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Faculty member Martel named Radiation Physics chair

Mary Martel faculty photo for Essential

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences faculty member Mary K. Martel, PhD, has been named chair of Radiation Physics, Division of Radiation Oncology, at MD Anderson Cancer Center effective immediately.

Martel, a professor of Radiation Physics at MD Anderson, has served as chair ad interim of the department since March 2017 and has been a GSBS faculty member since 2008. She is affiliated with the Medical Physics Program.

“The department has always been a leader in radiation oncology physics for 70 years, said Martel. “I am excited to continue to facilitate enhancement and growth of new areas of research, with clinical translation for patient-centric care as the goal. I am honored to stand on the shoulders of the chairs who have come before me and who were the pioneers in our field!”

Her major research interest is outcomes analyses, focused primarily on normal tissue toxicity modeling. She is a leader in the landmark QUANTEC (Quantitative Analysis of Normal Tissue Effects in the Clinic) national studies, which have been extended to stereotactic radiation treatment effects and to pediatric treatments. The resulting publications have served as benchmarks to guide clinical radiation treatment around the world. Martel’s recent work has concentrated on the study and incorporation of clinical, genetic, technological, and spatial effects into dose-volume models to better predict toxicity rates. Her academic work has led to more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Martel serves on several professional organizations. She was elected to national leadership roles of president and chair of the Board, American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), and chair of the Science Council, American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). She has been awarded Fellowship, as well as the Distinguished Service Award, from AAPM and ASTRO. 

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