Rongxiao Zhang, PhD


Titles and Roles

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


Rongxiao Zhang, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Medical Physics in the Department of Radiation Oncology. As a medical physicist, Dr. Zhang has a strong interest in research related to innovative imaging guidance, molecular imaging, Monte Carlo, dose delivery techniques and adaptive treatment in radiation therapy. He is committed to ensure and continuously improve radiation treatment quality for patients based on clinical and translational researches. He joined the team at Emory Proton Therapy Center in 2018.

Prior to joining Emory, Dr. Zhang was in the Harvard Medical Physics Residency Program, where he received extensive training in radiotherapy from Harvard Medical School affiliated hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He had a broad range of exposure and solid hands-on experience with various treatment techniques (both photon and proton), treatment machines, treatment planning systems, and verification systems. He had the unique opportunity to join the commissioning of two TrueBeam linear accelerators at Massachusetts General Hospital's second proton center. As a senior physics resident, he was also involved in the training and teaching of junior physics residents and medical physics or dosimetrist graduate students.


Dr. Zhang received his PhD from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.


At Dartmouth College, Dr. Zhang did pioneering work to introduce Cherenkov imaging into radiation therapy. He investigated biomedical applications of Cherenkov radiation imaging in external beam radiation therapy, including: Cherenkov imaging for the estimation of superficial dose; real time Cherenkoscopy treatment monitoring; Cherenkov excited molecular imaging and tomography for chemical sensing; Cherenkov imaging for reference dosimetry and dose reconstruction.

During his residency, he also developed a proton radiography and proton CT project by using a single detector. Based on this technique, he and his colleagues validated iteratively optimizing relative stopping power (RSP) in x-ray CT voxels to reduce range uncertainties. He also investigated measuring real tissue sample to assess the accuracy of our CT Hounsfield Unit to RSP conversion model. In another project, they evaluated the benefits of dual-energy CT sim in proton therapy for more accurate dose delivery. In clinical projects, he assessed using optical surface imaging only for the guidance of breast treatment and using log files for proton pencil beam scanning quality assurance.


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