation Physics.
Dr. Panthi’s current research has primarily focused on the prompt-gamma imaging for online range verification for proton therapy and the range verification based on secondary radiation produced during proton therapy. He is also working on the proton radiography system design.
Alumni and Collaborators
Daniel Robertson, Ph.D., DABR
Assistant Professor – Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic Arizona
Proton therapy physicist
Associate Program Director – Medical Physics Residency
Program Director – Medical Physics Summer Research Fellowship
Residency – Radiation Physics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Ph.D. – Medical Physics, University of Texas GSBS at Houston, TX, 2014
B.S. – Applied Physics, Brigham Young University, UT, 2008
Dr. Robertson is a proton therapy physicist at Mayo Clinic Arizona, specializing in proton therapy machine testing and measurement tools. His clinical focus includes machine quality assurance and patient respiratory motion management.
In addition to his clinical activities, Dr. Robertson pursues research in scintillation dosimetry, proton beam testing devices, proton radiography and CT, medical physics applications of computer vision and medical physics education.
Dr. Robertson completed his doctoral work in Dr. Beddar’s lab, developing methods for correction of scintillation quenching in proton beams, optical artifact correction and applications of 3D scintillator detectors for proton therapy quality assurance.
François Therriault-Proulx, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and CEO at Medscint Inc.
Postdoctoral Odyssey Fellow – Radiation Physics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2013-2016
Ph.D. – Physics (Medical Physics), Université Laval, QC, Canada, 2012
M.Sc. – Neurobiology, Université Laval, QC, Canada, 2008
B.S. – Engineering Physics, Université Laval, QC, Canada, 2005
During his graduate and post-graduate studies, François has been applying his engineering and medical physics background to the development of scintillation dosimetry devices for several years. His work as a Ph.D. and Odyssey Fellow led to the development of a patented multi-point plastic scintillation dosimetry device using only a single optical probe that was proven to be valid for multiple fields of application in radiation-oncology.
His current focus is on bringing this technology to market by optimizing the technological solution and making it commercially viable. He co-founded the company Medscint Inc. (Quebec City, Canada) in 2018 and is the current president and CEO of the company.
Gustavo Kertzscher, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Aarhus University, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus, Denmark
Ph.D. – Physics, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark, 2014
M.Sc. – Physics, McGill University, QC, Canada, 2009
B.S. – Engineering Physics, Syracuse University, NY, 2005
The aim of Dr. Kertzscher’s research has since 2010 been to facilitate real-time treatment verification for patients undergoing brachytherapy, by means of radiation measurement technology that is accurate, and safe and practical for the clinical staff to operate. During his time at MD Anderson (2014-2017), Dr. Kertzscher and Dr. Beddar developed a new generation of scintillation detector systems based on miniature inorganic scintillation detectors (ISDs). The ISD system has undergone further characterization and optimization for hospital use at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, where it is now incorporated for routine in vivo dosimetry during PDR and HDR brachytherapy. In vivo dosimetry in brachytherapy using the novel ISD system is further investigated within a consortium between Aarhus University Hospital, MD Anderson and University of Laval, Canada.
Dr. Kertzscher is presently collaborating in the PRISM-eBT project in which his main task is to provide traceable measurements of the 3D dose distribution near the 50 kV Papillon50 electronic brachytherapy source, using plastic scintillation detectors.
Landon Wootton, Ph.D., DABR
Acting Assistant Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology
Ph.D. - Medical Physics, University of Texas GSBS at Houston, TX, 2014
B.S. – Physics, University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2008
Dr. Wootton is currently an Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle where he completed his residency. His role there includes a wide arrange of clinical and educational responsibilities and research largely focused around modeling the department’s clinical neutron therapy system (CNTS) fast neutron beam and developing treatment planning tools around it.
While at MD Anderson his research focused on the development of plastic scintillation detectors for in vivo use to verify appropriate treatment delivery. He was awarded the American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research for his work acquiring in vivo dosimetry for patients with prostate cancer treated with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).
Cheukkai Becket Hui, Ph.D.
Medical Physicist, Arizona Oncology
Ph.D. – Medical Physics, University of Texas GSBS at Houston, TX, 2012
M.A. – Physics, University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2007
B.S. – Physics, Mathematics, University of Arizona, AZ, 2004
Dr. Hui is responsible for ensuring the quality and safety of patients, treatment machine and radiation materials. During his doctoral training, his research focused on developing pulse programs, acquisition protocols and post-processing techniques for DCE-MRI. Recently, his research works include image registration, quality assurance of treatment plans and data mining.
During his postdoctoral training at Dr. Beddar’s lab, he developed the prototype algorithm to reconstruct 3D dose distribution for a proton liquid scintillator system. In addition, he also developed methods to reconstruct 4D CT & MRI images.
Alumni and Collaborators
Jeppe Brage Christensen, Ph.D.
Deputy head of the Dosimetry Group, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
Ph.D. - Physics, 2019, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
M.S. - Physics, 2016, Aarhus University, Denmark
B.S. - Physics and mathematics, 2013, Aarhus University, Denmark
Dr. Christensen currently works with dosimetry, in particular, nuclear track detectors.
During his six months stay at MD Anderson in 2018-19, Dr. Christensen worked with ionization quenching of plastic scintillators during proton irradiation.
Thomas Henry, Ph.D.
Henry joined the group as a research intern in 2014. During his time at MD Anderson he worked on liquid scintillation dosimetry and explored solutions to account for the quenching issue with proton beams.
He then moved to Sweden to continue his proton research and defended his Ph.D. at Stockholm University in 2018. He is now employed at the Skandion Clinic proton center in Uppsala, Sweden where he has been working on several research projects including Monte Carlo simulations, beam modelling, CBCT optimization, dose reconstruction, 3D modelling and more.
Collaborations with other Institutes
Professor Luc Beaulieu
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Optics
Faculty of Science and Engineering, Université Laval
Dr. Luc Beaulieu is a full professor, Director of the CAMPEP graduate program and also Director of the Cancer Research Centre at Université Laval. He served on the Board of the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists as President Elect, President and Past President (2010-2016). He is a member of the AAPM Brachytherapy Subcommittee as well as two associated Working Groups (Robotics and Clinical Applications), is the Chair of TG317 on tracking technology for brachytherapy, a member of the ESTRO In Vivo dosimetry working group, was the Chair of TG-186 and until recently led the AAPM/ESTRO/ABG Working Group on Model-Based Dose Calculations in Brachytherapy.
He received research grants from all of the major Canadian funding agencies (CIHR, NSERC, NCIC, CCSRI) and NIH (R01 and SBIR). For the past 15 years, Dr. Beaulieu has worked collaboratively with a number of industrial partners for the design, building and validation of biomedical algorithms and devices. Since November 2015, he is the holder of an NSERC Industrial Research Chair related to biomedical technology for brachytherapy. He has served on grants panels for most of the agencies listed previously and reviews on an ad hoc basis grants for programs in France and Belgium. He has mentored over 70 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and more than 80 undergraduate student research projects, published 226 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 495 refereed abstracts (all poster and oral presentations) at national and international meetings. He is a recognized expert on topics related to scintillation dosimetry and brachytherapy.
Professor Joao Seco
Division of Biomedical Physics in Radiation Oncology, DKFZ, Germany
Prof. Seco graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of London, at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and Royal Marsden Hospital in London, UK. He then went on to become an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, working at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He then returned to Europe to work at the German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ in Heidelberg, heading up a new group dedicated to ion beam research and with the focus on novel imaging technologies to reduce Bragg peak positioning errors in patients and on investigating the mechanism of radiation triggered DNA damage via reactive oxygen species. He is also presently the Chair of Medical Physics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Heidelberg University and is a member of the EFOMP Scientific Committee, representing the DGMP, German Society for Medical Physics.
Professor Kari Tanderup
Department of Clinical Medicine - The Department of Oncology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
Research interests: Medical physics, MR imaging, brachytherapy, image-guided radiotherapy, in vivo dosimetry, proton therapy