Biomedical physics (also known as medical physics) is a branch of physics concerned with the application of physics principles, theories, and experimental methods into the modern practice and research of medicine.
Biomedical Physics Program
Our undergraduate biomedical physics program was initiated over 10 years ago by Dr. Amir Huda with the financial support of a training grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The main goal of the program was to prepare our graduates to enter into the very competitive graduate programs (MS or PhD) in medical physics. Graduate school (at least at the MS level) and medical physics residency (imaging or therapy) are required by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) that certifies most of the medical physicists in the United States. About half of our past graduates successfully sought other opportunities in related careers such Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) or Nuclear Medicine Technologist. Starting in the junior year, the program includes courses which prepare the student with the fundamental physics knowledge and experimental methods broadly used across all medical physics specialties. Our program is currently supported by two physics faculty members (Dr. Amir Huda and Dr. Mihai Gherase) and three adjunct faculty members who are certified practicing medical physicists in the Fresno-Clovis area: Drs. Richard Dunia, Gopi Solaiappan, and Georg Weidlich. Our Seminar in biomedical physics course (Physics 155) includes invited talks from our adjunct faculty, former students, and research or practicing medical physicists. Thus, students find out first-hand about clinical Medical Physics and related careers, graduate school experiences, medical physics residency system, various career-paths, etc. The course also offers the opportunity to learn about subfields of medical physics not covered in our formal course curriculum.
Our program has the distinct advantage of small class size, a dedicated and recently updated classroom, individual academic and career advising, and hands-on laboratory and clinical equipment experiences. Our students also have research opportunities in the area of medical and biological x-ray fluorescence (XRF) under the supervision of Dr. Mihai Gherase in his microbeam lab located in the Science 2 building. Hands-on experience with the linear accelerator (LINAC) at the local Fresno Cancer Centre under the guidance of Dr. Rick Dunia is also a possibility for students interested in the radiation therapy area. In the past, our graduates also had career-changing summer research internship opportunities at clinical centers in California or across the country. More recently, research opportunities for undergraduate students in experimental biophysics, are also available at the nearby University of California, Merced.