XCITE Lab projects

Current XCITE Lab members

Name Position Project
Magdalena Bazalova-Carter Associate Professor All of them :)
Pierre-Antoine Rodesch Postdoctoral fellow CT imaging with photon-counting detectors
Nolan Esplen PhD candidate FLASH/SFRT
Devon Richtsmeier PhD candidate Gold nanoparticle drug delivery and spectral imaging
Jericho O'Connell PhD student MV CBCT
Alex Hart PhD student Scintillators and FLASH with x-ray tube
Teaghan O'Briain MSc student ML for 4D PET
Laszlo Zalavari Certificate student Segmentation in photon-counting x-ray images
Nathan Clements Co-op student Spatially-fractionated radiotherapy
Josephine Brewster USRA student Dose calculations with kilovoltage beams
Courage Mahuvava Volunteer Dose calculations for small animal radiotherapy
Jonathan Eby Volunteer Table-top FLASH system
Kevin Murphy Volunteer Spectral CT imaging

Magdalena Bazalova-Carter, PhD, DABR
Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Medical Physics (Tier 2)

Magdalena received her BSc in Physical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague in 2003 and her PhD in Medical Physics at McGill University in 2008. In 2009, she started her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University and three years later she was promoted to an Instructor at the same institution. Apart from advancing her academic career, Magdalena enjoyed working at the Stanford Hospital as a part-time clinical medical physicist. Magdalena joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy as an Assistant Professor in July of 2015. Her CV can be downloaded here.
Magdalena likes science very much and would like to fullfill her long-lasting dream of doing medical physics research in a self-built cabin at a lake in Canada. Apart from research, Magdalena loves to spend time outdoors: she enjoys rock climbing, ice-climbing, back-country skiing, mountaineering, and biking. She climbed the highest peak of the Americas at 6964 m and crossed western Canada (Vancouver to Winnipeg) on her bicycle. At conferences, you are likely to see her climbing up streets poles, bar walls, or any vertical rock-resembling surfaces (mouse over her photo).

Pierre-Antoine Rodesch, PhD
Postdoctoral fellow

Pierre-Antoine [/pjeʁãtwan/] is French, he received his BSc in mechanical engineering in Paris in 2012 in Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées. He then slowly slipped towards medical imaging by firstly getting a MSc in biomechanics in 2014. He then moved to the French Alps to do a PhD on spectral CT reconstruction with photon-counting detectors in CEA Léti. From 2018 to 2020, he worked in the CREATIS laboratory in Lyon on the SPCCT, a large field of view spectral CT prototype, equipped with photon-counting detectors.
Pierre-Antoine practices a lot of sports (tennis, ski touring, climbing, hiking), but just in order to enjoy a good meal afterwards. He also owns music instruments he has no idea on how to play, as the Oud or the ukulele, but he likes staring at them. He enjoys adventures, ARTE documentaries and still believes we can achieve peace on earth.

Nolan Esplen, BSc
PhD candidate

Nolan received his BSc in Physics and Astronomy at UVic in 2014. Having long been interested in Medical Physics, he now hopes to pursue a Masters degree in the field. As an advocate for computing in science, Nolan is excited to be currently working on Monte Carlo simulations relating to XFCT imaging. In the future, he hopes to further engage in research that allows for a blending of computational and experimental methods, with a focus on affecting positive change in peoples lives.
Outside of school, Nolan spends most of his time writing and producing electronic music, but frequently takes the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors through activities such as mountain biking, fishing, photography and snowboarding. After a comprehensive trip to Europe this past Summer Nolan is eager to explore destinations in Asia and South America within the next few years.

Devon Richtsmeier
PhD candidate

Devon is from Boise, Idaho and received his BSc in Physics from Boise State University in 2018. As an undergraduate, in addition to his coursework, Devon worked on research in Biophysics investigating the pore-forming protein lysenin. In the course of that research he also became interested Medical Physics and began investigating it more fully before finally deciding to pursue a degree in it. Devon began his MSc in Medical Physics at UVic in September 2018 and is also a part of the CREATE PoND Program. He is working on using gold nanoparticles in conjunction with XFCT.
In addition to previously mentioned ventures, Devon enjoys playing volleyball, backpacking, and rock climbing, but also likes to hang out on the couch with a good book. He is the owner of the best dog, Sandy, who you can see him hiking with regularly. He is also interested in learning to white-water kayak.

Jericho O'Connell
PhD student

Jericho is set to receive a BSc in Physics from UVic in the near future. During his time at the beautiful University of Victoria Jericho has had the opportunity to work in various co-op positions. These co-ops include work in dual energy CT at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, as well as building virtual research environments for the Computational Astrophysics group at UVic. His project this summer builds on his dual energy CT experience by analyzing multi-energy planar imaging for poultry quality assurance, which he swears has something to do with medical physics.
Jericho has spent the previous three summers with the BC Wildfire Service. He looks forward to solving problems this summer where the solution involves neither clearing the flammable vegetation adjacent to the problem nor dousing the problem with a hose. Beyond work, Jericho enjoys the outdoors and running in the mountains. After a semi-professional career in triathlon Jericho has been trying to find a sport in which he can truly shine, perhaps toe wrestling.

Alex Hart
PhD student

Alex received his BSc in Applied Physics from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington in 2015. Shortly after, he began his career in medical physics as an Applied Physics Technologist with Northwest Medical Physics Center before moving to Canada for graduate school. Alex earned his MSc in Medical Physics from the University of Victoria in early 2021 while a member of the UBC-based Qurit lab. His masters work focused on the development of new clinical protocols for oncological FDG PET/CT imaging. As a PhD student, Alex is excited to contribute to the rapidly developing field of FLASH radiotherapy.
Alex enjoys the privilege of spending graduate school living on beautiful Vancouver Island by getting out for hiking and mushroom foraging trips as often as possible. He is also a lifelong student of music, currently studying bluegrass guitar and mandolin.

Teaghan O'Briain
MSc student

Teaghan is currently in his final year of his BSc in Physics at UVic. Over the past few years, he has worked on several research projects involving machine learning and its application to both astronomy and medical research. His current project involves developing a network that is able to synthetically modify CT scans by imprinting “realistic” cancerous lesions, which can then be used for assessing new treatment methods.
Besides solving problems in math, physics, and computer science, Teaghan enjoys spending time outdoors hiking. He has been fortunate enough to be able to travel around the world and is always up for another adventure. Having said that, he is still a very typical Canadian, and loves the game of hockey.

Laszlo Zalavari
Certificate student

Laszlo is originally from Budapest, Hungary. I moved to England to complete an IB program, after which he completed my BSc at the University of Sussex. Having always been drawn to particle physics, his next move was to earn an MSc in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces from Imperial College London. Following this program there was still enough spark in him to continue in the field and so Laszlo moved to Hamilton, Ontario to complete a PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics. Then, due to some personal matters he moved to Victoria with his wife, where he is currently enrolled in the CAMPEP approved Graduate Certificate Program in Medical Physics of UVic, in the hope of becoming a clinical medical physicist. Along the way he was lucky to meet some of the nicest people he have ever met, and has benefited from the generosity of many of them, including Dr. Bazalova-Carter who was kind enough to give him a research project that focuses on applying machine learning techniques to classify contaminated poultry on production lines using multi-energy bin x-ray imaging.
In his free time Laszlo loves playing board games, drinking in good company (and both at the same time), going on hikes with his wife and their dog, playing basketball, meeting new people and travelling.

Nathan Clements
Co-op student

Nathan is from Summerland, BC and will be entering fourth-year of his BSc in Physics September at UVic. He is very excited to join the XCITE Lab for an NSERC USRA position. He will be experimenting with the AmpTek X-123CdTe detector doing phantom scans and hopefully working up to a biological sample. In his free time, he likes going to the gym and playing basketball and volleyball.

Josephine Brewster
USRA student

Josephine is a UVic undergraduate student from Kamloops, BC, studying mathematics and physics. She just finished her second year and this is her first co-op term as well as her first time holding an NSERC USRA. She is interested in many aspects of physics and is looking forward to trying something new.
Josephine is a part of the UVic Triathlon Club and enjoys running, cycling, once in a while swimming (slowly), as well as music, reading, drinking tea, hiking, and generally being outdoors.

Courage Mahuvava

Courage is from Zvishavane, a small town in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe. Under the Medical Research Council of South Africa, Courage spent the past six years as a Medical Physics researcher in a clinical radiation oncology environment, where he worked on several High-Energy Advanced Radiation Dosimetry (HARD) flagship projects; ranging from prototype beta testing of the IQM transmission detector to online treatment verification as well as pre-treatment quality assurance (QA) in combination with EGSnrc Monte Carlo (MC) dose calculations.
Courage received his PhD in Medical Physics in October 2020 from the University of the Free State (UFS). His doctoral research made novel progress into 3D dose reconstruction in cancer patients undergoing external beam radiotherapy and also laid foundation for the development and use of transmission detectors for pre-treatment QA. His research MSc degree (obtained in 2016) focused on evaluating the dosimetric impact of prosthetic hips during megavoltage pelvic radiotherapy in the absence of CT artefacts. Courage also holds a Medical Physics Honours degree (obtained in 2013) from the University of Cape Town, where he conducted two research projects; one dealing with radiation protection calculations in the design of a linear accelerator vault and another investigating the effect of silicone gel breast implants on radiotherapy depth dose distributions using the MC software package MCNP. Courage was also awarded a presidential scholarship as well as a summa cum laude BSc in Computational Physics for academic achievement at the University of KwaZulu Natal in 2012. His scholarly work is manifested as first-author publications in several peer-reviewed journals, abstracts and conference presentations. Courage is designated as a professional physicist by the South African Institute of Physicists and is a part-time lecturer in a new Medical Physics department at the National University of Science & Technology in Zimbabwe.
Presently, Courage is conducting EGSnrc MC dose calculations in mice models for a preliminary study that will be referenced by TG-319 when providing guidelines for accurate dosimetry in radiation biology experiments. Courage hopes to move to Canada in 2021 to pursue a post-doctoral certificate program at the University of Victoria as he advances towards international recognition as a board-certified clinical radiation oncology physicist. Outside of his career, he enjoys swimming, gardening, walking on the beach and reading random Quora feeds. As his name demands, Courage is ready to let go of his fear of heights and one day embark on a mountain climbing adventure in the beautiful sceneries of Vancouver with his XCITE lab colleagues!

Jonathan Eby

Jonathan Eby is a 4th year UVic biomedical engineering student. Jon has worked in a variety of fields, from the study of nano-apertures to medical device design.
Outside of school, he enjoys travelling, sailing, climbing and backpacking. Jon also plays saxophone, soccer and pole vaults with athletics Victoria.

Kevin Murphy

Kevin is working on an undergraduate degree in Physics & Astronomy at the University of Victoria. He spent a summer working in Eureka Nunavut with PEARL research lab and looks forward to continuing to pursue his passion for a greater understand of the universe and our place in it.
Kevin enjoys spending his time doing any activity that involves mountains, lakes, or anything outdoors; he is an adventurous person that loves to travel and experience different cultures and traditions. Recently in his travels through India and Nepal he learned to lead yoga practices, and uses this alongside massage therapy, and meditation to help others in any way he can. Kevin is continually trying to further his own development and works towards a goal of integrating his passion for science, spirit, and nature to share with others.

Former XCITE Lab members

Name Next or current position Project
Joanna Nguyen, PhD Researcher at General Electric Food inspection with photon-counting detectors
Daniel Cecchi MSc student at U of Calgary Scintillators for FLASH therapy
Ellie Badun Chillin' Web-based dose viewer VICTORIA
Chelsea Dunning, PhD Postdoctoral fellow at Mayo Clinic Novel x-ray imaging modalities (PhD)
Dylan Breitkreutz, PhD Resident at Stanford University Kilovoltage x-ray beam arc therapy (PhD)
Chris Johnstone, PhD Resident at University of Toronto Small animal radiotherapy (PhD)
Spencer Robinson BSc student at UVic Spectral CT imaging, EBT3 film response
Eisa Alyaqoub BSc student at University of Madison (EE) 3D printing for small animal radiotherapy
Clay Lindsay PhD student at UVic Combined kV/MC imaging with a high-DQE MV detector
Spencer Bialek PhD student at UVic (Astronomy) Software development for microCT image analysis
Henry Baxter BSc student at UVic (CS) Visualization of TrueBeam treatment trajectories
Kilovoltage x-ray beam arc therapy
Lila Chergui MSc student at Perimeter Institute (Theory) Microbeam radiotherapy
Aaron Bannister MSc student at UVic (Medical Physics) Gel dosimetry in the presence of metals