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Radiation Physics
Functional Imaging Group

Yue Cao, PhD:Professor of Radiation Oncology, Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, Head of Functional Imaging Group

The Functional Imaging Group in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan was established in 2003.

Metabolic and physiological imaging has been demonstrated as a means to customize radiation therapy (RT) based on an individual patient's prognosis or early response to treatment.  However, clinical utilization is challenging due to issues such as quantification and reproducibility of physiological images, heterogeneity of the image parameters in the tumor, and lack of quantitative and automated tools to derive meaningful metrics to support clinical decision making. In addition, radiation sensitivity of normal tissue function that is at risk for damage varies from patient to patient.   Assessing individual patient sensitivity to radiation using physiological imaging allows us to select patients for intensified treatment to improve outcomes while preventing organ injury.  Overall goals of our group are to develop and validate quantitative functional and metabolic imaging models and methods for physiological adaptation of radiation therapy based upon early assessment and prediction of tumor and normal tissue function response to treatment.  Also, we develop and optimize MRI techniques for using MRI as a sole imaging modality for RT planning.

Our research projects are funded by NIH grants (4P01CA59827 (Ten Haken), 1U01CA183848(Cao/Eisbruch), RO1 NS064973(Cao), RO1 CA132834 (Cao), and RO1 EB016079 (Balter/Cao)),  industrial grant (Siemens), and our institute and department funds.

Group Members

Yue Cao, PhD
James Balter, PhD
Hesheng Wang, PhD
Research Investigator
Antonis Matakos, PhD
Post-doctoral research fellow
Priyanka Pramanik, MS
Image Analyst
Lianli Liu, BS
Grad Student Research Asst.
Ross Avila, BS
Medical School Student

New Members

Deakeung  You, PhD, Post-doctoral research fellow in Sept. 2014
Madhava P Aryal, PhD, Post-doctoral research fellow in Sept. 2014
Tong Zhu, PhD, Post-doctoral research fellow (Med Phys Resident) in Sept. 2014
Eric Paradis, PhD, Post-doctoral research fellow in Oct. 2014
Adam Johansson, PhD, Candidate, Post-doctoral research fellow in Jan. 2015


Vijaya Nagesh, PhD, Junior faculty
P Wang, PhD, Post-doctoral/physics resident fellow
Chris Chapman, MD, Research assistant
Jonathan Alspaugh, MS, Undergraduate and post-graduate research assistant
Diana Li, MS, Undergraduate and post-graduate research assistant
John Hayes, Undergraduate research assistant
Kyle McMillan, Undergraduate research assistant
Orit Gutfeld, MD, Visiting clinical fellow
Ellen Kerkhof, Visiting doctoral student from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
Reza Farjam, PhD, Student of BME and post-doctoral research fellow
Colleen Fox, PhD, Post-doctoral/physics resident fellow
Mohammad Nazemzaseh, PhD, Post-doctoral research fellow
Ke Huang, PhD, Post-doctoral/physics resident fellow
Krithika Shanmugasundaram, Medical school student research assistant
Shu-Hui Hsu, PhD, Post-doctoral research fellow
Chris Chapman, MD, medical school student


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