Tian Liu, PhD, DABR


Titles and Roles

Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Research Program
Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics


Tian Liu, PhD, DABR, is a physicist and researcher in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Liu's primary research in the detection of prostate and breast cancer using multimodality imaging was funded by the National Cancer Institute and the US Department of Defense. Her research group has pioneered the use of functional ultrasound imaging in monitoring and predicting normal-tissue toxicity in cancer radiotherapy. Through this work, radiation oncologists will be able to better quantify radiation-induced side effects and hence improve the quality of life of many cancer survivors.

To bring advanced technology into the clinics at Emory, she has opened five clinical trials and recruited over 300 patients in three years. She has a patent for her Ultrasonic Tissue-Type Classification and Imaging Methods and Apparatus and has four other patents pending. She has received significant grant funding for her research including a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

She is board certified in Therapeutic Radiologic Physics. She is an active member of the American Institute of Physics, American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, as well as the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Dr. Liu has mentored undergraduates, graduates, postdoctoral fellows and medical residents in translational imaging research.


Dr. Liu holds a BS in Physics from Nanjing University in China, an MS in Physics from Bryn Mawr College, an MS in Medical Physics from Columbia University and a PhD in Medical Physics from Columbia University.


Dr. Liu's research focuses on the development and application of novel imaging technology in cancer diagnosis and treatment. She has developed theoretical models to describe the interactions between ultrasound waves and biological tissues. She is using her novel imaging techniques to quantitatively assess and monitor normal-tissue effects in cancer radiotherapy.


Dr. Liu has had over 37 research articles published in peer-reviewed journals. She is a reviewer for six scientific journals including  Medical Physics (Associate Editor), The International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics and Radiation Oncology.

  • PublicationsPublication Date


Dr. Liu was the First Prize Winner in national mathematics competition in China and also received a Merit Scholarship from Nanjing University. She is a member of the Sigma Xi Society. She is the recipient of multiple awards including travel grants from the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and from the European Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the Howard Temin Award from the National Cancer Institute, "Best in Physics" award from the American Society for Radiation Oncology, John S. Laughlin Science Council Research Symposium Award (two consecutive years) from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and "One-in-a-hundred" Mentor Award from Emory University.

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