There is a growing relation between Theme 1 & 2 combined and Theme 3, where advanced radiation therapy treatments are associated with improved outcomes or serve as platforms to develop biological models for therapy prediction and personalization. El Naqa’s group uses computer simulations and experimental animal models along with advanced bioinformatics tools to link physical radiation treatment parameters (dosimetry, online & post-treatment imaging) to endpoints of clinical and biological nature (biomarkers). Devic’s innovative research on FDG-PET/CT image data extraction for radiotherapy treatment planning pave the way to techniques to complement computed tomography-based gross tumor volume definition (GTV) with functional positron emission tomography-based volumes and to represent individual biological targets in need of more targeted radiation doses. Nadeau and her group work on the development of sensitized noble metal and semiconductor nanoparticles for photodynamic and radiation therapy as well as on the development of new synthesis and conjugation procedures to optimize singlet oxygen production from nanoparticles, as well as methods of quantification of nanomaterial toxicity to cancer cells and healthy cells. Active collaborations are present between her group and Seuntjens’ and El-Naqa’s groups to investigate application of these novel nanoparticles to radiation effect enhancement.
The activities of the researchers in the MPRTN CREATE program have led to a growing network of active collaborations between the PIs and the medical devices industry such as Modus Medical , Varian , Elekta , Standard Imaging , Sun Nuclear , Ashland , Dumaine Precision , etc. Other partners in the program are from the regulatory agency the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission , and the research organization National Research Council, Canada Ionizing Radiation Standards group as well as Harvard Medical School (Francis H Burr Proton Center).
Biofinormatics; Multimodality Image-guided and Adaptive Radiotherapy; Radiobiological Modelling
Issam El Naqa received his B.Sc. (1992) and M.Sc. (1995) in Electrical and Communication Engineering from the University of Jordan, Jordan and was awarded a first place young investigator award for his M.Sc. work. He worked as a software engineer at the Computer Engineering Bureau (CEB), Jordan, 1995G1996. He was awarded a DAAD scholarship to Germany, where he was a visiting scholar at the RWTH Aachen, 1996G 1998. He completed his Ph.D. (2002) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, USA, receiving highest academic distinction award for his PhD work. He completed an M.A. (2007) in Biology Science from Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA, where he was pursuing a postGdoctoral fellowship in medical physics and was subsequently hired as a Instructor (2005G2007) and then an Assistant Professor (2007G2010) at the departments of radiation oncology and the division of biomedical and biological sciences and was an adjunct faculty at the department of Electrical engineering. He is currently an Associate Professor at McGill University Health Centre/Medical Physics Unit and associate member of at the departments of Physics, Biomedical Engineering, and Experimental medicine. He is certified Medical Physicist by the American Board of Radiology. He is a recognized expert in the fields of image processing, bioinformatics, computational radiobiology, and treatment outcomes modeling and has published extensively in these areas. He is an acting member of several academic and professional societies, which include IEEE, AAPM, ASTRO, ESTRO, and COMP and participates in their meetings and serves in their task groups. His research has been funded by several federal and private grants and serves as a peerGreviewer and associate editor for several leading international journals in his areas of expertise. He is currently a designated FRSQ and CIHR scholar.
Our lab’s general research interests are in the areas of oncology bioinformatics, multimodality image analysis, and treatment outcome modeling. The primary motivation is to design and develop novel approaches to unravel cancer patients’ response to chemoradiotherapy treatment by integrating physical, biological, and imaging information into advanced mathematical models. These models could be used to personalize cancer patients’ chemoradiotherapy treatment based on predicted benefit/risk. Our group’s research interests involve three themes:
Bioinformatics: design and develop datamining methods and software tools to identify robust biomarkers of treatment outcomes from clinical and preclinical data.
Multimodality image-guided and adaptive radiotherapy: design and develop methods and algorithms for multimodality registration/segmentation, feature extraction, and real time treatment planning optimization.
Radiobiological modeling: design and develop predictive models of tumor and normal tissue response to radiotherapy by exploring physical and biological interactions using systemG based and machine learning approaches. Design and development of therapeutic interventions for protection of normal tissue toxicities
Molecular Biophysics; Microbiology; Immnology
Jay L. Nadeau is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Physics at McGill University (2004Gpresent) whose research interests include nanoparticles, fluorescence imaging, and development of instrumentation for detection of life elsewhere in the Solar System. Her group was the first to label bacteria with quantum dots, and to explore the possibility of using fluorescent labels as tools for detection of traces of extraterrestrial life. Every year she travels to the Canadian High Arctic to do field work at the McGill Arctic Research Station (MARS), a Mars analog site at nearly 80 degrees North latitude. She has published over fifty papers on topics ranging from theoretical condensed matter physics to experimental neurobiology to development of antiGcancer drugs, in the process using almost every single one of the techniques described in this book. Her work has been featured in New Scientist, Highlights in Chemical Biology, Radio Canada’s Les Années lumière, Le Guide des Tendances, and in educational displays in schools and museums. Her research group features chemists, microbiologists, roboticists, physicists, and physicianG scientists, all learning from each other and hoping to speak each other’s language. A believer in bringing biology to the physicists as well as physics to the biologists, she has created two graduate level courses: Methods in Molecular Biology for Physical Scientists and Mathematical Cellular Physiology. She also teaches Pharmacology in the medical school and is actively involved in creating and improving multipleGmini interviews (MMIs) for medical school admission. She received her PhD in physics from the University of Minnesota in 1996.
The research in the Nadeau lab focuses on design of nanomaterials with photophysical properties that allow them to push the boundaries of biological sensing and targeting. By creating probes that are brighter, longerGlasting, sensitive to novel processes and at smaller spatial scales, we will be able to create therapeutic agents as well as to address critical biological questions such as how networks of cells communicate, how bacterial biofilms form, and what signals are critical for inducing cell death. Specific projects include: biofunctionalization of heavyGmetalGfree semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) for in vivo theranostics; generation of targeted gold nanoparticle conjugates for clinical trials in melanoma and other cancers; development of radiosensitizing nanoparticles for cancer therapy; and development and testing of techniques and instruments for realGtime, 3D cellular imaging, including holographic microscopy and photoacoustic imaging.
Radiochromic Flim Dosimetry; Brachytherapy Physics; PET Imaging in Radiotherapy
Slobodan Devic obtained his M.Sc. degree in nonGideal plasma physics and his Ph.D. degree in Solid State Physics in 1997 at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. He moved to the USA in 1998 where he worked as a Research Associate in Radiation Oncology Physics at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, St. Louis, Missouri. Subsequently, he moved in 2000 to the Montreal General Hospital and McGill University where he was enrolled into the Medical Physics Residency program. Upon finishing his residency in 2002 he joined the Medical Physics Unit at the McGill University and, in 2008, he moved to his current position at the SMBD Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. He is a Fellow of the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine and his major research interests are radiochromic film dosimetry and its applications, image guided brachytherapy with particular interest in preGoperative endorectal brachytherapy, and the incorporation of the functional imaging information into radiotherapy treatment planning process. Dr. Devic is also teaching Physics in Nuclear Medicine course at the McGill University and as of 2009 he became a member of the Editorial board of the Medical Physics journal.
Research program of Slobodan Devic revolves around: