Mary Bird Perkins – LSU Medical Physics Partnership Under New Leadership

11/28/2011 10:54 AM

BATON ROUGE – Kenneth R. Hogstrom, Ph.D., longtime leader of the medical physics partnership between LSU and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, recently retired after playing a pivotal role in its development and expansion. The program is one of only 29 graduate programs in the United States accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs Inc., or CAMPEP. Wayne Newhauser, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading medical physics scholars in proton therapy physics, has been appointed as Hogstrom’s successor. He brings a strong history of leadership in the field and experience at both the Harvard Medical School and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at Houston, where he helped to develop and implement proton therapy systems.

A retirement reception co-hosted by the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center was held at the LSU Faculty Club to honor Hogstrom, who was recognized for seven dedicated years of teaching, research, service and leadership with the joint Mary Bird Perkins – LSU program in Medical Physics, a public-private partnership which he was instrumental in growing.

The academic medical physics program is an applied physics program within the LSU College of Science. The partnership leverages Mary Bird Perkins’ clinical team and facilities, treatment planning and dosimetry laboratories, and commitment to patients as well as LSU’s expertise in imaging and medical physics within LSU’s Department of Physics & Astronomy. This combination of resources improves patient care, provides a rich arena for medical research and provides much needed manpower in this highly-specialized field for Louisiana and the nation.   

“The joint LSU-Mary Bird Perkins medical and health physics program started only 12 years ago. It has quickly become one of the foremost programs of its kind in the nation. Students graduating from the program have gone on to positions in hospitals and clinics in Louisiana and other states, residencies, and Ph.D. programs. Much of that rapid growth has been due to Ken Hogstrom’s leadership, and we expect the program to continue growing stronger with Wayne Newhauser now here with us,” said Michael Cherry, chair of the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy.

During his tenure, Hogstrom held the titles of professor and director, LSU Medical Physics and Health Physics Program; Dr. Charles M. Smith Chair of Medical Physics, LSU; and chief of physics, Mary Bird Perkins. He is being appointed professor emeritus at LSU and has accepted a three-year, part-time position at Mary Bird Perkins where he will continue work on important research initiatives, limited teaching duties and serve as a consultant to administration and staff.

“Ken’s leadership made the Mary Bird Perkins-LSU medical physics program a shining example of a successful public-private partnership. It brought together a powerful combination of resources that has made a real difference in the way cancer is ultimately treated, all benefitting the patient,” said Todd Stevens, president and CEO, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.  “On behalf of our Board of Directors, and many others in the community, we are grateful for his tremendous contributions to advance the fight against cancer through research and education. And, we are delighted that Dr. Wayne Newhauser has now joined us. Under his leadership, and expertise, the program will certainly continue to flourish.”

Newhauser has assumed all of Hogstrom’s former titles. A board certified and licensed medical physicist, Newhauser earned degrees in nuclear engineering and medical physics from the University of Wisconsin. He worked at the German National Standards Laboratory, the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at Houston. Newhauser has published more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, leads federal research grants, and mentors students and post-doctoral fellows. He also serves in leadership roles of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the American Nuclear Society.

“Dr. Newhauser’s outstanding research and scholarly credentials make him an excellent choice to continue and build upon Dr. Hogstrom’s legacy,” said Kevin Carman, dean, LSU College of Science. “I am excited that Wayne is taking the helm, and I am confident that the future of our outstanding joint program in medical physics with Mary Bird is in excellent hands.”


About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center:
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for more than 40 years. With five centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma and Gonzales, its service area encompasses 18 parishes across southeast Louisiana. Through a series of innovative partnerships, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is succeeding in its mission “to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer through expert treatment, compassionate care, early detection, research and education.”


Amy Benton
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

Ashley  Berthelot 
LSU Research Communications

Posted on Monday, November 28, 2011