Andrew Jirasek

Associate Head Graduate, Professor

Medical Physics, Physics
Other Titles: Director CAMPEP Graduate Program in Medical Physics
Office: ASC 354
Phone: 250.807.8812

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Medical physics; radiation oncology physics; Raman spectroscopy; 3D radiation dosimetry.

Courses & Teaching

Medical physics; quantum mechanics; data and image processing.


Medical Physics and Data Analytics Cluster


PhD University of British Columbia

Research Interests & Projects

Three dimensional radiotherapy dose verification
Currently, the advent of complex radiotherapy treatments such as volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) has outpaced developments in radiation dosimeters capable in measuring radiation dose in 3D and with high spatial and dosimetric accuracy and precision. Our research program involves the development and application of radiosensitive polymer gel dosimeters for use in radiotherapy dose verification. The program is a collaborative effort between physics, oncology, and engineering. Typical research areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Development of high dose-sensitivity polymer gel dosimeters for use with x-ray CT imaging for dose information extraction.
  • Characterization of the accuracy and precision of x-ray CT polymer gel dosimetry.
  • Development of fan-beam optical CT scanning for dose information extraction from irradiated 3D dosimeters.
  • Application of polymer gel dosimetry to “end-to-end” dosimetry.
  • In collaboration with researchers at Carleton University, the application of polymer gel dosimetry to the understanding and verification of deformable dose calculation algorithms.
  • The development of image processing techniques for signal extraction from gel dosimetry data.

Optical technologies for assessing biological response to radiotherapy
In radiation therapy, standard radiation doses have been empirically determined and are delivered without consideration of in vivo disease response. There exists no accepted imaging or serologic marker proven useful for assessing radio-response during the course of therapy. Our research program involves the investigation of Raman spectroscopic methods for understanding, predicting, and monitoring the response of biological systems to ionizing radiation that is typically used in radiotherapy. The program is a collaborative effort between physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering. Typical research areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Understanding cellular response to radiotherapy: Irradiated cell lines varying in inherent radiosensitivity and other biological parameters are interrogated using Raman spectroscopy, with the aim of observing and understanding the biological pathways that are responding to the radiation.
  • Murine models for observation of radio-response: In vitro tumour irradiations are performed and irradiated tumour is excised and analyzed using Raman spectroscopy. Results are correlated to in vitro models.
  • Automation of Raman acquisition techniques: We aim to utilize microfluidic systems to automate Raman acquisition of irradiated cells and tissues.
  • Raman analysis: We currently utilize Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for the analysis and identification of biological response present within the acquired data. Current investigations involve alternate methods of analysis with the aim of enhanced information extraction.

Selected Publications & Presentations

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