Get to Know: Chief Medical Physicist Jun Yang

Our chief medical physicist, Dr. Jun Yang, is one of the most experienced CyberKnife® physicists in the country and has spearheaded numerous studies on radiation dosage safety for patients receiving stereotactic body radiation therapy.

Dr. Yang serves as chairman of the physics committee and on the board of directors of the Radiosurgery Society. He was also lead author of a chapter dedicated to CyberKnife in the recently published “Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy.”

Read more about his experiences since joining Philadelphia CyberKnife:

What inspired you to become a medical physicist?
I originally planned to be a biomedical engineer but focused on medical imaging before earning my PhD. I discovered therapeutic medical physics after spending three years researching optimization and image processing. I learned that my research was a solid foundation for understanding how to create an optimal patient treatment plan and assist with precise treatment delivery. Once I realized I could help cancer patients with my knowledge, I knew nothing else could beat that.

What do you like best about your job?
We see more and more patients returning for their follow-up appointments feeling great and doing well. It’s a really great feeling to make such a positive impact on a patient’s life.

Describe one of your most memorable experiences since you began working at Philadelphia CyberKnife.
One of my most memorable experiences would be having the opportunity to learn from world-renown radiobiologist, Dr. Jack Fowler. In 2008, Dr. Fowler made the first of three visits to our center, and his lecture showed me not only that were we providing an excellent treatment option for patients, but also we were doing so using the safest and minimally toxic doses of radiation. Learning from him and having our treatment methods validated by someone so respected in the industry is something I will never forget.

What do you feel is the most important thing that Philadelphia CyberKnife offers?
Our center offered the first CyberKnife in Philadelphia, and we have treated more patients than any other CyberKnife in the region. We do not focus only on following the clinical trend, but also lead it with solid and consistent research effort.

How do you stay abreast of the latest medical developments?
Philadelphia CyberKnife has developed a strong research-oriented culture that encompasses knowing the latest advancements in all aspects of patient care. With our research nurse’s assistance, every team member specializes in a certain disease. We have also made a practice of sharing useful knowledge or research with our team members to encourage healthy discussion.