November 30,2020

Message from Alumni 1

Jihun Kwon, Ph.D.

MR Clinical Scientist, Philips Japan

I’m Jihun Kwon. I was a PhD student at the Department of Radiation Oncology of Hokkaido University from April 2016 to March 2020. My main research topic was the utilization of gold nanoparticles to enhance therapeutic outcomes in radiation therapy. Through close collaboration with researchers from Stanford University, such as Dr. Hao Peng and Dr. Anastasia Makarova, we implemented a Monte-Carlo simulation for estimating the radiation dose enhancement caused by clustered gold nanoparticles. We demonstrated that the dose enhancement tends to be overestimated when the cluster forming property of gold nanoparticles is not taken into account. This finding was published from the journal NIM B.

During my PhD program, I received a scholarship from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), which gave me the opportunity to spend 16 months as a visiting research fellow at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School in the USA. I studied metallic nanoparticles and radiation-induced changes of tumor function by preclinical magnetic resonance (MR) and ultrasound imaging, under the supervision of Prof. Ross Berbeco. Part of this work was recently published in the journal Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, and other works are currently under review.

Also at Hokkaido University, I completed a Medical Physicist training program. Thanks to many highly-skilled and knowledgeable clinical staff in the department, I was able to acquire important clinical skills and experience through the program, such as radiation therapy treatment planning and quality assurance. I also passed the Medical Physicist exam and was certified by the Japanese Board for Medical Physicist (JBMP).

After I got my PhD, I started working as an MR Clinical Scientist at Philips Japan. My main role is to conduct collaborative research with customers to meet their clinical needs and thereby enhance the clinical value of our MR system. The skills and knowledge I obtained during my PhD program at Hokkaido University have been invaluable in my new job. I am looking forward to seeing my work contribute to healthcare in the future.