Medical Physicists

Jorge E. Alpuche Aviles

Name: Jorge E. Alpuche Aviles

Credentials: PhD, MCCPM

Title:

  • Medical Physicist
  • Adjunct Professor (Physics & Astronomy)
  • Assistant Professor (Radiology)

Research Interests:

  • Improvements in HDR brachytherapy treatments
  • Electron treatments dosimetry
  • Knowledge-based planning treatment planning
  • IGRT for breast treatments
  • Emerging medical imaging modalities

Bio:

Dr. Alpuche Aviles obtained his undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics from Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan (Merida, Mexico).  He then moved to the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Canada) to obtain a PhD in the CAMPEP certified Medical Physics Program offered in the Department of Physics & Astronomy.  During his PhD he investigated how to exploit the information carried away from scattered photons to make breast images.  After completing his doctorate degree, he went on to complete a clinical residency at the CAMPEP approved CancerCare Manitoba Program.  The residency gave him a strong exposure to clinical duties like Treatment Planning, Dosimetry, LDR, HDR and Gamma Knife.  This residency also included a short term project as a Clinical Evaluator of Knowledge-Based Planning software.  This became a research interest along with the proper tracking of the breast during radiation treatments.  Dr. Alpuche Aviles became full staff in 2014 and has been involved in both LDR and HDR brachytherapy, plan reviews, dosimetry, electron consults, orthovoltage support and special treatments like TBI and TSI. He is currently the HDR Physics Lead where he pursues the improvement of HDR cervix treatments.  Dr. Alpuche Aviles is involved in, and enjoys teaching (both undergraduate and graduate classes), as well as research that leads to clinical development.

Publications: PubMed Links

James Beck

Name: James Beck

Credentials: M.Sc., MCCPM

Title: Medical Physicist 

Research Interests:

  • Investigating the accuracy of electron and photon dose calculation algorithms.
  • Clinical development through paperless process design, data ming and dosimetry

Bio:

James Beck (MCCPM) is a Medical Physicist specializing in the field of Radiation Therapy.  As head of the dosimetry group, he oversees commissioning and quality assurance of several linear accelerators and an orthovoltage treatment unit.  He has also been involved with patient treatments and quality assurance on the Gamma Knife since this program's inception in 2008.

James is motivated by the opportunity to use his technical background to impact patients and improve their journey through Radiation Oncology.

Publications: PubMed Links

Anita Berndt

Name: Anita Berndt

Credentials: Ph.D, MCCPM

Title: Medical Physicist

Research Interests:

  • Data mining
  • Process improvement

Bio:

Dr. Anita Berndt is a Radiation Therapy Medical Physicist at CancerCare Manitoba, where she works within the treatment planning and Gamma Knife groups to support the Radiation Oncology Program.  Dr. Berndt's primary focus is the support of day to day clinical operations.  Some of the tasks Dr. Berndt performs are treatment planning consultations, maintenance of policies and procedures, and Gamma Knife quality assurance.  Dr. Berndt has won CancerCare service awards for both her work in treatment planning and the Gamma Knife Program.

Publications: PubMed Links

Amjad Hussain

Name: Amjad Hussain

Credentials: MSc, PhD, MCCPM

Title: Medical Physicist

Research Interests:

  • Total Body Irradiation Dose Optimization
  • IMRT/SRS/SBRT treatment planning methodologies
  • Clinical and radiological applications of radiation dosimetry

Bio:

Dr. Amjad Hussain is a Radiation Oncology Medical Physicist at CancerCare Manitoba (CCMB) since 2017.  He is also a certified Radiation Safety Officer (RSO).

He received his Masters in Medical Physics from Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Islamabad, in 2003 .  In 2011 he graudate with a CAMPEP accredited Ph.D. degree from the University of Calgary, AB.

Before joining CCMB, Dr. Hussain worked as a Senior Medical Physicist and Assistant Professor at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in Pakistan, as well as a Senior Medical Physics fellow at the University of Calgary, AB.

Dr. Hussain is a full member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM, since 2015) and a full member of the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine (MCCPM, since 2016).

He is the author of 20 scientific papers and 28 abstracts, published in reputable international journals.

Publications: PubMed Links

Richard Lee

Name: Richard Lee

Credentials: PhD, MCCPM, FCCPM

Title: Medical Physicist

Research Interests:

  • Outcomes data analysis
  • Respiratory motion effects and management

Bio:

Richard is a Therapy Medical Physicist at CancerCare Manitoba where he provides clinical support for various radiotherapy treatment techniques including SBRT.  Previously, Richard worked for the BC Cancer Agency for more than 15 years in many aspects of radiotherapy, most recently in respiratory gating and tumour tracking for SBRT liver treatments and ocular proton therapy.

Publications: PubMed Links

Boyd Mccurdy

Name: Boyd Mccurdy

Credentials: MSc, PhD, FCCPM, FCOMP

Title: Head of Radiation Oncology Physics Group

Research Interests:

  • In vivo patient radiation dosimetry using exit imaging
  • Exit dosimetry
  • Adaptive radiation therapy
  • Optimization in radiation therapy
  • Real-time tumour tracking.

Bio:

Dr. McCurdy is the Head of the Radiation Oncology Physics Group at CancerCare Manitoba.  He also holds academic appointments at the Associate Professor level in both the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Radiology at the University of Manitoba.  He completed his honours undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo, and both graduate degrees at the University of Manitoba.  His clinical residency training was completed at CancerCare Manitoba.  Dr. McCurdy also performed a one year sabbatical in research training at the Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital/University of Newcastle, in Newcastle, Australia.  He has supervised (and continues to supervise) many MSc, PhD, and post-doctoral research trainees, and is also active in the Canadian Medical Physics professional field through volunteerism with COMP (Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists) and CCPM (Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine).  He is an Affiliate Scientist with RIOH (Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology).

Publications: PubMed Links

Ryan Rivest

Name: Ryan Rivest

Credentials: PhD, MCCPM

Title:

  • Medical Physicist
  • Adjunct Professor (Physics & Astronomy)
  • Instructor (Radiology)

Research Interests:

  • Patient specific QA
  • Medical image analysis
  • IGRT

Bio:

Dr. Rivest is a Medical Physicist at CancerCare Manitoba, where he is the Lead of the Treatment and Simulation group and works within the Dosimetry and SBRT groups to support the Radiation Oncology Program.  Some of the tasks Dr. Rivest performs are LINAC quality assurance, treatment planning quality assurance, treatment and simulation protocol development, and supporting the SBRT, TBI and TSEI programs.

Publications: PubMed Links

Lawrence Ryner

Name: Lawrence Ryner

Credentials: PhD, MSc

Title:

  • Medical Physicist
  • Adjunct Professor (Physics & Astronomy)
  • Lecturer (Radiology)

Research Interests:

  • MRI and MR spectroscopy
  • Optimizing radiation therapy treatment planning in brain Gamma Knife treatment
  • HDR brachytherapy
  • LDR prostate brachytherapy

Bio:

Dr. Ryner is a Medical Physicist at CancerCare Manitoba, where he works within the Radiation Physics group to support the Radiation Oncology Program.  He also assists in the Imaging Physics group with MRI-related work.  He is involved in Gamma Knife, HDR brachytherapy and LDR brachytherapy.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Ryner worked for many years at the National Research Council Institute for Biodiagnostics as group leader for the Magnetic Resonance Research and Development group.  He obtained his PhD in Medical Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994, and his MSc in Medical Physics from McGill University in 1990.   He is an Affiliate Scientist with RIOH (Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology)

Publications: PubMed Links

David Kiyoshi Sasaki

Name: David Kiyoshi Sasaki

Credentials: MSc, MCCPM

Title:

  • Medical Physicist
  • Lecturer (Radiology)

Research Interests:

  • Advanced design and manufacturing of patient treatment devices
  • Optimization of patient scheduling
  • Use of respiratory gating for treatment simulation and delivery

Bio:

David Sasaki (MCCPM) is a Medical Physicist at CancerCare Manitoba, where he works in the Dosimetry, Brachytherapy, Treatment and Simulation, and Treatment Planning teams to support the Radiation Oncology Program.  Some of the tasks he is involved with are:  3D printing and design of custom treatment devices, permanent prostate brachytherapy, development of new treatment planning and treatment techniques using the latest equipment and methods, and installation, commissioning and ongoing quality assurance of new treatment and imaging units.

In addition to his clinical work, Dave also provides instruction for the Medical Physics and Radiation Oncology Residency programs, as well as CancerCare's School of Radiation Therapy.  He has helped supervise several University of Manitoba physics graduate students.

Dave sits on the national Quality Assurance and Radiation Safety Advisory Committee, and has served as Associate Editor for several national Technical Quality Control guidelines.

In his spare time Dave coaches his sons in hockey and soccer, and enjoys running and building.

Publications: PubMed Links

Charles Schroeder

Name: Charles Schroeder

Credentials: M.Sc, MCCPM

Title: Medical Physicist

Research Interests:

  • Radiation protection research
  • Accurate reporting of radiation delivered by linear accelerators to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Bio:

Mr. Charles Schroeder works as a Medical Physicist at CancerCare Manitoba in Winnipeg.  Charles has a Master's degree in Medical Physics, is MCCPM certified and has over 15 years of clinical experience.  Charles is involved in many different clinical areas including Gamma Knife treatments, Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy treatments, High Dose Rate Brachytherapy treatments, Radiation Treatment Plan Checking and is the Radiation Protection Liaison with the Radiation Oncology Physics and Radiation Protection departments at CancerCare Manitoba.

Charles' mission as a Medical Physicist is to ensure the  accurate dose and accurate location of every patient's radiation treatment in a timely manner.

Charles loves to hike, play floor hockey, and enjoys bird watching.

Publications: PubMed Links

Eric Van Uytven

Name: Eric Van Uytven

Credentials: Ph.D, MCCPM

Title: Medical Physicist

Research Interests:

  • Breast MRI
  • EPID based in-vivo dosimetry, among other distinctions in the field.  
  • Novel real-time dose verification methods.

Bio:

Dr. Eric Van Uytven (MCCPM) is a Medical Physicist at CancerCare Manitoba, where he works within the Dosimetry and Treatment Planning groups to support the Radiation Oncology Program.  Some of the tasks he performs are LINAC quality assurance, treatment planning protocol development, and supporting the doctors with special treatment planning needs.

Dr. Van Uytven helps CancerCare Manitoba to work towards its goal of reducing and eliminating the burden of cancer on Manitobans by providing technical expertise and ongoing clinical development and refinement of cutting edge radiotherapy treatments.

Dr. Van Uytven loves to run, bike, do crossfit, and is working towards his pilot's license. 

Publications: PubMed Links

Sankar Venkataraman

Name: Sankar Venkataraman

Credentials: Ph.D, MCCPM

Title:

  • Senior Medical Physicist
  • Adjunct Professor (Physics & Astronomy)
  • Assistant Professor (Radiology)

Research Interests:

  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) imaging and treatment delivery
  • Tumor tracking methodologies
  • Study on respiratory waveform using advanced imaging

Bio:

Dr. Sankar Venkataraman is a Medical Physicist in the Radiotherapy Physics department of CancerCare Manitoba.  After completing his PhD in physical aspects of stereotactic radiosurgery, he gained clinical experience in radiosurgery and brachytherapy in the early part of his career.

Dr. Sankar Venkataraman currently focuses his efforts on the technical aspects of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy that includes project implementation, protocol writing and periodic update of operational procedures.  He is also involved in simulation and treatment delivery operational teams for standard treatments.

He is actively involved in CAMPEP-accredited Medical Physics Residency Program in a leadership role.  Besides that, he also teaches residents of Radiation Oncology, Medical Physics and Radiation Therapy.  He is a course instructor for two courses on Radiotherapy Physics for students of University of Manitoba.  He has academic appointments in the Departments of Physics and Radiology at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Sankar Venkataraman enjoys photography and music.  He can be reached at svenkataraman@cancercare.mb.ca

Publications: PubMed Links

Niranjan Venugopal

Name: Dr. Niranjan Venugopal

Credentials: MSc, PhD

Title: Medical Physicist

Research Interests:

  • The study of advanced imaging techniques (i.e. MRI, MRSI, and PET-CT), and its use in radiation treatment planning.  This includes MRI pulse sequence development, MR spectroscopic imaging techniques, quantum mechanical simulation of metabolites, and MR elastography  
  • Methods in image processing, image registration, and image segmentation (using deep learning techniques)

Bio:

Dr. Niranjan Venugopal completed his B.Sc. Honours degree in Physics from the University of Regina. Following this, he completed both his MSc and PhD degrees in Medical Physics at the University of Manitoba.  Soon after, he was accepted into the University of Toronto Department of Radiation Oncology, Clinical Radiation Oncology Physics residency program, and completed it in 2013.  Before joining CancerCare Manitoba, Dr. Venugopal was a staff Clinical Physicist at the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency in Saskatoon, where he also held academic appointments in the Departments of Oncology and Biomedical Engineering.  During his career, he has supervised students and published papers in peer reviewed journals.  Currently, he is an active team member of the Radiotherapy Physics group at CancerCare Manitoba.

In his spare time, Dr. Venugopal enjoys a variety of activities including spending time with family, playing rugby or soccer, learning East Indian classical music, and volunteering his time in the community.

Publications: PubMed Links