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Assistant Professor, Applied Health Sciences and Medical Physics

Faculty photo for Judy James

My education and training has been in Medical Physics with specialization in MRI physics. I am a board certified MRI Physicist by the American Board of Medical Physics (ABMP) in MRI. As a clinical physicist, I have experience in aiding radiologists in setting up innovative 3D and 4D high speed and resolution MRI sequences and protocols to achieve the best image quality with reduced scan times for neuro, fetal, cardiac, body, MSK and other applications on various MR vendors and platforms. I have also had collaborations with pharmaceutical companies in drug development and MRI scanning. I have been instrumental in implementing safe MR scanning procedures for pacemakers and ICDs on 1.5T MRI scanners. My practice now involves performing quality control on various x-ray producing devices, radiation control, and nuclear medicine. A major component in my role as a clinical physicist is to provide clinical support to MRI, ultrasound and other radiology divisions in the acquisition and maintenance of accreditation programs administered by Joint Commission and the ACR. My primary interest is in developing 3D and 4D MR sequences especially geared towards abdominal, neuro and fetal MR, MR diffusion tractography, and fiber tracking. I have done multiple projects in radiation dose evaluations on advanced Mammography and dose reduction techniques in CT.


Education
  • PhD, Purdue University
  • Residency in Medical Physics, Indiana University School of Medicine

What prompted you to pursue your field?

My interest in medical imaging began during my undergrad in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering. During a summer internship at a hospital, I was exposed to imaging equipments by a biomedical engineer, who explained the physics behind digital image production. I was fascinated and decided to continue my higher studies in this field. My initial project focus was specialized in imaging, especially MRI. My journey to learn more about MRI continued into my PhD in Medical Physics, when I was offered projects on optimizing advanced MR imaging techniques for MR thermometry and sodium imaging, as well as pulse programming on 3T and 9.4T magnets. This led me to pursue the vast field of medical physics further.

Why is this area of study important at this point in time?

Cancer detection and treatment is so important at this point that we cannot live without diagnostic radiology or radiation oncology as part of our hospital visits. Hospitals and medical practices need medical physicists who are knowledgeable to use these modalities to their full potential and obtain the appropriate images for diagnosis and further treatments.

What would you tell a student about why your field is exciting or important?

Medical physics candidates are those who are fascinated by the functioning of the medical equipment especially in radiology and radiation oncology. As a medical physicist, you will feel a sense of fulfillment from contributing to a patient's best course of treatment by ensuring the best images are created and precise radiation treatment is delivered due to optimizations made by the medical physicist.