ASTRO 2021 elections are now open
ASTRO's 2021 official elections are now open. Voting begins at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, and will remain open until 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, July 9, 2021. Voting is being conducted electronically through a secure, Web-based system that ensures the authenticity and secrecy of each ballot. A biography and policy statement for each candidate can be viewed below. When you are ready to vote, click on the "Vote Now" button located at the top and bottom of this page, view the ballot and cast your vote.
Radiation oncology was among the fields least impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, speaking to the importance and resilience of our specialty. This finding from an analysis conducted by the American Medical Association is not surprising, given how well we came together as a field to address the challenges of the pandemic. This resilience, embodying ASTRO’s values of excellence in patient care, innovation and integrity, bespeaks our capacity for change which we now must channel to address our post-COVID challenges.
The declining number of resident applicants over the last few of years is on the minds of many in ASTRO. The last few months have seen our community’s organizations (e.g., SCAROP) and individual departments begin to move us toward a healthier future. However, much more substantive action will be needed. I commit to you, my fellow ASTRO members, that I will work tirelessly to harness ASTRO’s capabilities to address this issue. In addition, seeing the generational differences in response to this and other recent issues, I believe a formal inclusion of the voices of our passionate early career physicians into ASTRO’s structure is needed to assure ASTRO remains vibrant and relevant.
Diversity and division have also become important issues within our community. As is articulated in the Strategic Plan, ASTRO is committed to increasing the diversity of the field and an important step was taken recently with the creation of a Diversity Council within ASTRO’s governance structure. But there is much to do to attract more women and members of underrepresented minorities into our field and to increase their representation in leadership positions. Diversity is about recognizing and accepting we each only have one perspective and that we make better decisions as individuals and a Society when we listen to others. This two-way street is crucial as we focus on our specialty’s needs.
The imminent radiation oncology Alternative Payment Model for Medicare patients needs to be addressed. ASTRO and an extensive cadre of ASTRO member physicians including me have worked tirelessly for several years with CMS to develop this Model, appreciating the payment stability and quality improvement it promised. However, that collaboration does not mean an acceptance of an unfair and burdensome Model whose main accomplishment will be cutting reimbursement. I along with the other physician leaders and ASTRO staff will continue to work determinedly to improve the Model so that it delivers on its goals and enhances our ability to provide our patients with the highest quality of care.
There are many exciting opportunities for growth in our specialty including, but not limited to, immunotherapy-radiotherapy interactions, oligometastases, radiopharmaceuticals, FLASH therapy, particle therapy, artificial intelligence/data science and broadening of the scope of practice of our specialty to include aspects of cancer care beyond delivery of external beam radiotherapy. Crucially, we must increase our specialty’s basic research to promote development of these areas and to discover the next BIG idea(s) that will broaden our impact. In addition, further advances in our already remarkable educational and quality initiatives are needed as the science and the way we learn and share information evolves.
Thank you for taking the time to consider me as your President-Elect. I love this field and Society and commit to expend my full energy and ability to enhance this fabulous, important and resilient specialty.
I served on the ASTRO Board of Directors from 2016-2020 as the Government Relations Chair and Vice-chair after having served on the Government Relations Committee since 2006. I also serve, since 2015, on the Advisory Committee on the Medical Use of Isotopes for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Committee. This thirteen-member committee, only two of whom are radiation oncologists, advises the NRC on regulatory issues related to the medical use of radioactive materials which directly impacts brachytherapy, Gamma Knife radiosurgery and radiopharmaceuticals.
In these roles I have developed an expertise in the intersection of government regulations, lobbying, health policy and radiation oncology and have been involved in numerous decisions and discussions about how to navigate relevant issues and influence decisions in order to best serve our patients.
In my current position at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, as in my previous roles at other institutions, I have administrative roles that inform my knowledge about and view of our field. As Vice-chair for Network Integration and Quality, I am charged with integrating the ten sites within our system to provide similar high-quality care.
I have benefited from practicing at the flagship hospitals of academic medical centers as well as at a practice that was more akin to a community practice, albeit with strong academic aspirations. This diversity of practice settings has made me a more effective and broad-minded ASTRO leader.
In addition to these administrative roles, I have been academically active in prostate cancer and health policy. Earlier in my career I had the privilege of serving on the GU ASTRO Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee and chaired that committee for two years. I also maintain and cherish a vibrant clinical practice in GU and gyn cancers.
Radiation oncology is an established equal partner in cancer care. Our peers in other oncology specialties recognize our unique expertise and essential contributions to a multidisciplinary care team—but we have room to improve. Radiation oncologists have led many essential and innovative clinical research advances that enhance patient outcomes and extend survival. We can be proud of our specialty’s clinical and scientific accomplishments. Nevertheless, there remain opportunities to generate a better public profile amongst our patients and their communities and have a stronger voice in the future of multidisciplinary oncology.
The current ASTRO Strategic Plan was approved by the Board in 2017—more than 4 years ago. Today we are in a position to reflect on where that plan has brought us and whether or not it reflects our Society’s sustained vision. I believe the Board hit the mark on stating our specialty’s core values of Excellent patient care, Improved outcomes, Innovation, Integrity, and Diversity and Inclusion. We have made significant strides within most of these values, although we can do much better addressing Diversity and Inclusion. Much of our strategic plan remains relevant today.
Although we still attract exceptional medical students, we are now struggling to routinely fill our training slots with the strongest candidates. Over this past decade, we went from being the most competitive medical specialty to one where we are openly criticized by the next generation of physicians. This is partly due to oversupply, both real and perceived. Another concern is whether we are preparing our trainees for real-world challenges. Whether it be clinical practice, the board exams, or careers in academia, we need to prepare future radiation oncologists to meet the challenges of a dynamic workforce and competitive funding and reimbursement. ASTRO needs to understand the reasons for these changes and recapture our pre-eminent position amongst the bright young minds who seek a fulfilling career.
ASTRO has been the leader in advocating for our specialty to protect our patients’ access to the lifesaving care we offer. Our influence amongst policy-makers has been strong, despite the relatively small size of our specialty. Nonetheless, opportunities exist to address the ever-growing challenges of constrained reimbursement, third-party denials of care, pre-authorizations, and the concomitant administrative burden and burnout to which these barriers contribute.
Finally, this past year has been unlike any other in our lifetimes. Both COVID-19 and the global demonstrations highlighting social inequality have revealed much about our human character. ASTRO must ensure that our membership more closely represents the communities in which we practice. Achieving this will require a cogent, creative plan, hard work and long-term dedication, but we must start now. It is imperative that we build a pipeline of diverse students, trainees, and practicing oncologists. Only then can we enjoy the status of being truly equal amongst our peers, cement our future as opinion-leaders in oncology, and maintain access to all for the critical and cost-effective therapies that we provide.
Jeff Michalski, MD, MBA, FASTRO, is the Carlos Perez Distinguished Professor and vice-chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Washington University Medical School. He earned a BS in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 1982 and an MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1986. After starting residency in radiation oncology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, he completed his residency training and fellowship at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology and the Washington University School of Medicine in 1991. He earned an MBA from the Washington University Olin School of Business in 2001.
Dr. Michalski served as Vice-chair of the RTOG, leading its Advanced Technology Integration Committee. He is Co-chair of the Radiation Oncology Committee of the NRG. He was Chair of the Radiation Oncology Quality Assurance Committee of the Pediatric and Childrens Oncology Groups. He is Co-chair of the NCI Genitourinary Steering Committee and member of the bladder cancer panel of the NCCN. He is a member of the Siteman Cancer Center and is Medical Director of the center’s Clinical Trials Core and Siteman Cancer Network.
Dr. Michalski’s research interests include radiation dose escalation in prostate cancer; conformal therapy to reduce toxicity and neuro-cognitive effects in children; assessment of quality of life in survivors of adult and childhood malignancies. He is the principal investigator of the Advanced Technology QA Center (ATC). He was co-principal investigator for the Veterans Administration Radiation Oncology Practice Assessment program, reviewing quality of care at forty VA radiation oncology centers.
ASTRO’s Strategic Plan outlines the goal to remain not only an equal partner in oncologic care, but also to emerge as leaders in innovation, value, equality and comprehensive patient care.
ASTRO’s plan for increased national visibility is a sound strategy. I would encourage members to highlight the value of partnership with radiation oncology in oncologic research and clinical practice. Members should collaborate with other societies in tumor boards, scientific research, meetings and publications. Inviting other disciplines to our scientific meetings, to submit publications to our journals as primary or co-authors and to contribute to our podcasts can foster increased familiarity with our specialty. Likewise, we should embrace closer collaboration with other specialty societies.
Future innovations cannot be limited to technological advances. ASTRO member research evaluating how tumor biology affects radiation-tumor-normal tissue interactions is important, as the same molecular knowledge that drives innovative systemic therapies may have a profound influence on radiation therapy. Innovations in efficiency and safety combined with objective metrics should be encouraged and successes publicized. Educational opportunities that combine educational lectures with brainstorming sessions for interested members (and across disciplines) may also stimulate new ideas.
Radiation oncology has attracted the best minds and a concerted effort to showcase the advantages of our specialty and foster relationships with medical students and residents will maintain a strong specialty and society. Working to reflect the populations we treat is a goal that takes active effort and includes hiring decisions, mentorship and sponsorship. We need to be united in contributing to the positive narrative, while maintaining transparency and integrity.
As an active participant in health policy, it is apparent that involvement in value-based incentive models is imminent. ASTRO advocacy must continue to protect guideline concordant care, resist unnecessary practice burdens, avoid the inadvertent fostering of unfair competition, reverse payment cuts disguised as value and insist on the freedom to pursue innovation. ASTRO efforts in highlighting these issues and driving true value-based care will allow members to thrive in the future health care environment. Member engagement in health policy has been disappointing and there exists a need for emphasizing to members the direct impact the committee work has currently and for future practice. The health policy committee needs to stress that active engagement drives results, and I would like to see short informational podcasts on relevant topics.
Current health care paradigms place an emphasis on patient outcomes and satisfaction. Continuing work to increase or maintain tumor control while decreasing toxicity is a long-term goal and fostering an environment to do so will take continued research and advocacy for the freedom to seek new solutions. ASTRO should continue to support pathways, provide educational opportunities to fill physician, community and patient knowledge gaps and promote technology that helps provide consistent, high quality care. Methods to increase patient understanding and supporting decision algorithms to aid physicians, payers and patients on appropriate care is another step toward equalized, informed and compassionate care.
The ASTRO Strategic Plan recognizes impactful science is both a core value and an essential component of the future of radiation oncology. Science advances the public perception of radiation oncology and leads to critical improvement of clinical outcomes through translational science. The importance of basic radiation biology, medical physics and clinical research within our field cannot be overstated. The uniqueness of our field is in integrating biologic, physical, mathematical, engineering and clinical cancer care. This distinguishes us and furthermore positions our discipline as the potential glue for interdisciplinary cancer care among other oncology disciplines. Training the next generation of scientific leaders that is increased in diversity is vital for our future and will improve the quality of our research. We cannot advance without this investment in the next generation of leaders. In this role the opportunity to positively impact the resources and approaches needed from both internal and external sources is critical to attain success for our field. Working with policy and advocacy and fellow board members to enhance our scientific impact would be a committed privilege and inspire my leadership goals to benefit our ASTRO membership.
Dr. Buatti is Professor and the Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, a position that he has held with distinction since 2001, when he established an independent department at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. In 2005, he opened Iowa’s first Center of Excellence in Image Guided Radiation Therapy, which was innovative for its use of advanced 3D imaging including a 3T MR scanner and 40 slice respiratory-gated PET/CT scanner to better locate and treat tumors. As a clinician, he is a leading authority on the treatment of cranial malignancies. He is a prolific scholar having authored or co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed publications. He has published 22 book chapters.
With a life-long commitment to improve the quality of cancer imaging in therapy he served as the first chair of the Steering Committee for the Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN) and Chair of the Clinical Trials Design and Development Working Group and was a member of the Coordinating Committee for QIN. He has served on the ASTRO Education Committee, as Co-Chair of the ASTRO IHE-RO (Integrating Health Enterprise-Radiation Oncology) and served on the ASTRO Science Council Steering Committee. He chairs the ASTRO task force on Theranostics.
He is and advocate for diversity in the workplace and encourages the development of scientist-investigators through summer internships and the active recruitment of minorities. He supports an active Holman Pathway program for residents as well as a graduate program in Free Radical and Radiation Biology within his department.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the 2017 ASTRO Strategic Plan and how it relates to the Nominating Committee. As we approach the fifth year of this statement, it is important to reflect on accomplishments and delineate how new voices will move this vision forward. In addition, we (as ASTRO) need to reflect on, critically research and implement lessons learned over the last year of the COVID pandemic. Areas of concern include patient access to oncology care, telehealth and maintenance of provider wellbeing in these unprecedented times.
I believe that the key role of the nominating committee is to encourage a diverse talented pool of candidates to “put themselves out there” and thus develop a comprehensive panel for the members to vote on. Diversity in ASTRO is broad and deep. Can we do better – YES! Should we – YES! The committee term limits offered my most ASTRO endeavors encourages diversity and embracement of new ideas. Other ideas are below.
When this Strategic Plan was created, data science in medicine was in its infancy. Today, it is hard for any radiation oncology department to operate without some element of “big data” contributing to its daily routine. Radiation oncologists need to continue to be leaders in quality, safety and value based care. Those put forward by the nominating committee need to include leaders in safe value based care who are doing creative work in the all arenas – private practice, Veterans Administration/institutional settings and academic.
Scientific endeavors in physics and biology continue to be the bedrock of innovation in our field. Collaboration across the disciplines will result in exponential rewards, as will engagement with those outside of the field. Members who are working towards intra and inter-disciplinary research will be ideal candidates for moving our society into the next decade.
Finally, we need to facilitate leadership roles for those who are willing to engage the public, interface with our government and promote patient advocacy. We need to consciously and deliberately embrace gender and ethnic diversity in our ranks. These diverse voices of leadership will ring true to our patients and authentically disseminated our core values.
Once again, thank you for the opportunity to serve as a candidate for the Academic Physician Candidate for the Nominating Committee 2021.
Nicole Larrier, MD, MSc, is a radiation oncologist dedicated to the care of children, young adults and adults with complex malignancies ranging from classic pediatric malignancies to sarcomas to complex palliative care cases.
In her current practice she has the privilege of serving patients at a specialized academic hospital based clinic and in a rural single linear accelerator setting.
In addition to maintaining a busy clinical practice, Dr. Larrier is a longstanding member of the Hospital Ethics Service and one of three members tasked with hospital ethics coverage during the recent pandemic. She is also a Faculty Associate in the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine.
As a member of the Duke University faculty, she has engaged in Faculty Governance and was elected to the Academic Council (2014-2016 and 2018-present). Through this work, she was appointed to the University Faculty Hearing Committee in 2019. In recent years she has served as a Delegate for the medical schools Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee (2019-present), overseeing departmental DEI efforts.
Dr. Larrier is excited to use her skills and time to serve the ASTRO membership.
If elected as a member of the ASTRO Nominating Committee, I aspire to promote members of our community who can best represent us as leaders in society committed to advancing quality and accessible healthcare. I fully support ASTRO’s Strategic Plan and those priorities that most resonate with me are as follows:
Multidisciplinary cancer care. Only radiation oncologists have the foundation in training and longitudinal relationship with medical physics and dosimetry to truly understand our technological capacity and clinical implications, the radiobiologic consequences of radiation treatments, and the potentials in integration with other therapies. It is our responsibility as clinicians to engage in the forefront of multidisciplinary clinical care with our non-radiation oncology colleagues. Increasingly, with combined treatments with novel drugs such as targeted therapies and immunotherapies, the clinical advancements in disease response has sometimes come with humbling toxicities. There is an imperative need for the radiation oncologist to provide leadership in investigations to understand the merging of radiation biology with immunology and rest of clinical oncology. Similarly, our position as clinicians first enables us to best guide medical physics and our other technical colleagues towards advancements with greatest clinical utility.
Health care cost and access. The remarkable technological advancements in our field has come with a significant price to deliver this care. As a field, we are socially responsible for advancing healthcare that is accessible throughout the world and not just to communities of greater wealth. I seek to attract persons with expertise and interest in healthcare economics, health policy, social determinants of health, global health, healthcare disparities, among other multidisciplinary interests that are critical to providing affordable access to best cancer care. ASTRO’s leadership in proactively defining a longitudinal view is instrumental in advancing cancer care and the role of radiation therapy.
Quality of care. Quality begins with attracting tomorrow’s leaders and ensuring the highest quality clinical training with forefront research opportunities. In addition, shared values in education, diversity and social responsibility must be instilled early. The delivery of radiation therapy is only one small part of our responsibility. Excellence in comprehensive care requires an environment of implicit universal respect for each other. It mandates that there is diversity in our staff to reflect the populations we serve. It requires education to understand bridging the gaps of equity for healthcare workers and patients alike.
Communication and advocacy. I seek leaders for ASTRO who will represent us well as articulate communicators who in themselves have achieved national respect as outstanding professionals with the highest integrity. These ASTRO representatives will be responsible for defining radiation oncology to other interest groups and for engaging and educating the broader public.
In summary, the tasks of ASTRO and each of us as members is significant. If chosen as an Academic Physician of the Nominating Committee, I will endeavor to promote diverse talents to lead us with the common goal of quality, innovation, and the best clinical care.
It would be an honor to serve as your community practice radiation oncologist on ASTRO’s Nominating Committee. If elected, I would seek out a diverse slate of candidates for ASTRO positions who can elevate radiation oncology’s profile, foster innovative research, promote sound health policy, promote quality and safety in our field, and demonstrate the unique role radiation oncologists have in being physicians with technical expertise, practicing the art and humanity of medicine.
The Core Purpose, Core Values, and Vision of ASTRO's Strategic Plan resonated with me, but I really enjoyed reading "Vivid Description If Strategic Goals Are Achieved." Nevertheless, it should not take us 10+ years to get there. Most Americans have a positive perception of radiation oncology, but it could be better. Not only should we be quoted in mainstream media, radiation oncologists should, for a change, be the protagonist in medical dramas in the entertainment industry—that would surely increase positive public perception! Because in real life, we really do save the day--for inoperable patients, those too frail to tolerate systemic therapy, those needing acute symptom relief, and all those patients getting curative treatment.
As more patients survive their cancers with opportunities to develop new ones, it is the community radiation oncologist who is the steward of a woman's breast, uterine, and skin cancer, or a man's lymphoma, prostate, and tonsillar cancer. No other medical specialty can do this comfortably, making us natural leaders of oncology teams.
Surviving the oral boards equipped us with the ability to discuss plans of care and cite the literature during tumor boards. Recent years have brought a record number of radiation oncology specific papers published in mainstream high-impact journals. We have demonstrated the ability to deliver high value, cost effective care (and yet still got targeted for an alternative payment model). Through ASTRO's Advocacy Day, we actively engage with lawmakers to improve health policies.
A lot in ASTRO’s Strategic Plan is already happening. But reading this inspires me to think of where we can do better. More radiation oncologists need to take on leadership roles in organized medicine outside our field. More of us should be at the helm of NCI Comprehensive Cancer Centers. More of us should be the heads of medical schools, hospitals, hospital systems, biotech firms, think tanks, and county/state medical societies. Having a radiation oncologist chairing or co-chairing a NCCN Guidelines panel should be the expectation, not the exception. No longer will we be confined to the basement, as we lead and inspire our multidisciplinary colleagues to provide extraordinary, personalized care.
Dr. Join Luh is a radiation oncologist in rural private independent practice at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, CA, serving patients as far north as southern Oregon, and many rural outlying areas in northwest California. He is the clinical lead for the Providence St. Joseph Health System's Radiation Oncology Focus Group and represents Humboldt County to the Providence St. Joseph system's Cancer Leadership Committee.
His areas of interest include quality improvement, quality metrics, payment reform, clinical documentation, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing in medical technology, and augmented reality in radiation oncology. He has firsthand experience with the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in MACRA's Quality Payment Program (QPP). He is a bit uneasy about being mandated to participate in the Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model (RO-APM) but is grateful to have the support of ASTRO’s health policy and advocacy team. During his spare time, he enjoys mountain biking, surfing (on a paddle board), golf, catching fresh seafood from the Pacific coast, craft beers, Wisconsin cheeses and playing music.
ASTRO’s Strategic Plan represents a call to action for the Nominating Committee. The Plan leverages the core values of excellence in patient care, improved outcomes, innovation, integrity and diversity and inclusion to cast an inspiring vision where radiation oncologists take the lead in cancer care. It is the Nominating Committee’s responsibility to identify and select leaders who embody these core values and have personal experience advancing them. Through the device of vivid description, if strategic goals are achieved, the Plan profiles the qualities needed in future leaders. For example, as the organization seeks to improve the public perception and awareness of radiation oncology, the Committee may seek to measure the influence of potential candidates in social and traditional media platforms. The vivid description also illustrates how patients will look to radiation oncology as the leader of their oncology team. An ideal candidate would have a track record of strong interdisciplinary collaboration earning the respect of medical oncologists and surgeons, perhaps demonstrated through involvement in their specialty societies, NCCN or other multidisciplinary work. Spearheading the effort to optimize value, by reducing cost, improving outcomes, and improving patient satisfaction, leaders should have expertise beyond only clinical in the business of radiation therapy, healthcare policy, reimbursement, and revenue cycle. To assume the principal leadership role in multidisciplinary cancer care, potential officers should understand the complex issues and decision-making within hospitals and healthcare systems, as they distribute investments across service lines. In the goals and objectives, the Plan calls to elevate the profile of the field, increase the impact of research and innovation, shape health policy and promote quality and value. Within each of these categories, there is a simple goal followed by three to seven concrete objectives. The merit of potential candidates should be measured through the lens of these objectives. Beyond the purpose of slating leaders, ASTRO and the Nominating Committee must also invest in creating leaders to meet the objectives in the future. This could include expansion and augmentation of the Leadership Pipeline Program to rapidly increase the diversity of high-quality leaders in our field. A strategy of formal training with personal assessment, skill development and 1:1 professional coaching could be applied to widen the pool of effective healthcare leaders equipped to execute the ASTRO Strategic Plan.
Matt Manning is Cone Health’s Chief of Oncology leading six cancer campuses. He balances his executive leadership and clinical responsibilities with sub-specialization in prostate cancer. He is engaged in research on community implementation of high-tech therapies, including stereotactic radiosurgery and brachytherapy which have helped elevate his team’s cutting-edge clinical care at national meetings. In recent years, he has been published in the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics and International Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics. In 2016, his work around drastically reducing costs in Oncology received the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ Innovator Award. The project focused on the highest 5% cost patients, dubbed hotspotters, responsible for 50% of overall cost. The study showed that oncology costs are not driven by expensive cancer treatment, but, poor coordination of services in multiple comorbidity patients. He has also served as the Oncology Division Chief and Operating Committee member for his Next Generation ACO, Triad Healthcare Network (THN). THN recognizes that increasing value in clinical care not only includes cutting costs, but, also increasing quality. In 2018, THN received $13.2 million from Medicare for cost savings while ranking 5th in the country among Next-Gen ACOs in quality. As a member of the Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative, he has co-authored studies to eliminate racial disparity in cancer care. He was named a fellow in ASTRO in 2019. Dr. Manning is married with three daughters a Golden Retriever and a spoiled Aussiedoodle named Salem who likes to be scratched behind the ears.
I am honored to be selected as a Physicist Candidate for the ASTRO Nominating Committee. My policy statement for this committee position focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion. I strongly believe that having a diverse cohort of candidates for all positions is critical for the continued development and success of the field. There are many aspects to diversity, including race, ethnicity, and gender, as well as career rank, geographic location, size of primary institution and practice setting. There are many reasons that diversity is important, first it is the moral and ethical way for the society to act. Second, data shows that when leadership is diverse, it creates an authentic and inclusive society. Third, scientific data demonstrates that diversity in scientific teams leads to more innovation and improved performance. These three components are critical to the continued and expanding success of ASTRO. It will be my mission, if elected to the position of Physicist on the ASTRO Nominating Committee, to ensure equity and inclusion in the society through the nomination of a diverse slate of candidates for all positions.
I strongly agree with the core values of the ASTRO strategic plan: excellence in patient care, improved outcomes, innovation, integrity and diversity and inclusion. One of the strategic objectives of ASTRO is to have the radiation oncology field reflect the diversity of the patients served. This is precisely aligned with my policy statement above. For the radiation oncology field to achieve its full potential, students, trainees and scientists interested in joining the field of radiation must be able to self-identify with the diversity in membership, especially in leadership positions. They must feel empowered to fully engage in the society at all levels. The Nominating Committee of ASTRO must ensure that this strategic objective is met. A second strategic objective of the field is to establish radiation oncology as an equal partner in the cancer field. This objective is also synergistic with my vision of characteristics of future ASTRO leaders. The Nominating Committee must ensure that the slate of candidates represents ASTRO’s commitment to excellence in patient care and improved outcomes in their clinical practice and through their professional conduct within ASTRO and all professional societies. Finally, ASTRO’s strategic goal to retain and foster the intellectual research talent currently entering the field of radiation oncology is a purpose that drives the Promoting Science through Research and Training Committee of ASTRO, where I currently serve as Chair. This is a critical mission for ASTRO and I believe that future ASTRO leaders must have a strong commitment to foster and develop innovation and scientific discovery within the ASTRO community.
Kristy K. Brock received her PhD in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences from the University of Michigan. After receiving her PhD, she held faculty positions at the University of Toronto and the University of Michigan. She is currently a Professor with tenure in the Department of Imaging Physics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she is the Director for the Image-Guided Cancer Therapy Research Program. Her research focuses on image guided cancer therapy, where she has developed a biomechanical model-based deformable image registration algorithm to integrate imaging into treatment planning, delivery, and response assessment as well as to understand and validate imaging signals through correlative pathology.
She is board certified by the American Board of Radiology in Therapeutic Medical Physics and holds a joint appointment with the Department of Radiation Physics at MD Anderson. Dr. Brock has published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals, is the Editor of the book ‘Image Processing in Radiation Therapy’ and has been the PI/co-PI on 21 peer-reviewed, industry and institutional grants. Her clinical activities focus on the clinical validation and streamlined integration of deformable image registration into radiation therapy planning, dose accumulation and adaptation.
She has a strong interest and commitment to education and training programs and diversity, equity and inclusion. She currently serves on both the Admissions Committee and Steering Committee of the Medical Physics Program of the Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas. She also serves on the MD Anderson Faculty Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.
For radiation oncology to be the recognized leader in quality, innovation and value in multidisciplinary cancer care (its vision), the field as a whole and ASTRO as the leading professional and scientific association, must relentlessly pursue excellence in all aspects of radiation oncology. ASTRO has the awesome responsibility of fulfilling its grand vision and goals (elevate the field, foster intellectual talent, health policy advocacy, and deliver the highest quality and value care to patients) guided by its core values (excellence in patient care, improved outcomes, innovation, integrity, and diversity & inclusion). To accomplish this responsibility, ASTRO needs an engaged membership and engaging leaders, with a passion for service, that truly reflect ASTRO’s core values, and who also believe and are fully committed to ASTRO’s grand vision and goals. As the Physics member of the Nominating Committee, I will seriously and impartially do my due diligence to support the best possible candidate for each post after careful evaluations and deliberations with other members of the committee. I have been working in the field of radiation oncology since 1985, when I was fortunate to start my graduate studies applying engineering and physics to cancer therapy. It has been a wonderful journey full of outstanding friendships, meaningful service and fulfilling accomplishments. I will draw from my life trajectory and experiences to ensure ASTRO’s vision and goals become realities.
Eduardo G. Moros, PhD, DABR, FAAPM, joined the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University where he served as Chief of Hyperthermia Physics (1991-2005) and Head of the Research Physics Section (2001-2005). He became an Associate Professor (tenured) in 1999, and a Professor in 2005. He later joined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as Director of the Division of Radiation Physics and Informatics. Since 2011, He has been the Chief of Medical Physics for Moffitt Cancer Center, an NCI Designated Comprehensive cancer center. He is the director of the CAMPEP-accredited PhD program in Applied Physics with Concentration in Medical Physics, a joint program with the University of South Florida where he is a faculty member in the departments of Physics and Oncological Sciences. He is also the director of Moffitt’s CAMPEP-accredited Medical Physics Residency Program. Dr. Moros served as Associate Editor for Medical Physics (2000-2007), Radiation Research (2008-2013), the International Journal of Hyperthermia (2006-2009), the Journal of Clinical Applied Medical Physics (2007-2019) and the Journal of Radiation Oncology (2012-2020). He also served on the NIH RTB Study Section (2002-2005) and has been serving the AAPM and ASTRO in many committees and task groups for many years. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and has been a principal investigator/co-investigator on multiple research grants from the NIH and other funding agencies. His current research interests are dosimetry of targeted alpha-particle radiopharmaceuticals and applications of radiomics, oncologic mathematical modeling and artificial intelligence to adapt radiation therapy anatomically and, eventually, biologically.