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Radiation Therapy Faculty

Department of Radiation Oncology

The medical physics community here is unique, and you’ll notice it as soon as you walk in the door. Our faculty members from both specialties are known for their constant open-door policy and eagerness to help you learn in any way they can.

Mahmoud Ahmed, PhD

Mahmoud Ahmed, PhD
Assistant Professor, Computational Physicist
Department of Radiation Oncology


Erin Chambers, MS

Erin Chambers, MS
Assistant, Medical Physicist

Erin Chambers dedicates herself to all kinds of teaching— both in and out of the classroom. In your courses, she’ll talk you through topics like dose planning and beam scanning. But the clinic can be a classroom as well, she says. When you’re in clinic with her, you’ll learn how to formulate radiation plans so that there’s minimal impact on non-tumor tissues. She’ll also walk you through the process of dose calibration and caring for various equipment— skills that will be fundamental for your future clinical practice.


George Ding, PhD (FCCPM)

George Ding, PhD (FCCPM)
Professor of Radiation Oncology

After almost two decades in the Vanderbilt community, Dr. Ding continues to be passionate about teaching med physics students. His courses in radiation, dosimetry, clinical applications, and Monte Carlo techniques provide great opportunities for practical learning and mentorship. Plus, Dr. Ding’s courses and research make room for your questions and insights: after all, he says, sometimes the best innovation emerges from questioning our fundamental assumptions about the field.


Michael L. Freeman, PhD

Michael L. Freeman, PhD
Professor, Radiation Biologist
Department of Radiation Oncology


Melissa Ghafarian, DMP

Melissa Ghafarian, DMP
Assistant Professor, Medical Physicist

Dr. Ghafarian knows what it means to complete full circle training at Vanderbilt. After committing to the four-year DMP program, she chose to stay on with the Vanderbilt faculty who had quickly become her trusted colleagues during her training here. Now, you’ll see her around campus as she advises students, teaches radiation therapy courses, and guides grad students and residents through quality assurance and treatment planning.


Austin Kirschner, MD, PhD

Austin Kirschner, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncologist
Department of Radiation Oncology

Dr. Austin Kirschner found his way to Vanderbilt during his residency in radiation oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. As a physician-scientist, he has explored cancer biology and possible therapies for prostate cancer while retaining clinical interest in the treatment of various other malignancies. He cares for patients with all kinds of cancer and some benign disorders treated with radiotherapy while also running a basic science laboratory that researches cancer biology and radiation biology. Dr. Kirschner will introduce you to the many diseases treated by radiotherapy in his Principles of Clinical Oncology course. He will give you a broad overview of anatomy with imaging, normal tissue tolerances to radiotherapy, and cancer epidemiology, staging, and modern clinical management.


Manuel Morales, PhD (DABR)

Manuel Morales, PhD (DABR)
Assistant Professor, Medical Physicist

After completing his medical physics residency at VUMC, Dr. Morales joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2008— and never left. After leading the radiation therapy graduate program for a few years, he’s still highly involved in therapy-oriented coursework and practicum. His own experience at Vanderbilt and in program leadership makes him a wonderful mentor for you as you enter our medical physics community.


Evan Osmundson, MD, PhD

Evan Osmundson, MD, PhD
Medical Director
Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncologist
Department of Radiation Oncology


Eric Shinohara, MD, MSCI

Eric Shinohara, MD, MSCI
Chair
Associate Professor, Radiation Oncologist
Department of Radiation Oncology


Adam Yock, PhD (DABR)

Adam Yock, PhD (DABR)
Assistant Professor, Medical Physicist

VUMC’s vibrant environment and the collaborative Radiation Oncology team drew Dr. Yock to Vanderbilt in the first place— and he’s excited to continue building that one-of-a-kind environment through mentorship and teaching. In your foundations, you’ll work with Dr. Yock on dose calculation algorithms and optimization techniques so you can create complex treatment plans for clinical cases.