LSU Medical Physics Graduate Student Stephanie Wang Awarded the First Hogstrom Scholarship
LSU Medical Physics Graduate Student Stephanie Wang Awarded the First Kenneth R. Hogstrom Superior Graduate Student Scholarship in Medical Physics.
The LSU-MBPCC Medical Physics Program has announced graduate student Stephanie Wang as the first recipient of the recently established Kenneth R. Hogstrom Superior Graduate Student Scholarship in Medical Physics. Stephanie is an M.S. student whose thesis research investigates the potential of improved electron radiotherapy machines for treating post mastectomy breast cancer.
The scholarship was established in honor of LSU College of Science Professor Emeritus Kenneth R. Hogstrom’s outstanding research, scholarship and mentorship of graduate students. The scholarship provides stipend support for an LSU medical physics graduate student performing innovative physics research in radiation oncology.
The program is a public-private partnership between LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center (MBPCC). The education program’s director, LSU Professor and Dr. Charles M. Smith Chair of Medical Physics Wayne Newhauser, noted “We are pleased to recognize Stephanie’s success and her potential though the award of this scholarship named in honor of Dr. Hogstrom, who directed the medical physics program from 2004 to 2011. We anticipate that the scholarship will have an immediate impact on Stephanie’s education and her early career. We also expect that her research project will lead to advances in health care for cancer patients here and elsewhere.”
An endowed fund for the scholarship was established in 2015. Since then, a fundraising effort has produced over $500,000, including over $300,000 from donors and $200,000 in competitive matching grants awarded by the Louisiana Board of Regents. Because the scholarship fund is endowed, the program anticipates awarding one scholarship each academic year.
According to Wang, “My first goal after graduating with an M.S. degree in medical physics is to complete a two-year residency training program in therapeutic medical physics and then achieve professional certification by The American Board of Radiology. This will help me obtain a clinical medical physicist position, ideally in a hospital or cancer center with students or residents. I plan to be an active member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine to help further my professional development and stay updated on new developments in the field so I can provide the best care to patients.”
Wang is performing her thesis research project under the supervision of Dr. Robert Carver, a medical physicist at MBPCC and an adjunct assistant professor in the program. According to Dr. Carver, “Stephanie’s recognition is so deserved and comes from a desire to further decrease the possibility of a secondary cancer, especially in younger women, a high-risk population since they have a long lifetime ahead of them. Her study of using novel electron radiotherapy machine technology with MBPCC’s recently developed intensity modulated bolus electron conformal therapy (IM-BECT) has the potential to impact patients here at home, and also around the world.”
Dr. Carver said that Stephanie’s research project will generate preliminary data needed to apply for future research grants that will provide evidence necessary to translate this technology from the laboratory to clinical practice. Stephanie and Dr. Carver plan to share their findings by writing a research paper for publication in an academic journal.
As a highly acclaimed educator and researcher, Dr. Hogstrom has had a remarkable impact on the practice of radiotherapy. Hogstrom integrated teaching, research and clinical practice to investigate and advance areas at the forefront of radiation therapy research, including the use of beams of electrons, X-rays, neutrons and pions, as well as image-guidance, intensity-modulation, stereotactic and molecular targeted therapy techniques.
“One of the greatest phases of my career has been working with my colleagues at Mary Bird Perkins and LSU and establishing one of the most respected medical physics training programs in the country,” said Hogstrom, who is LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy professor emeritus and senior medical physics advisor at MBPCC.
In 2004, Dr. Hogstrom and Todd Stevens, CEO of MBPCC, began a major revitalization and modernization of the medical physics partnership between LSU and MBPCC. The partnership leverages the education and research resources of LSU and the cancer expertise and facilities of MBPCC to train future medical physicists and to benefit patients receiving cancer care in southeast Louisiana. Today, the medical physics partnership offers M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs, a post-doctoral certificate training program, and a therapy physics residency training program. These programs attract applicants from around the world.
Dr. Jonas Fontenot, chief of physics and chief operating officer, radiation oncology, at MBPCC and an adjunct assistant professor in the Medical Physics Program, noted, “It is because of this type of support and the generosity of the community that we are able to continue advancing cancer care at such a rapid pace. We are also appreciative of the visionary work of Dr. Hogstrom. His leadership has created a legacy that will impact cancer care for generations to come, and Stephanie is one of the bright minds that will help propel this tradition of excellence in cancer care forward.
About the LSU Medical & Health Physics Program
The LSU Medical & Health Physics Program researches the applications of radiation technology for the health care, national defense and nuclear energy industries. This graduate program is nationally recognized, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs and has a 100 percent placement rate of its graduates. The faculty have research expertise in advanced technology for photon, electron and proton radiotherapies, targeted therapy using chemo-irradiation, diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine and radiation protection. Please visit https://www.lsu.edu/physics/graduate-programs/medical-physics/welcome.php for more information.
About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for almost 50 years. The cancer care organization provides care at nine centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma, Gonzales, Zachary, and Natchez, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses Southeast Louisiana and Southwest Mississippi regions. For more information, please visit www.marybird.org.
LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy
Scott J. Miller, APR
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center