Stony Brook University PhD student James Scheuermann won first place in the John R. Cameron Young Investigators Competition held by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). The award was presented at the 58th annual AAPM meeting in Washington, DC, July 31 through August 4. The competition is held each year for young investigators, with the top projects presented in a special symposium at the annual meeting.
Scheuermann is studying medical physics in the Departments of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering. He is a research assistant in the Digital Radiological Imagining Laboratory led by Wei Zhao, a professor in the Department of Radiology. Scheuermann received the award for his research, titled “Low Dose Imaging with Avalanche Amorphous Selenium Flat Panel Imager,” which focuses on improving the effectiveness of radiological imaging techniques (e.g., mammography, CT, fluoroscopy). This research also received awards at the Brookhaven National Laboratory Young Researchers Symposium and the SPIE Medical Imaging: Physics of Medical Imaging Conference in California.
Diagnostic medical physicists strive to provide doctors with high-quality images to diagnose a multitude of diseases while exposing the patient to the least amount of radiation possible. This novel detector uses unique properties of amorphous Selenium to amplify the image signal and reduce the effects of noise. The image to the right is of the tails side of a Canadian penny. The left half of the image was acquired with a state-of-the-art, commercial x-ray detector. With the same low radiation dose, the right half of the image was acquired with the first prototype solid-state avalanche amorphous selenium detector. The drastic improvement in image quality can help reduce radiation dose to patients. The lab strives to bring this technology to the fields of medical x-ray imaging, scientific x-ray imaging and optical imaging.
Scheuermann received his MS in Physics from Case Western Reserve University in 2013 and his BS in Physics from Binghamton University in 2011. After completion of his doctorate, he plans to obtain clinical training through a medical physics residency with the goal of becoming a professor of radiology.