ROSS BERBECO, PhD
Dr. Berbeco is the Director of Medical Physics Research at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Originally trained in High-Energy Physics, Dr. Berbeco received Postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School under the supervision of Dr. Steve Jiang. Since 2005, Dr. Berbeco has been a faculty member at the BWH/DFCI, receiving ABR certification in 2010. His research interests include real-time motion management, novel imaging devices, 4DPET/CT, nanoparticles as radiation amplifiers, and pre-clinical radiation therapy. To perform this work, Dr. Berbeco has been a primary mentor for over 20 postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students with funding provided by Industrial and Federal sources.
Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology | Harvard Medical School
Director of Medical Physics Research, Radiation Oncology
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Meghna is a third-year undergraduate student studying Health Science at Northeastern University. She is a research trainee at the Berbeco Lab through the CaNCURE Program. Meghna is studying the effects of silica-based bismuth gadolinium nanoparticles in vascular disruption, immune responses, and as a contrast agent in MRIs. Her interests lie in applying her studies to resolving health disparities, specifically in cancer.
Matt Jacobson, PhD
Matt is specializing in inverse problems for tomographic image reconstruction. He obtained an MSc from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology under the supervision of Nahum Shimkin and Adam Shwartz, and PhD from the University of Michigan under the supervision of Jeff Fessler. With over 15 years of industry and academic experience, Matt’s research interests include dose-efficient image reconstruction methods for PET and CT, patient motion tracking and compensation, novel geometries and calibration methods for tomographic systems, and accelerated 3D iterative reconstruction. Most recently, his work has focused on CBCT image guidance for radiation oncology.
Tom Harris, PhD
Tom is an ABR-certified medical physicist whose clinical duties focus on brachytherapy. His master’s research at MIT supported their boron neutron capture therapy program. He recently received his PhD from Heidelberg University in Germany doing research on a novel electronic portal imaging device.
Romy Mueller, PhD
Romy completed her doctorate in Physics from Heidelberg University, Germany in 2021. Her doctoral research focused on the simulation and characterization of biomaterial-aided radiation therapy. She has experience in in-silico, in-vitro, and in-vivo studies for nanoparticle-aided radiation therapy and immunotherapy. Since joining the Berbeco lab in February 2021 she focuses on studying vascular disruption by gadolinium nanoparticles during radiation therapy. Her special interest lies in pre-clinical in-vivo research to facilitate translational radiation therapy studies into clinical trials. In addition, Romy leads the dosimetry and quality assurance for our pre-clinical image-guided irradiator.
Needa Virani, PhD
Needa completed her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 2017. Her research focused on the use of carbon nanotubes and small molecules for tumor therapy and diagnosis. She joined the Berbeco lab in October 2017 working on the use of gold and gadolinium-bismuth nanoparticles for targeted vascular disruption radiation therapy. Needa’s interests lie in the use of these nanoparticles in combination with radiation to stimulate vascular directed immune responses as well as studying the physiological effects occurring within the tumor post-therapy, specifically the hypoxic response.
Ikechi Ozoemelam, PhD
Ikechi completed his PhD in Medical Physics from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands in 2020. His doctoral research focused on development of real-time in vivo dose delivery verification of particle radiotherapy using positron emission tomography. He joined the Berbeco lab in September 2021 to conduct research into development of novel multi-layer kV/MV flat-panel detectors for advanced on-board radiation therapy imaging. Ikechi’s main interest lies in using Monte Carlo simulations for optimization of x-ray detector design as well as the experimental characterization of detector performance.
Toby is a graduate student studying his PhD in Medical Physics at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is currently investigating the effects of nanoparticle irradiation on infiltrating lymphocyte populations. This involves establishing a predictive mathematical framework based on existing data, followed by application to mouse and human models. Toby’s main interests lie in the use of nanoparticles for radiation therapy enhancement, in both a computational and pre-clinical framework.
Zeinaf Muradova, PhD
Zeinaf completed her PhD in Oncology from the University of Paris-Saclay, France in 2021. Her research focused on the impact of gadolinium-based nanoparticles in combination with radiation therapy on macrophage activation. She joined the Berbeco Lab in February 2022. Her current research focuses on the ability of gadolinium-based nanoparticles to push an innate immune system toward a trained immunity, and consequently improve cancer immunotherapy.
Stephanie Bennet, PhD
Stephanie completed her certificate in Medical Physics at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada and, just prior, her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Her PhD focused on the automated extraction of patient vital signals from thermal and visible-light video using spatio-temporal signal processing. Her current research focuses on the detection, quantification, and characterization of gadolinium-based nanoparticle uptake in tumors from MR scans.
Ifeanyi is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Northeastern University majoring in bioengineering. He is a research trainee at the Berbeco Lab by way of the CaNCURE program. Ifeanyi is studying the effect of bismuth gadolinium-based nanoparticles on the enhancement of radiotherapy in solid tumors. His main interests lie in the use of nanoparticles for drug delivery in pre-clinical and eventually clinical settings.