Thousand Shades of Grey: From High School Intern to Medical Imaging Physics Graduate

Megan Russ enlarge

Megan Russ

UPTON, NY —  Megan Russ of the University at Buffalo, Toshiba Stroke and Vascular Research Center will give a talk, "Thousand Shades of Grey: From High School Intern to Medical Imaging Physics Graduate," at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory on Thursday, November 19, at 4:30 p.m. in the Physics Department seminar room. Sponsored by Brookhaven Science Associates and Brookhaven Women in Science, the talk is free and open to the public.  All visitors to the Laboratory 16 and older must bring a photo I.D.  

In her talk at Brookhaven, Russ will describe her career path and how building and calibration of detectors lead to the development of imaging instrumentation for medical applications. 

Russ began her career as a high school intern at Brookhaven National Laboratory developing detectors for the Mariachi cosmic ray detection project. While working toward her B.S. in physics at State University of New York at Geneseo, Russ had the chance to work at the Geneseo accelerator facility designing and testing detector systems, acquiring data, studying radioactive decay, and other areas of interest through many hours of hands-on research in laboratories.  As part of the research team in the physics department at the University at Buffalo, Russ helped create and design diagnostics for the National Ignition Facility (NIF). A large energetic laser facility, NIF is conducting research on fusion ignition. 

Because of the extreme conditions in the area very close to where reactions occur, it is difficult to determine how successful each reaction is, so there is a need for cleverly designed diagnostics in order to gain a better understanding of fusion ignition. 

At the Toshiba Stroke and Vascular Research Center, Russ continues her research on detectors characterizing detection systems for high resolution micro-angiographic imaging. She is first author on three scientific journal contributions and 11 conference submissions, and was recently awarded the Cum Laude Blue Ribbon for her work on, "Treatment planning for image-guided neuro-vascular interventions using patient-specific 3D printed phantoms" in the Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging division of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Medical Imaging meeting, one of the most important world-wide medical imaging, science, and engineering meetings.   

"The greatest part of doing research is when something goes right," says Russ. "Often, when we perform experiments, we don't see the result that we were expecting, and sometimes we see nothing at all. But there is no greater satisfaction than starting from scratch by reading about a particular phenomenon, doing the necessary calculations, running numerous simulations, obtaining the materials needed, performing the experiment, and then getting exactly what was predicted."

Megan Russ is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Medical Physics at the University at Buffalo. 

Call (631) 344-2345 for more information.

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