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Interesting links/news Team Members

Starting a new job with Qurit during COVID-19: What I’m learning

First post in a series of posts written by members of the Qurit Team. Written by Cariad Knight.

Starting a new job, especially one in a scientific research context, is often not a glamorous endeavour at the best of times. In past I’ve always found the initial learning curve in research to be exceptionally steep. And truthfully this makes sense. Since the goal of research is to push the boundaries of knowledge, there is often a myriad of material to cover before arriving at a place where one understands not only the details of the research project in question, but also about where it fits into the broader picture of the topic, field, and scientific community as a whole. So, understandably the leg work required to arrive at the requisite understanding to tackle the questions being posed by the research is often extensive and filled with mis-steps.

This learning curve is no different now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. What is different however, is the hurdle required to overcome it. Normally, the way that I amass the information needed to tackle new research beyond reading papers is through speaking with coworkers, and (often repeatedly and extensively) asking my supervisors questions. This method of gaining insight is somewhat hindered during the present lockdown conditions as the casual avenues of communication have been replaced with the somewhat more formal and often less immediate format of email, messenger chats, and zoom calls. For myself, I’ve found this has made me somewhat less inclined to, how should I put this harass my coworkers and supervisors for the answers to my questions.

I actually think that this newfound hesitation in asking for clarification has been a good thing for me! It’s teaching me about myself and the way that I learn and problem solve. Gradually, I’ve noticed that I’m becoming better at, not only tackling the learning curve head on myself, but learning when and which questions to ask for clarification and help. I feel this knowing when and what to ask is an incredibly valuable and empowering skill in both research and life.

So, I suppose I am grateful for my unglamorous COVID-19 start to my new NSERC USRA job with the Qurit lab and new research undertaking, because I am learning much about myself – and as Socrates said, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”

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Interesting links/news New piece Team Members

Using radioactive epoxy lesions in phantoms

Presentation by our fantastic co-op student, Roberto Fedrigo, to the UBC Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference (MURC), with title, “Phantom-guided optimization of prostate cancer PET imaging using radioactive epoxy lesions”:

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Interesting links/news Team Members

New opening for post-doc fellow in PET/CT imaging

We have an opening in our team for post-doc fellow in PET/CT imaging. Please see announcement.

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Awards/Grants Interesting links/news Team Members

Roberto Fedrigo awarded the 2020 Summer Undergraduate Fellowship by AAPM

Congratulations to Roberto Fedrigo who has been awarded the 2020 Summer Undergraduate Fellowship by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). Roberto, an undergraduate student at UBC Physics & Astronomy, has been a very active member of our team since September of 2019. The awarded fellowship is a 10 week summer program designed to provide opportunities for undergraduate university students to gain experience in medical physics by performing research in a medical physics laboratory or assisting with clinical service at a clinical facility.

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Interesting links/news Team Members

New visiting PhD student

We welcome Mohammad Salmanpour, who has been working with us closely since 2017 (from Tehran Polytechnic), now staying with us as exchange PhD student. Mohammad focuses on improved prediction of outcome in Parkinson’s disease (PD) using machine learning algorithms.

Here are two of his recent papers with us, one on prediction of cognitive outcome (2019):
https://rahmimlab.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/salmanpour_cbm19_moca_prediction_pd.pdf
And one just published (2020) on prediction of motor outcome in PD patients:
https://rahmimlab.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/salmanpour_physmed20_pd_motor_prediction_ml.pdf

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Interesting links/news Workshop/conference

On Effective Work Habits

Here is video of grand rounds lecture by Dr. Arman Rahmim on “11 Practical Steps for Effective Time Management in a Distracted World”: https://mediasite.audiovisual.ubc.ca/Mediasite/Play/4598d9d4199d4f26b53f8b15968b9f781d

Some of these (listed below), may at first not be intuitive but can be very important.

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Interesting links/news Team Members

Prospective Students

Graduate Students

We actively recruit talented MSc and PhD students from the University of British Columbia Physics, Interdisciplinary Oncology Program, Biomedical Engineering, and Electrical & Computer Engineering. If joining via the Physics or Medical Physics Program, please see Graduate Program Financial Information page, including information on salary. However, please note that our student RA salaries are substantially higher, set at minimum of $24,000 annually, in addition to standard TA pay for both MSc and PhD as well as tuition remission for PhD students.

Undergraduate Students

We also actively recruit undergraduate students. This includes co-op students which have been an important part of our team, with a variety of projects that are hands-on/experimental as well as computational. It also includes students pursuing honours theses projects, e.g. UBC’s Phys 449.

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Interesting links/news Team Members

Last day with Wenbing Lyu

Today we bid farewell to the incredible Wenbing Lyu, visiting PhD student for the past year from Southern Medical University, Guangzhu, China. Wenbing has led significant efforts towards robust radiomics analyses, including PET-CT “fusion radiomics”, for prediction of outcome in head & neck cancer patients.

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Awards/Grants Interesting links/news

NSERC Postgraduate Doctoral Scholarship for Cassandra Miller

It is a pleasure to announce our very own Cassandra Miller to have won an NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral (PDG D) award, to pursue her PhD studies in “Monte Carlo Simulations of SPECT Imaging in Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy with Lu177 and Y90”.

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Interesting links/news Workshop/conference

Lecture on Use of Dynamic PET Imaging in the Clinic

Lecture at the University of Groningen on May 8, 2019 , entitled: “Does Dynamic PET Imaging have a Future in Clinical Oncologic Practice?”