ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IN RESIDENCE
DEPARTMENT OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO
With branches in basic science research, diagnostic medical imaging, and therapeutic medical practice, medical physics is a unique field that brings together science, technology, and medicine on a daily basis. UCSF is at the cutting edge of medical physics research and clinical practice. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its use of both radiation and non-invasive imaging, medical physics shares many pedagogic and practical roots with nuclear engineering. This talk will introduce the field of medical physics to the UCB nuclear engineering community and present some of the exciting work being done at UCSF. In addition, because the shared roots between these two disciplines leads to a natural affiliation, the Department of Nuclear Engineering is partnering with the UCSF Department of Radiation Oncology to create a PhD track in medical physics. This talk will cover topics of practical importance to the nuclear engineering student interested in medical physics. Topic questions will include:
- What is medical physics?
- How is medical physics related to nuclear engineering?
- What is the nature of scientific research in the field?
- Which research avenues are UCSF faculty pursuing?
- Can one pursue a career in medical physics with a nuclear engineering PhD?
Dr. Cunha received his PhD is experimental high-energy physics from the UCSB in 2006. After a year postdoc with the ATLAS group at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Dr. Cunha moved back to California to take a postdoctoral position in medical physics with the internationally recognized Prof. Jean Pouliot at UCSF. In 2009 Dr. Cunha joined the radiation oncology faculty at UCSF.
Dr. Cunha’s research has focused on invention and translation of new technology to the radiation oncology clinic. He is currently the co-chair of the AAPM robotic brachytherapy working group and also published work on using 3D printing in the radiation oncology clinic.
Dr. Cunha is an active member of the AAPM Working Group on Medical Physics Graduate Education and serves the UCSF Academic Senate on the Graduate Council Committee. He currently serves as the chair of the UCB-UCSF joint medical physics program steering committee, which is diligently working through the accreditation process to bring the program to fruition.