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Mount Union Physics Students, Alumnus Branch Out into Medical Research and Practice

May 04, 2021

ALLIANCE, Ohio — The University of Mount Union’s physics program is developing students and an alumnus who are finding success in the field of medical physics.

Medical physicists work in health care and apply their knowledge of physics to the development and use of medical radiation treatments, devices, and technologies. They are often involved directly with a patient’s diagnosis and treatment, as well as with radiation safety.

Current students Daniel Adams ’23, a physics major of Mentor, Ohio and Alaina Kelley ’22, a physics and mathematics double major of Norwalk, Ohio, have been selected to participate in two prestigious programs in the coming months.

Adams has been selected as a participant in the XSEDE EMPOWER Learner Program. Supported by the National Science Foundation, the program supports students as they receive training in computational and/or data analytics research. Adams will develop Monte Carlo simulations at Mount Union to simulate and study proton beam therapy, a cutting-edge technique in the field of medical physics for treating deep-seated tumors. 

Kelley was chosen for a summer internship in medical physics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center through the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. This summer, Kelley will be working with Dr. Luis Perles, clinical assistant professor, on research involving the use of dosage volume histogram curves as planning criteria for radiation therapy treatments. 

Physics graduate Joe Winiecki ’19, originally of Stow, Ohio, has been named a resident in the radiation oncology medical physics program at the Medical University of South Carolina. In this two-year program, Winiecki will gain clinical experience and training and will earn his American Board of Radiology Certification for the practice of radiation oncology physics.

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