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A profile of some of the eminent researchers currently working in association with
the Australian MRI Linac project.
Professor Paul Keall
Professor Paul Keall was one of just ten researchers Australia wide, and only two in NSW, to receive a prestigious 2010 Australia Fellowship to relocate from Stanford University USA back to Australia to continue his work on ways to more accurately and effectively target cancer tumours. This will see him collaborating with the Ingham Institute and Liverpool Hospital to lead groundbreaking research into MRI-linac technology. Professor Keall's work will benefit the more than 50 per cent of cancer patients who are treated for tumours by providing real-time information about the exact location and shape of tumours when they are receiving radiation therapy.
Current radiation treatments don't take into account changes that can occur to the location and shape of tumours caused by things such as breathing and swallowing and other movement. By improving the way current tools of tumour imaging and patient monitoring are integrated and used during treatment, clinicians can target the tumour much more accurately with the radiation beam and have much greater control over the radiation dose.
Ingham Institute has finalised design and will soon start building a research bunker to accommodate equipment for the MRI-Linac project. The equipment itself will be sourced from leading radiation oncology and scientific manufacturers from around the globe. There is currently only one other centre in the world developing research into MRI-Linac capability. The budget for the bunker and equipment is $9M. It will create a centre of world's best practice in the Liverpool area.
Professor Keall's main scientific interests involve image guided radiation therapy and accounting for anatomic and physiologic changes in healthy and pathologic tissue throughout a radiation treatment course. Additional areas of investigation include ventilation imaging, audiovisual biofeedback, compact plasma proton accelerators and MRI and PET-guided linear accelerators.
These research activities have resulted in over 130 scientific articles and several awards and honors. He has developed new methods for medical imaging and image guided radiation therapy. Several of these research creations have been translated to clinical practice for improved health care. He is an editorial board member for several journals in the radiation oncology field and participates in a number of professional activities and committees of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the American Society for Radiation Oncology.
Professor Stuart Crozier
Prof Crozier is the director of Biomedical Engineering at UQ. He holds a higher doctorate in engineering for his work in improving the technology of imaging equipment. Stuart was elelcted as a fellow of the institute of physics (UK) in 2004 and hold many national and international grants relating to medical imaging and medical devices.
Research interests are in the design of diagnostic medical devices and new applications for those devices
Professor Michael Barton
Michael Barton OAM is Professor of Radiation Oncology at University of NSW, Research Director of the Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CCORE) and the Research Director of the Ingham Institute at Liverpool Hospital. His major interest is in cancer health services research. He has published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has written 38 reports on cancer services in Australia and overseas.
His main clinical interests are lymphoma and brain tumours. He chaired the National Guidelines for the management of adult gliomas.
Dr Dion Forstner
Dr Dion Forstner is a Radiation Oncologist and Head of Radiation Oncology at Liverpool & Campbelltown Hospitals. He is a conjoint lecturer with University of New South Wales. His main areas of clinical interest are the management of Head & Neck cancers and skin cancers. His undergraduate training was at University of Tasmania and his fellowship training was completed in Adelaide. He has a strong interest in the introduction of new technologies to improve patient outcomes and enthusiastically pursued Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) implementation at Liverpool & Campbelltown Hospitals. He is very excited about Liverpool Hospital being only the second site in Australia to install a TomoTherapy unit. He has a strong interest in education previously being director of training and he is actively involved in teaching of UNSW and UWS medical students. He is member of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Radiation Oncology Faculty Board.
Dr Brad Oborn is a Post Doc research physicist at the Illawarra Cancer Care Centre, Wollongong Hospital. He is also an honorary fellow at CMRP, University of Wollongong.
For the Australian MRI-Linac Program he is using Monte Carlo simulations to predict how the magnetic field will alter the dose delivered by the Linear Accelerator for various prototype MRI linac designs. Findings from his PhD thesis work on MRI linacs completed in 2010, were subsequently reported in international journals. His publications show how the Lorenz force from magnetic fields can cause electron return effects and enhanced skin dose. He is extending his models to predict dose to patient lungs and air cavities in the patient anatomy. He is also conducting finite element magnetic modelling of the MRI-Linac system which will help with engineering design for the program.
Professor Peter Metcalfe
Prof Peter Metcalfe is a Professor at CMRP, University of Wollongong and is also the Cancer Institute NSW Chair in Radiation Oncology Physics. He has expertise in intensity modulated radiotherapy and image guided radiotherapy.
Providing advice on MRI for both radiotherapy treatment planning and image guidance in radiotherapy. He is working closely with Dr Oborn, Prof Rosenfeld and Prof Keall to help develop sound physics modelling of the AMP MRI-linac system. He is also collaborating closely with Dr Lois Holloway to investigate clinical sites that MRI is most advantageous in both treatment planning and image guidance applications.
Professor Geoff Delaney
Professor Delaney is a staff specialist in Radiation Oncology at Liverpool and Campbelltown Hospitals and the Director of Cancer Services for Sydney South West Area Health Service. He was previously the Director of Radiation Oncology at Liverpool and Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centres, N.S.W., Australia.
His main tumour site interests are breast, lung and oesophageal cancer. He has also had research interests in health services-based research, minimising radiation error, the implementation of multidisciplinary care and health service delivery inequities in radiation therapy. He has published research in the international literature (over 120 peer-reviewed papers, reports and book chapters), presented scientific papers and posters at national and international meetings.
His MD was completed in 2002 and was based on the development of a novel measure of radiotherapy treatment throughput which has resulted in changes in the way radiotherapy efficiency is measured in Australia and the United Kingdom. His PhD was completed in 2008 and was based on the development of decision trees for the appropriate use of radiotherapy for all tumour types. This has resulted in the calculation of an internationally-used benchmark for the measurement of the appropriate evidence-based benchmark of radiotherapy use and has been used in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom to assist with planning radiotherapy resources. This research has now been extended into the development of similar models for other aspects of cancer care such as genetics services and chemotherapy.
His current research projects include a developing an MRI-linear accelerator research bunker facility at Liverpool Hospital, developing e-tools for cancer survivors to maintain their health and knowledge about cancer, the use of linked data to analyse state-wide variations in radiotherapy practice and the development of a Hospital-Based Cancer Registry (in conjunction with the Cancer Institute of NSW).
He has had significant involvement in policy decision making and planning of services through a number of committee responsibilities ranging from those at the hospital level through to State and National Oncology initiatives. These committees include committees for the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, NSW Cancer Institute, NSW Department of Health, Federal Government Dept of Health and Ageing, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, NSW Cancer Council, Liverpool Hospital Health Services Executive and the Sydney South West Area Health Service Clinical Council. He has also involved in the investigation into radiotherapy incidents at 2 hospitals.
Professor William S. Price
Professor Price holds the chair of nanotechnology in the School of Biomedical & Health Sciences and the School of Medicine at the University of Western Sydney (UWS). He is the director of the Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Facility and director of the UWS node of the National Imaging Facility and he is an Adjunct Professor at Charles Sturt University. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.
Professor Price's research interests span the areas of physics, chemistry and biology relevant to Medical Nanotechnology. He is an expert in the theory, development and application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), techniques for studying molecular dynamics and translational diffusion. He has written one book (‘NMR Studies of Translational Motion', Cambridge University Press, 2009) and more than 100 hundred peer-reviewed journal papers and chapters. His research has been recognised by numerous awards.
Dr Lois Holloway
Dr Holloway is a research physicist at Liverpool and Macarthur Cancer Therapy centres and an honorary associate at the University of Sydney and the University of Wollongong. Her key areas of interest are radiobiological modelling, uncertainties in radiotherapy treatment planning including contouring and advanced imaging techniques for radiotherapy treatment planning.
Dr Holloway, in collaboration with others is investigating electron gun design for use in a MR-linac environment. She is also assessing the use of MR for use in radiotherapy treatment planning in particular considering possibilities with an MR-linac. The MRI-linac project will provide the possibility of patient specific radiotherapy treatment and Dr Holloway is looking forward to the potential of real-time radiobiological modelling. She is supervising a number of research students working towards these goals.
Professor Anatoly Rosenfeld
Prof Anatoly Rosenfeld is the Director of Centre for Medical Radiation Physics (CMRP) University of Wollongong. He has an international reputation in solid state dosimetry development.
His role in the MRI linac program includes leading a project to develop solid state detector systems that will measure radiation doses in the MRI- linear accelerator in the presence of magnetic fields. Prof Rosenfeld is designing MOSFET and multi array radiation detectors to perform accurate real time quality assurance of the radiation dose. Prof Rosenfeld is working closely with Drs Michael Lerch and Marco Petasecca, CMRP to design these dosimetry systems for the MRI linac .
Dr Philip Vial
Dr Phil Vial is a medical physicist at Liverpool Hospital and an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney. He leads a research group developing novel detectors for radiotherapy treatment verification. The project is supported by two research grants held by Dr Vial. His clinical interests include the implementation and continuing development of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT). He has been involved in the development of IMRT and IGRT protocols for different departments and also for Australia's leading radiation oncology clinical trials group (TROG). He is an active member of the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM) and achieved college accreditation for commissioning and quality assurance of radiotherapy equipment in 2005. He currently oversees the medical physics treatment planning portfolio across Liverpool and Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centres while supervising several PhD and Masters research students. He also lectures in medical physics for both the University of Sydney and the University of Wollongong. He looks forward to being involved in the Australian MRI LINAC program and contributing to the development of treatment verification techniques in the MRI LINAC setting.