Projects and Research Interests
Post Doctoral Associates
Mike Sano, PhD | CAP Profile
Dr. Sano studies the complex interaction between biological systems and electromagnetic fields. His research focuses on the development of advanced cancer detection, imaging, and treatment platforms. As a graduate student he developed a technique for building custom tissue scaffolds from the nano-scale up using electric fields to manipulate biological processes. For his Ph.D. he developed a platform technology for detecting cancer, contactless dielectrophoresis (cDEP), which sorts cells based on their electrical properties. As a postdoctoral fellow, he has been developing a minimally invasive cancer therapy, high frequency irreversible electroporation (H-FIRE), which destroys tumors using brief yet intense electrical pulses. Dr. Sano was also recently awarded the DOD Prostate Cancer Research Fellowship to study photo-acoustic ultrasound imaging techniques for distinguishing benign from malignant prostate cancer. More information on Dr. Sano’s research can be found on his professional website www.mikesano.com
Marjan Rafat, PhD | CAP Profile
Title: Radiation Effects on Tumor Cell Migration. I study how radiation therapy affects tumor cell migration in breast and lung cancer. I am examining how radiation influences the ability of tumor cells to enter the circulation, stimulate tumor recurrence, and respond to changes in the local microenvironment. My research will determine the relationship between circulating tumor cell dynamics and cancer progression.
Juheon Lee, PhD | CAP Profile
Juheon has been working on developing image registration and segmentation algorithms in remote sensing. His current research is focused on designing a novel graph based algorithm to analyze high resolution pathology images.
Don Vernekohl, PhD | CAP Profile
Don is working on the next generation of dosimetry detectors build from diamondoid and nano-diamonds. He studied at the University of Münster and CERN where he worked on detector development and instrumentation. Beyond diamond detectors, he is interested in preclinical PET detectors based on semi-conductor and gas detectors as well as applications in high energy physics and radiation therapy.
DengwangLi, PhD | CAP Profile
Title: Medical image processing for automatic treatment planning. In the Xing lab he is working with Dr.Ruijiang Li and Dr. Xing Lei on the medical image processing with the application on the cancer treatment. Dengwang Li's project aims at developing automatic registration, segmentation and other image processing algorithms for efficient treatment planning.
Debanti Sengupta, PhD | CAP Profile
Debanti is a postdoctoral scholar in the Pratx lab. She completed a Bachelor's in Chemistry from Amherst College, and a PhD in Chemistry from Stanford under Prof. Sarah Heilshorn's guidance. Her dissertation research consisted of the development of protein-based biomaterials for muscle tissue engineering applications. She has also completed a short postdoc at UC Berkeley under Prof. Song Li's guidance. Her current research is focused on the characterization of circulating tumor cells using radioluminescence microscopy.
Tae Jin Kim, PhD | CAP Profile
Tae Jim Kim's research focuses on utilizing imaging techniques to enhance diagnostic modalities. He projects are largely classified into small and large scale diagnosis: 1) in the small scale, I encapsulate radiolabeled cancer cells into individual micro-packets and detect signals with the aid of droplet microfluidics and 2) in the large scale, I detect optical signals resulting from the interaction between electron beam source and matter (eg. air, tissue and etc.)..
Qian Wang, PhD | CAP Profile
Qian Wang is a postdoc in the Pratx Lab. She got her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Physics from Northeastern University (2007) and Peking University (2010), China, respectively. And she received her doctoral degree in Electric Engineering from Technical University Munich, Germany (2015), supervised by Prof. Sybille Ziegler and Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos. The studies of her PhD dissertation are focused on the high resolution positron imaging and the pathophysiological modeling of tumor metabolisms. Her current research is on the simulation of single cell imaging with radioluminescence microscopy and the investigation of tumor cell metabolic pathways by computational modeling.
Stefania Trovati, PhD | CAP Profile
Stefania works on the development of a novel radiation-therapy technique, based on ultra-fast irradiation with photons and very high-energy electrons. The main focus of her research is the development of an efficient way to produce photons, and the design and optimization of the collimation system. Stefania has worked at several proton and carbon-ion therapy facilities (CNAO, PSI, MedAustron) and at CERN, on design, development and commissioning of accelerators and beam-delivery systems.
Morteza Mardani Korani, PhD | CAP Profile
Morteza earned Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a PhD minor in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota, twin cities (September 2009 – May 2015). His background is generally on statistical signal processing and machine learning, where during the course of Ph.D. he has worked on various large-scale data and network science problems. Morteza was a Visiting Scholar with the AMP Big Data Lab and the International Computer Science Institute at UC Berkeley from January to May 2015. Since June 2015, he is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the School of Medicine, Stanford University, working with Prof. Lei Xing. He aims to leverage his learning background to develop healthcare data analytics that can facilitate the radiosurgery treatment of cancer patients. His current focus is on (i) real-time volumetric MRI image reconstruction for tumor localization in radiotherapy; and (ii) automated treatment planning from historical plans via deep learning.
Siddique Khan, PhD | CAP Profile
My previous research work was focused on the modeling of inter-particle interactions and the study of self-assembly behavior using Molecular Dynamic and Monte Carlo Simulation of colloidal and nanoscale particles. I completed postodoctoral training and a certificate program in Medical Physics in preparation to transitioning to the field in summer 2015 and currently, I am working with Prof. Fahimian on developing a Trajectory Modulated Stereotactic Radiosurgery Technique.
Jihye Choi, PhD | CAP Profile
Jihye Choi is a postdoctoral scholar in the Pratx Lab. She received the Ph.D degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Yonsei University, South Korea, in 2014. Her dissertation research was molecular imaging of functional biomaterials through synthesis of inorganic/organic nanoparticle for application in nanomedicine and cellular interrogation. She is interested in developing and combining nanostructured systems and x-ray radiation using functional materials for ROS imaging and therapy.
Gregory King, PhD | CAP Profile
Greg is working as postdoctoral scholar on the PHASER project, which has the goal of developing a a novel linear accelerator, based upon high-energy electron beams that are electromagnetically steered. The initial focus of project is to investigate the radiobiological effects following very high dose rates. Greg will be involved in developing rapid adaptive treatment planning algorithms and investigation of non-coplanar beam geometry, in order to reduce patient treatment times and improve treatment accuracy.
Jia Wu, PhD | CAP Profile
Jia is working on extracting clinically relevant features from multimodality cancer imaging and implementing these features to monitor, predict and guide the cancer treatment. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, and his dissertation topic is "In Vivo Human Right Ventricle Shake and Kinematic Analysis with and withough Pulmonary Hypertension". Then, he joined the Department of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania as a postdoctoral researcher, where he worked on developing imaging markers to predict early breast cancer response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Youming Yang, PhD | CAP Profile
Dr. Yang will be working on the development of a clinical MC QA system for rapid patient specific QA of VMAT and IMRT. Specifically, he will be improving on methods of patient-specific dose monitoring, verification, and 3D dose distribution reconstruction using Electronic Portal Imaging Device (EPID), for the purposes of improving the existing quantitative analysis tools for assessment of dosimetric discrepancy between planned and constructed doses. His research will provide a multi-faceted QA tool for safe, accurate and efficient VMAT/IMRT treatment and promise to revolutionize the clinical patient specific QA practice.
Christopher Locke, PhD| CAP Profile
Chris is a postdoctoral scholar working with Dr. Karl Bush. His research focuses on the development of techniques to create radiation therapy treatment plans for cases where the tumor regions are nearby vital organs. He is working to improve techniques of delivering dose in a way that spares such organs of as much radiation dose as possible.
Emil Schueler, PhD | CAP Profile
Emil is working within the PHASER project, a large multicenter project, with the goal of developing a new medical linear accelerator design, based on very high-energy electron beams that can be steered electromagnetically to deliver extremely rapid and highly conformal radiation therapy. The main focus of his project is to investigate the radiobiological effects following very high dose rates, as well as investigate different aspects of treatment planning with very high-energy electrons. Emil received his Master’s of Science and Ph.D. from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is a licensed Medical Physicist by the Swedish National Board of Health.
Cesare Jenkins, Ph.D. Candidate
Cesare is a Ph.D. candidate working in the Xing lab to develop autonomous quality assurance and treatment monitoring systems. The systems make use of a novel beam visualization technique developed in the lab. Cesare also works on several projects utilizing emerging 3D camera and printing technologies to improve radiation therapy.
Baris Ungun, M.D.-Ph.D. Candidate
Baris Ungun is currently an M.D.-Ph.D. candidate in Bioengineering at Stanford University, working under the guidance of Professor Xing and Professor Stephen Boyd. His current research involves convex optimization in radiation therapy treatment planning.
Henry Wang, Ph.D. Candidate
Henry is working with the cancer treatment planning and bringing his background from electrical engineering into radiation oncology. During his undergrad at University of California, Berkeley, he used wavelet signal processing to reconstruct audio signals at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (http://engineering.berkeley.edu/2008/01/play-it-again-irene) During his M.S. at Stanford, he focused on image and signal processing and completed several computer vision projects on mobile devices (http://www.stanford.edu/class/ee368/Project_10/). He also did independent studies on markov chain monte carlo in information theory (http://stanford.edu/~hwang41/) He has TAed 7 EE courses in Electronics, Parallel Computing using MPI, openMP, and CUDA over a period of more than two years. He worked as the head TA for Electronics, managing course organization with over 175 students and 7 TAs. He spent countless number of hours in the labs helping undergraduate students debug their circuits, in addition to substituting for the professor on a number of occasions. In his Ph.D. study, he is interested in knowledge based treatment planning. His previous project was on monte carlo on cloud computing, which he spent close to 2 years of time. The current project seeks to answer the question on how to use prior patient data to automatically derive new treatment plans. Much of the work has been in this active area of research which has been popular in the recent years. During his work in his Ph.D., he developed a proprietary software, which was later sponsored by Varian Medical System. On the theoretical end of spectrum, he is deeply interested in theory of probability and statistics. Although much of the theory has been limited only to special, simple cases, he nevertheless enjoys learning them in his spare time. He enjoys collaborating with colleagues from different fields and learning about the process of doing research more efficiently, in addition to doing research.
Luis Armando Soto, Ph.D. Student
Luis grew up in the Bay Area after moving to California from Peru with his parents when he was twelve. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2011 and 2014, respectively, from San Francisco State University. He joined Stanford University as a PhD student in the Cancer Biology program in 2014. Luis is interested in studying the role that immune cells play in mediating tumor survival, especially in identifying the molecular mechanisms that promote resistance to radiation therapy.