UCI medical physicist Al-Ghazi receives prestigious career achievement award from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine

Al-Ghazi also elected a fellow of the International Organization of Medical Physics

September 13, 2018

The American Association of Physicists in Medicine has awarded Muthana S. A. L. Al-Ghazi, PhD, the Marvin M. D. Williams Professional Achievement Award for his eminent career in medical physics with an emphasis on clinical medical physics. The award is given annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of medical physics during his or her career. These contributions include both professional and scientific service. Only 36 medical physicists in the US have garnered this award. 

Al-Ghazi is the director of medical physics for UCI Health and is a clinical professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, UCI School of Medicine.

Muthana Al-Ghazi, PhD

The award is named after Marvin M.D. Williams, a medical physicist who made outstanding contributions to medical physics both in the United States and in China, and one of the founders of the AAPM. He contributed not only to the science of medical physics but also to its professional development. It was presented at the recent annual AAPM meeting in Nashville at which Al-Ghazi made two presentations, in addition to the acceptance speech.

Al-Ghazi was recently elected a fellow of the International Organization of Medical Physics, one of fewer than 50 in 87 countries worldwide. He received the award at the World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering in Prague, Czech Republic in June, where he also gave a presentation on intraoperative radiotherapy. He was named a fellow of the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine in 1988 and AAPM in 2008. He is board certified by the American Board of Radiology and the American Board of Medical Physics in therapeutic medical physics.

Al-Ghazi came to UCI in 1998 from the Fraser Valley Cancer Centre, in British Columbia, Canada. He earned his PhD in nuclear physics at University of Manitoba in Canada and completed his residency in medical physics at London Regional Cancer Centre, Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation in Canada. He has assumed positions of increasing responsibility in Canada and the United States, culminating in his present position in the UCI School of Medicine and at the UC Irvine Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also directs a Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs-accredited medical physics residency and Joint Review Committee on the Education of Radiologic Technologist-accredited medical dosimetry training programs.

In 2011, Al-Ghazi earned the “Educator of the Year” award from the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology for excellence in resident education. In 2010, the International Medical Corps awarded him “Volunteer Doctor” recognition for humanitarian service in war-torn Iraq. He contributes to international medical physics activities and educational programs with an emphasis on the Middle East. He won many other awards from several Middle Eastern countries. 

Medical physicists work directly with radiation oncologists to develop individual therapy plans for cancer patients requiring radiation treatment as part of their clinical management in the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. The medical physicist takes precise measurements of radiation beam characteristics to ensure that complex treatments are properly tailored for each patient’s needs.

Al-Ghazi’s research interests include application of new technologies in the accurate and precise planning and delivery of radiation treatment to cancer patients, Yttrium-90 radioembolization for liver tumors, and intraoperative radiotherapy, amongst others. Al-Ghazi is the author or co-author of more than 170 papers, book chapters, reports and abstracts in journals, conference proceedings, and other venues. He has been an invited/contributing speaker at more than 90 regional, national and international conferences.

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