Member of the Molecular Imaging, Bio-X, and Cancer Biology programs
Although he spent the first four years of his life in the frozen tundra of Rochester, New York, Ted considers himself a Bay Area native after spending the next 23 years here. He went to school just across the bay from Stanford at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, graduating in 1992. At this point, Ted weighed potential career options and faced a difficult decision between:
a) Drawing cartoons of giant fighting robots,
b) Writing the great American novel,
c) Finding a way to monetize his Nintendo skills,
d) Becoming a misunderstood and mythologized rock star, or
e) Spending long hours and years stuck in a laboratory in a basement somewhere.
Naturally, the undying appeal of a life devoted to science won out, and Ted headed (not too far) north to Berkeley to study bioengineering, a discipline that sounded interesting enough. Somewhere over the next four years, while continuing to fend off temptation from some of those career plans (d in particular kept rearing its head), he developed generally disparate interests in neuroscience and in medical imaging. While approaching receipt of his bachelors degree, the horrors of having to pursue a real job suggested to Ted that graduate school might be a convenient alternative. Clinging to his status as a naturalized Bay Area native, he decided to join the PhD program in Bioengineering between UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco.
Shortly after entering graduate school, Ted joined the Magnetic Resonance Science Center at UCSF under the mentorship of Dr. Sarah Nelson to follow one of those previously acquired interests (imaging). And there he stayed for the next five years, using MR spectroscopy to study brain tumors and how they respond to radiation therapy. He somehow managed to continue to resist the allure of alternate job possibilities, including the omnipresent option of working on that "rock god" persona, as well as jumping into the burgeoning and never-going-to-slow-down-no-way-no-how web industry. In 2003 he earned his PhD, and decided to take a postdoctoral position in molecular imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, for reasons including wanting to see the rest of the country, to study a new subject, and to experience a temperature lower than 40 degrees.
As a postdoc in the Center for Molecular Imaging Research, Ted focused on development of methods for tomographic imaging of fluorescent probes. This allowed him to both explore and develop a new imaging modality as well as to gain experience in molecular probe development as well as in the biology toward which these methods can be applied. Despite his positive experiences in the lab, the siren song of the Bay Area proved too great, and when a faculty position in Radiation Oncology at Stanford became available, Ted soon found himself packing his bags once again and returning to his beloved Bay. This move was not undertaken without a significant amount of hesitation, in large part due to the difficulties Ted had in justifying a switch in allegiance from Cal to Stanford.
Ted's lab at Stanford, which came to be dubbed the Imaging Radiobiology Laboratory, has evolved from a myriad of interests to apply the talents of engineers, biologists, chemists, physicists, and computer scientists toward understanding cancer and radiation biology using an imaging-based approach. The lab balances development of novel imaging and radiotherapy methods with their application to study how tumors and other tissues respond to radiation at the molecular, cellular, and tissue level.