Invited Speakers

James Metz (Keynote Speaker)

James Metz

James Metz, MD serves as Professor and Chair of Radiation Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine and Associate Director for Clinical Services and Programs at the Abramson Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania.  He is also Executive Director of OncoLink, the award winning Internet resource from the Abramson Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania that was founded in 1994. Dr. Metz leads OncoLink’s mission to help cancer patients, families, health care professionals, and the general public find accurate cancer-related information online.  He has been in this role as Executive Director since 2014 and Editor in Chief since 2000 and have overseen every major expansion of OncoLink during that time period.  
Dr. Metz also specializes in the use of proton and conventional radiation for the treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies. His research interests include the treatment of GI malignancies in the multidisciplinary setting, the development of novel proton delivery techniques, and use of the Internet and informatics to develop personalized training for cancer patients and healthcare providers along with predictive analytic tools. He has overseen the development and operations of the Roberts Proton Therapy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, which is the largest and most advanced proton center in the world.  He has been instrumental in developing new technology for the delivery of proton therapy to cancer patients and an international leader in the field.  

Padraig Warde

Padraig WardeDr. Padraig Warde graduated from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, in 1977. He initially trained in internal medicine and medical oncology and subsequently qualified in radiation oncology. Dr. Warde joined the staff of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, in 1987. From 1999-2012 he was Clinical Head of the Radiation Medicine Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. He is currently the Provincial Head of the Radiation Treatment Program at Cancer Care Ontario (since Jan 2009). Dr. Warde is a Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto, and his major research interests include prostate and testicular cancer.

Lei Dong

Lei Dong

Lei Dong, Ph.D. serves as the Professor, Vice Chair and Director of Medical Physics at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Dong earned his doctorate degree in medical physics from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and has worked there for more than 18 years. He was a tenured professor and deputy chair at the department of radiation physics at MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 2012, he joined Scripps Health as the director and chief medical physicist for a new pencil-beam-scanning proton therapy center in San Diego, California – the first Varian ProBeam™ system in the United States. In 2017, he joined University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA as Vice Chair and Director of the Medical Physics Division.

Dr. Dong is a fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), and has involved in many professional activities, including a member of the therapy physics committee, the workgroup for particle beams, and the associate editor for the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics etc.  A nationally recognized expert in radiation therapy, Dr. Dong has co-authored more than 170 peer-reviewed articles and 14 book chapters. He has conducted innovative research and clinical development in image guided radiation therapy and proton therapy. Many of his research and developmental work have been translated into clinical practice.

Jürgen Debus

Jurgen DebusDr. Jürgen Debus is a medical doctor in radiation oncology and holds a PhD in physics. Since 2003, he is a full professor at the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University and Chairman of the department of Radiation Oncology at the Heidelberg University Hospital. Since 2009, he is one of the directors of National Centre of Tumor Diseases (NCT). Dr. Debus did pioneering work at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt to introduce carbon ion therapy in Germany that led to the founding of the Heidelberg Ion beam Therapy center (HIT) in 2009. Since then, he is medical director and executive director of the HIT. Heidelberg is one of the leading centers for radiation therapy worldwide since it covers the whole spectrum of radio-oncologic diagnostics and therapy. More than 3500 patients per year receive state-of the art radiotherapy treatment in Heidelberg.

The scientific activities of Dr. Debus are focused on the optimization of radiation therapy including all its facets: research and development of ion therapy, image guided radiotherapy and adaptive planning techniques. These technical approaches are complemented by research projects based at the NCT on the individualization of radiotherapy and multimodal cancer therapies. Dr. Debus is Member of various professional societies, e.g. the German National Academy of Sciences, the German Cancer Society and Member of the scientific council for clinical and basic research of the German cancer aid. From 2015 to 2017 he was elected president of the German Society for Radiation Oncology (DEGRO).

Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins, MD, is an associate professor of radiation oncology at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. She completed her residency in radiation oncology in 2010 at Washington University School of Medicine where she was chief resident. Dr. Perkins was an assistant professor in the department of radiation oncology at Vanderbilt University from 2010 to 2012 before returning to Washington University. She is chief of the pediatric radiotherapy service and serves as the director of the residency training program. Her areas of clinical practice and academic interests focus on Gamma Knife radiosurgery, proton therapy and pediatric oncology with a focus on brain tumor patients and the late effects therapy.

David Roberge

David RobergeDr. David Roberge is a Full Professor at the University of Montreal and an Adjunct professor at McGill University. He is a graduate of the McGill residency program and completed post-residency fellowship at Stanford and St. Jude Children’s research hospital. He is currently the Head of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the CHUM and Medical Director of CDL Proton Therapy. As a scientist, his clinical research has spanned the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma, cutaneous lymphoma, cancer of the young and brain tumours — most prominently those treated with radiosurgery. He has led FRQS-funded evaluation of the potential impact of proton treatments on pediatric and AYA patients in Quebec. He is currently involved in industry partnerships for technology evaluation and development in the field of radiation oncology. Dr. Roberge has been a local investigator for numerous clinical trials, often with exemplary accrual. He has been principal investigator for investigator-initiated work; most importantly, he is the principal investigator for the CEC.3 and CE.7 randomized trials. Dr. Roberge has directed workshops, review courses and a national radiosurgery meeting. He has traveled the world speaking on his areas of expertise, and has been a committee member of the IAEA and ICRU. Dr. Roberge has published over 100 scientific articles in well-recognized journals in the field of oncology — almost half as first or supervising author; he has also contributed to numerous chapters and review articles. Furthermore, he reviews manuscripts for more than 40 journals. Dr. Roberge’s goal is to develop new treatment paradigms and optimal implementations of modern radiotherapy technologies in Quebec.

Chris Beltran

Chris Beltran

Dr. Chris Beltran currently holds the rank of Associate Professor of Medical Physics, at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and Consultant at the Department of Radiation Oncology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.  He is the Vice Chair of the Division of Medical Physics, Chair of Therapeutic Medical Physics Research and head of Proton Treatment Planning.  His main responsibilities include researching, introducing and integrating novel and investigational equipment/methodologies into the clinic for use in radiation therapy, supervising other medical physicists, dosimetrists, and mentoring post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. Dr. Beltran’s clinical emphasis is on proton therapy for pediatric patients and his technical emphasis is on high perform computing for proton treatment planning, which includes GPU accelerated dose calculation and treatment planning, and machine learning for efficiency and safety.

Shannon MacDonald

shannon MacDonaldDr. Shannon MacDonald is a radiation oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and an Associate Professor of Harvard Medical School.  Her areas of research include pediatric malignancies with expertise in pediatric CNS tumors.   Dr. MacDonald serves on leadership committees for Children’s Oncology Group and is involved with the design of several COG protocols.  She has also pioneered the use of proton therapy for locally advanced breast cancer and serves as clinical Primary Investigator the multi institutional randomized trial for protons versus photons for locally advanced breast cancer (RADCOMP).

Samir Patel

Samir Patel

Dr. Samir Patel is a Radiation Oncologist with specialized training in stereotactic radiosurgery and proton beam radiotherapy having completed his residency training at McGill University and proton therapy fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In his current role at Alberta Health Services, his focus is in the management of primary and secondary tumours of the central nervous system, genitourinary tract, and pediatric malignancies. He serves as Provincial Chair of the Proton Therapy Referral Program at Alberta Health Services, Co-Director of the Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Program at the University of Alberta Hospital, and is a member of the ART2 LINAC MR development committee. As an Associate Professor in Oncology and Pediatrics at the University of Alberta, Dr. Patel is active in research in rare diagnoses and specialized techniques of radiation therapy. Dr. Patel serves as a Physician Member of the Out-of-Country Health Services Committee and enjoys his work as Board Member/Officer and Medical Adviser of the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Northern Alberta.

Derek Tsang

Derek TsangDr. Derek Tsang is an Assistant Professor at the University Toronto. He is appointed as a clinician-investigator in the Radiation Medicine Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and an associate staff physician at the Hospital for Sick Children. He completed his medical training at Queen’s University, followed by residency in radiation oncology at the University of Toronto. He obtained fellowship training in paediatric radiation oncology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Merchant, and completed a Masters’ degree in clinical epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is a member of the paediatric and adult central nervous system (CNS) tumour site groups, and treats all paediatric tumours as well as adult primary CNS neoplasms.

David Hodgson

David HodgsonDr. Hodgson is a Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, and Medical Director of the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO). He holds the POGO Chair in Childhood Cancer Control at the University of Toronto, and the radiation oncology lead of the Hodgkin Lymphoma Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group. His research is primarily focused on improving the treatment of pediatric and young adult patients, specifically by better understanding the long-term late effects of treatment and how they relate to optimally managing contemporary patients.