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Chemistry professor wins award for research on cancer radiation therapy

Dr. John A. Adamovics named a recipient of the prestigious Farrington Daniels Award
By
Adam Grybowski
03/25/2016
Chemistry professor wins award for research on cancer radiation therapy

John Adamovics created anatomically accurate three-dimensional dosimeter to help understand where radiation is deposited during treatment.

Dr. John A. Adamovics, an adjunct professor of chemistry in Rider University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was recently named a recipient of the prestigious Farrington Daniels Award.

He received the award for best paper on radiation dosimetry published in Medical Physics in 2015 for his paper, “Investigating the accuracy of microstereotactic-body-radiotherapy utilizing anatomically accurate 3D printed rodent-morphic dosimeters."

He will be honored by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine at an awards ceremony during the association’s upcoming meeting in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Aug. 1. The event draws about 4,000 participants and is the world's largest medical physics meeting.

“The award was a complete surprise, but I was delighted to receive it,” Adamovics says. “As a chemist, being honored in a completely different field is satisfying.”

Adamovics, who received his doctorate in chemistry in 1976 from Colorado State University, conducts academic research on radiation and oncology. The paper for which he won the award summarizes Adamovics' research with colleagues at the Duke Medical Center on how to improve upon radiation therapy for cancer patients. More than 20 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with cancer, and nearly two-thirds of them will receive radiation therapy. While such therapy kills cancer cells, it can also damage normal cells, leading to serious side effects.

New research has focused on how to improve radiation therapy. One of the approaches has been to study the effects of three-dimensional radiation treatments on rodents. Adamovics says he “created for the first time” an anatomically accurate three-dimensional dosimeter to help understand where radiation is deposited during treatment.

In addition to his oncology research, Adamovics has also been devising a method to detect many of the common injuries runners experience using infrared cameras. For more than a year he has been assessing the injuries of Rider track athletes by measuring the heat that radiates from their injured muscles. Adamovics says he is the sole scientist in the United States to adapt this insight and technology for this particular use.