Leadership


 

Professor Paul Keall

Director

View academic profile

Professor Paul Keall is an NHMRC Leadership Fellow at the University of Sydney. He is the Director of the Image X Institute. His career has taken him to positions around Australia and in the USA. Prior to his current role, he was the Director of the Radiation Physics Division at Stanford University. He returned to Australia via an NHMRC Australia Fellowship, one of only 39 people given this award.

Prof. Keall and his team of 20+ scientists in Image X have the mission to improve the lives of cancer patients by inventing and advancing new ways to image and target their disease with radiation therapy. His team have achieved significant bench-to-bedside clinical translational milestones in 4D imaging, real-time tumour position localisation, real-time adaptive radiotherapy, CT ventilation imaging and audiovisual biofeedback. Additional programs include the research and development of the Australian MRI-Linear accelerator, and the Nano-X cancer radiotherapy system.

Prof. Keall’s research is funded by over $10M of competitive government grant funding. The scientific work has resulted in over 350 articles with a high number of citations (h-index 76). He is regularly invited to speak at large international meetings. The cutting-edge technological nature of the research has resulted in a number of patents, licenses and industrial engagement, including founding three companies. Prof. Keall is engaged professionally in several roles within the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and other professional societies. Outside of work, he enjoys time with his family, and loves (almost) all forms of sport and outdoor recreation.

 

Dr Tess Reynolds

Deputy Director
Research Fellow | View academic profile
Project: The Patient Connected Imaging Program

Dr Tess Reynolds is a Cancer Institute NSW Early Career Fellow at the University of Sydney and the Deputy Director of the Image X Institute. In 2022, she received the Australian Museum Eureka Prize (Outstanding Early Career Researcher) for her work on developing novel technologies and pioneering new frontiers of medical imaging. Previously, she also received the 2021 Jack Fowler Early-Career Investigator Award from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

Dr Reynolds is the founder of the Image X Interventional Imaging Program and leader of the Patient Connected Imaging Program, with the focus of delivering innovative solutions to clinical imaging challenges. To fulfill this mission, Dr Reynolds overseas an international academic-industry-healthcare partnership with Siemens Healthineers (Germany), the University of Sydney, Johns Hopkins University (USA), the University of Pennsylvania (USA), and Westmead Hospital (Sydney). Additionally, she has won a total of over $7.5M in competitive grant funding, including back-to-back fellowships (2022-2024 – Cancer Institute NSW Early Career Fellowship, 20-19-2021 – University of Sydney Fellowship), a NHMRC Synergy Grant (2023-2027), NHMRC Development Grant (2022-2025), and Research Grant and Equipment Loan from Siemens Heathineers.

Within the Image X Institute, Dr Reynolds currently holds numerous positions including the Thoracic Imaging Theme Lead (2019-present), Image X Mentoring Committee Chair (2022-present) and Career development Advisor (2022-present). Additionally, she serves on both the Image X Governance and Executive Committees (2021-present). Outside of work, Dr Reynolds plays ice hockey and has represented Australia at 4 world championships (2014, 2015, 2016, and 2020).

 

Academic


 

Dr Youssef Ben Bouchta

Research Associate | View Academic Profile
Project: AV Biofeedback

Youssef Ben Bouchta is a research associate working at the Image-X Institute on the development of novel patient-centred novel technologies. His background is in the measurement of radiation dose and in the translation of novel radiotherapy techniques to the clinic. His current research focuses on real-time treatment adaptation in radiotherapy, surface imaging and on the translation novel technologies to the clinic such as real-time audiovisual biofeedback and surface imaging.

He is currently leading the AVIATOR and SMaRT clinical trial and the VISION volunteer study. In his spare time, Youssef enjoys reading, hiking and, when possible, travelling to remote places.

 

Dr Thomas Boele

Research Associate | View Academic Profile
Project: The Australian MRI-Linac Program

Dr Thomas Boele is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Sydney Image X Institute with a keen interest in building prototype devices and the intersection of quantum physics with medical imaging. His PhD at the University of Sydney investigated developing nanodiamond as an imaging agent for hyperpolarized 13C MRI. Following his PhD, Thomasworked as a quantum systems engineer focused on building a CMOS-integrated quantum magnetometer based on fluorescent defects in diamond. As a Fulbright Scholar in 2023/24, Thomas will collaborate with researchers at the Martinos Center in Boston to explore how the application of novel quantum sensors in medical imaging can enable new imaging modalities for improved disease diagnosis and treatment. His interest in spin physics extends outside the laboratory to topspin, wheel spin and natural spin turns.

 

Dr Caterina Brighi

Research Associate | View Academic Profile
Project: The Australian MRI-Linac Program

Caterina Brighi is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the MRI-Linac Program. Her background is in brain cancer MRI/PET imaging and nanomedicine. Currently her work focusses on using functional MRI and PET imaging techniques to characterise different aspects of the tumour biology (such as cellularity, vascularisation, hypoxia and metabolism) and building workflows that will allow clinicians to integrate this information in the development of more efficient, personalised radiotherapy treatment plans for patients with brain cancer.

In 2021 she was awarded the Best Early and Mid Career Researcher Oral Presentation Award at the Sydney Cancer Conference. Outside work, Caterina has a strong passion for swimming. Before pursuing an academic career, she was European Junior Champion, she won 12 medals at international competitions representing the Italian National Junior Team, and she totaled over 50 medals and broke 13 national records at Italian National Championships.

 

Dr Hilary Byrne

Program Manager | View academic profile
Project: CT Ventilation

Hilary’s current research focus is on extracting information about lung function from CT images. This will help in planning radiotherapy to minimize patient side-effects and in diagnosing, assessing and tracking lung disease. She has an interest in helping develop new technologies for use in the clinic, and was awarded a Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) Fellowship in 2022. She led the BRAVEHeart clinical trial to completion in 2021, clinically assessing an optical surface motion tracking device developed by our group. Hilary also has an interest in novel techniques to enhance radiotherapy using nanoparticles. She was awarded a Sydney Vital Nanotechnology Fellowship in 2019 and ran a pilot study on radiosensitisation at the Australian MRI-linac.

Away from work, Hilary enjoys family time with her husband and two boys and in her time off indulges in choir singing, learning to play the recorder and fencing (the Olympic sword-fighting, not the agricultural land-enclosing type!)

 

Dr Vicky Chin

Project: The Patient Connected Imaging Program

Dr Vicky Chin is a radiation oncologist at Liverpool and Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centres. Her PhD examines the cardiac effects of radiotherapy for patients who have received treatment for thoracic cancers. She is part of the NHMRC Synergy Grant research team looking to better understand cardiac responses to radiation, to improve treatments for both for cancer and cardiac patients. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, travelling and music.

 

Dr Owen Dillon

Research Associate | View academic profile
Project: The Patient Connected Imaging Program

Owen Dillon is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Patient Connected Imaging program. His background is in Image Reconstruction, Inverse Problems and Bayesian Statistics. His work is focussed on Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) with a particular emphasis on estimating and incorporating patient motion. He is primarily involved in the ADAPT clinical trial, improving lung cancer radiotherapy imaging while reducing imaging time 60% and imaging radiation 85%. His other research work has involved robotic systems in surgical theatres and implementing 3D imaging capabilities on 2D systems. His main pastime outside of work is hiking in and around Sydney.

 

Dr Mark Gardner

Research Associate | View Academic Profile
Project: Remove the Mask

Mark is working on the Remove the Mask project, which aims to improve the patient experience during radiation therapy for people with head and neck cancers. Mark is also part of the Nano-X team, which is a low-cost radiation therapy device. Mark’s research interests include automated medical images analysis, machine-learning applications in medicine, cone-beam CT reconstruction, and improving the patient experience in radiotherapy. Mark also is interested in science communication, having made it to the state finals in the FameLab competition in 2020, a public speaking competition requiring researchers to explain their research to the general public in 3 minutes. Outside of work his interests include hiking, video games, basketball and communicating through Simpson’s references.

 

Dr Emily Hewson

Research Fellow
Project: Kilovoltage Intrafraction Monitoring (KIM)

Emily Hewson received her PhD from the University of Sydney in 2022 and is currently a Research Associate specialising in real-time adaptive radiotherapy techniques. Her thesis focussed on developing beam-adaption that can track multiple targets simultaneously for patients with locally advanced cancer and was carried out in collaboration with the Royal North Shore Hospital. Emily’s work in this field was awarded Best in Physics in 2021 at the 63rd AAPM annual meeting. She is now continuing her research in motion monitoring and tracking techniques during radiotherapy. In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, and taking her dog to the beach.

 

Dr Nicholas Hindley

Research Associate
Project: Markerless Tracking

Nicholas is a postdoctoral researcher focussed on the development and clinical implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) during image-guided radiotherapy. He is passionate about steering AI toward a bright future and sees healthcare innovation as an important avenue for this cause. Prior to his current role, Nicholas joined the Center for Machine Learning as a Fulbright scholar in the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical School. During his time at Harvard, Nicholas developed an AI framework to aid scientific discovery by approximating unknown physical laws. A committed educator, Nicholas taught chemistry at the University of Sydney for six years, lectures in the data science and statistics programs and delivers workshops on AI.

Outside of work, Nicholas enjoys reading and writing – his article “Deep Learning and the Era of Artificial Intelligence” currently stands as the most widely read post on betterhealthcaretechnology.org. He also enjoys music; and has performed as a vocalist in the Sydney University Jazz Society Big Band.

 

Dr Phillip Janowicz

Research Associate | View academic profile
Project: The Australian MRI-Linac Program

Dr Phillip Janowicz is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Sydney Image X Institute specialising in brain tumour-targeting immunotherapy and nanoparticles with Dr David Waddington. His PhD at the University of Queensland investigated engineered Alzheimer’s disease antibody formats combined with ultrasound-mediated blood brain barrier opening, and novel glioblastoma nanomedicines and imaging. He has also worked in a biotech industry start‑up on formulation development from pre-clinical small and large animal models to early clinical trials. Outside of the lab you may see him riding one of his motorcycles with his partner on the back.

 

Dr Hunor Kertesz

Research Associate
Project: CT Ventilation

Hunor is a Postdoctoral Research Associate working on CT lung ventilation imaging together with Dr. Hilary Byrne and Prof. Ricky O’Brien. He received his PhD from the Medical University of Vienna (Austria). During his PhD, he worked on improving the quality and quantitative accuracy of PET data at low count levels and he was developing positron range correction methods as part of multiple international collaborations. His background is in PET image reconstruction, Monte Carlo simulations, image processing and data corrections. Outside of work, Hunor is usually swimming, biking or running and participates in Ironman triathlons.

 

Yifan Li

Research Associate
Project: Kilovoltage Intrafraction Monitoring (KIM)

Yifan recently graduated a Masters in Information Technology at the University of NSW. He is currently working with Dr Chandrima Sengupta on data anonymisation and analysis in the project developing data anonymisation tool for different radiotherapy systems. Outside of work, he practices playing harmonica enjoys bouldering.

 

Dr Elshin Mathias

Research Associate | View academic profile
Project: The Patient Connected Imaging Program

Elshin is a postdoctoral fellow in the patient connected imaging program. His background is in biomedical engineering and has experience working on various signal/image processing projects, mathematical modelling and designing surgical tools. His current work is focused on improving 4DCT imaging used in radiotherapy treatment planning.

He is primarily involved in the REACT clinical trial which aims to reduce imaging errors in 4DCT images. He is also interested in better acquisition and reconstruction protocols for 3rd generation modern CT scanners. Outside of work, he enjoys time with his family, and loves playing badminton.

 

Dr Lars Mejnertsen

Research Associate | View academic profile
Project: Beam Adaptation

Dr Lars Mejnertsen is a Postdoctoral Research Associate working on beam adaptation. Having graduated with a PhD in Physics from Imperial College London in 2018 in the field of space plasma physics, he worked on the development of the Gorgon simulation code for planetary magnetospheres. The code aims to assist in the forecasting in space weather: the impact of solar activity on the Earth’s infrastructure.

Joining the ACRF Image-X Institute in 2019, Lars brings his experience in computational physics and algorithm development to the beam adaptation project, which aims to improve the efficacy of radiotherapy. By adapting the profile of the incident radiation, taking into account the presence of multiple tumour targets and their motion during treatment, a tailored dose can be administered to the tumour whilst avoiding healthy tissue. In his spare time, he enjoys making the most of the outdoors by going on long walks and taking part in water sports.

 

Professor Ricky O’Brien

Affiliate / Collabrotaor (RMIT)

View academic profile

Professor Ricky O’Brien’s primary research interest is in developing new medical imaging technologies with a focus on radiotherapy, for which he has been awarded three international patents. This work is cross disciplinary and covers novel applications in medicine, physics, mathematics, computer science and engineering. Funded by more than $10M of competitive government grant funding from the NHMRC, Cancer Australia, NSW Health and the Cancer Institute NSW, Prof. O’Brien leads a multi-disciplinary team of 6 post-doctoral researchers.

In 2019 Prof. O’Brien launched the ADAPT clinical trial to reduce scan times and imaging dose by more than 75% for lung cancer patients. In this trial, a novel form of respiratory motion guided cancer imaging is being implemented for the first time to improve the imaging of lung cancer patients. Having a keen focus on translating technology from bench to bedside, he has forged strong relationships with industry leaders Siemens and Elekta. Formal partnership agreements with these companies allows his technology to be implemented in experimental setups using some of the world’s most cutting-edge medical imaging systems.

Dr Chandrima Sengupta

Research Associate | View academic profile
Project: Kilovoltage Intrafraction Monitoring (KIM)

Chandrima is a post-doctoral research associate in the projects related to advancement of the Kilovoltage Intrafraction Monitoring (KIM) technology. Currently, her work focusses to develop, improve and advance real-time adaptive radiotherapy techniques for radiation therapy patients. She is leading two multi-institutional clinical trials related to the KIM technology: TROG 17.03 LARK trial and TROG 18.01 NINJA trial that aim to quantify the geometric and dosimetric accuracy achieved with KIM guidance for liver and prostate cancer patients. She collaborates on the Remove the Mask project, on testing the accuracy of novel surface guidance applications using a 6 degree-of-freedom quality assurance device she co-authored and manages. She is also interested in imaging technologies related to proton therapy treatment. After work, Chandrima can be found cooking, watching movies and travelling to unknown destinations.

 

Dr David Waddington

Research Fellow | View academic profile
Project: The Australian MRI-Linac Program

Dr David Waddington is a Cancer Institute NSW Early Career Fellow at the ACRF Image X Institute. David’s research is improving the targeting of cancer treatments by integrating radiotherapy with real time MR imaging of tumours. This work is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to image tumour anatomy and function with a precision that has never before been possible. David leads the MRI Development research stream within the $25M+ Australian MRI-Linac Program and is the MRI lead at the ACRF Image X Institute.

When he’s done with work for the day, you’ll often find David pounding his way along a trail in the Blue Mountains or throwing his toddler on a mountain bike to go shred the gnar.

 

Dr Brendan Whelan

Research Fellow | View Academic Profile
Project: The Australian MRI-Linac Program

Brendan received his PhD at the Image-X institute in 2016 for a thesis entitled “Maximising the mutual interoperability of an MRI scanner and a cancer therapy particle accelerator”. This work was supervised by Professor Paul Keall, and was awarded the ACPSEM PhD award for the best PhD thesis published in the field of medical physics in 2016. After completion of his PhD, he continued working in the MRI-Linac program in a postdoctoral capacity. In 2018 he moved to Germany, working as a Multiphysics Specialist within the Innovation Department, Advanced Therapies, Siemens Healthineers.

In 2020 he returned to the Image-X institute to take up a CJ Martin NHMRC Early Career Fellowship. Through this fellowship, he will spend 50% of his time at the Radiation Oncology department at Stanford University working with Professor Billy W. Loo, and 50% of the time at Sydney University under the supervision of Professor Paul Keall. Brendan is widely acknowledged to be the best looking and cleverest member of the research group. He also writes his own bios.

 

Ann Yan

Research Associate
Project: The Patient Connected Imaging Program

Ann completed her Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Biomedical) in 2021 and master of data science in 2022 at the University of Sydney. During her undergraduate study, she completed an internship with Image X, working on a project implementing machine learning algorithms to predict respiratory motion during radiation therapy.

Before commencing her job with Image X, Ann worked as a biomedical engineer in Prince of Wales hospital along with Royal Women’s Hospital and Sydney Children‘s Hospital, specialized in pacemaker implantation and troubleshooting. Ann is now focusing on hardware, software and machine learning algorithm development. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, and traveling with friends.

Students


 

James Grover

PhD Candidate
Project: The Australian MRI-Linac Program
James completed his Master of Medical Physics at the University of Sydney in 2021 after attaining a Bachelor of Science in 2019. His areas of interest include radiotherapy and machine learning. James is working on the implementation of a neural network-based treatment adaptation on the MRI-Linac Program with Dr. David Waddington. Previously, James completed a research project applying machine learning to CT ventilation imaging with Dr. Hilary Byrne and Prof. Paul Keall. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, self-defence training and playing the guitar.

Adam Mylonas

PhD Candidate | View Academic Profile
Project: Kilovoltage Intrafraction Monitoring (KIM)

Adam Mylonas graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Biomedical) and a Bachelor of Medical Science (Immunobiology) at the University of Sydney in 2021. Adam is currently undertaking a PhD at the ACRF Image X Institute investigating Markerless Tracking. Currently, his work focuses on developing deep learning models for real-time markerless tracking of the prostate and pancreas in intrafraction kilovoltage images. He also collaborates on the implementation of deep learning-based marker tracking as part of the Kilovoltage Intrafraction Monitoring (KIM) project. In his spare time, Adam enjoys exploring nature, going for long hikes, and camping.

 

Professional


 

Dr Helen Ball

Operations Manager | Contact

Helen Ball obtained her PhD in molecular biology at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and has worked as a researcher in the Discipline of Pathology, University of Sydney.  She also provided advice and training for researchers at the School of Medical Sciences, as the facility officer for the Bosch Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility. Helen manages the operations of the ACRF Image-X Institute. She enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with her family.

 

Jonathan Hindmarsh

Clinical Medical Physicist / PhD Candidate | Contact

Jonathan Hindmarsh is a qualified Medical Physics Specialist whose role is to assist the researchers of the institute in the clinical aspects of their work. He is also a part time PhD student at the institute investigating the implementation of real time treatment techniques.

Jonathan has worked as a Medical Physics Specialist in NSW, Australia and Alberta, Canada since getting his qualification in 2013 and his research interests include the development and improvement of treatment techniques, commissioning methods, and quality assurance processes. Outside of work Jonathan enjoys road and mountain biking, skiing, canyoning and rock climbing as well as the odd tabletop and computer game.

 

Julia Johnson

Design & Communications Officer | Contact

Julia has a unique hybrid role as the only Design & Communications Officer in the university. Julia provides a full suite of design services for the institute including design and fabrication of class 1 medical device prototypes, as well as graphics, branding, scientific figures, and content creation. In addition to this, Julia is passionate about communicating the work of the institute to the public. She manages the website and social media channels, and is working to strengthen the institute’s engagement with the wider community. Outside of work, she enjoys playing music, and in her spare time performs regularly with her banjo and guitar.

 

Yu (Sam) Liang

Software Engineer
Project: Kilovoltage Intrafraction Monitoring (KIM)

Sam Liang has a background in engineering and he completed his Master of Information Technology at UNSW. Prior to his role at Image X, he worked as a software engineer in the aerospace industry, gaining valuable experience in developing scientific software solutions for space missions. He is highly passionate about technology and spends most of his spare time actively contributing to projects on GitHub.

 

Natalie Plant

Clinical Trials Co-ordinator | Contact

Natalie Plant is a clinical trial coordinator supporting the translation of Image-X’s technologies into the clinical setting. Natalie has extensive experience in coordinating the development, implementation, data management and regulatory aspects of clinical trials in the field of radiation oncology. Natalie spends a lot of her spare time bushwalking and swimming.

 

Shona Silvester

Clinical Trials Co-ordinator  | Contact

Shona Silvester is responsible for providing support for the clinical trials program at the Image X Institute, with a role spanning development, site start up, data management and trial coordination.  She has extensive experience in clinical trials research, having previously worked in the pharmaceutical industry as well as an academic research organisation. In her spare time Shona volunteers with the NSW SES and enjoys playing tennis with her friends.