Imaging & Medical Physics

Imaging science has always been driven by fundamental physics. Medical physics provides the technical foundations of radiology, radiation oncology, and nuclear medicine. It is built on a foundation of physics, but with distinct body of knowledge and scholarship.

Work at in Imaging & Medical Physics at Duke falls into two broad categories. At one extreme, we develop next-generation techniques (such as hyperpolarized magnetic resonance imaging and nonlinear microscopy), applying quantum mechanics to extract molecular information that is not commonly present in existing modalities.

At the other extreme, Duke Physics works closely with the Medical Physics program (centered in School of Medicine), where a major thrust is validation, refinement, and coregisteration of existing imaging and treatment modalities to make them clinically useful.

Associated Centers and Laboratories

The Medical Physics program draws faculty members from five departments: Radiology, Radiation Oncology, Radiation Safety, Physics, and Biomedical Engineering. Thanks to the diversity of our faculty, Duke Medical Physics is one of few programs that offers balanced training in four tracks covering every major area of medical physics: diagnostic imaging, medical health physics, nuclear medicine, and radiation therapy.

The Center for in vivo Microscopy is a hub of Imaging Physics research at Duke. This NIH-supported Regional Resource, has strong efforts in hyperpolarized MR (lung imaging with hyperpolarized noble gases, parahydrogen based technologies for carbon and nitrogen molecular polarization) and many other imaging technologies, largely at the preclinical (animal) level.