Available student project - Radiobiology at the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility
Cell damage by photons and alpha particles.
This project aims to develop radiobiology research capability at the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility. As a new initiative for the accelerator facility, the scope is broadly defined at present, and allows for a range of student projects. Two specific areas are identified as having priority: (i) Development of an external beam from the accelerator that can be used to irradiate cell cultures and thus study the biological effects of ionizing radiation. (ii) Nuclear physics for proton and heavy-ion therapy.
The general aim in the first case is to understand the effects of radiation on biological systems, thus gaining crucial knowledge that is needed to develop medical applications including cancer therapy and dosimetry. In the second case, we aim to understand the physics relevant for proton and heavy-ion cancer therapy. The project is timely because Australia is poised to introduce its first proton therapy facilities in South Australia and Queensland.
There is broad scope to this work, and the type of project will change as the project develops. Initially the external beam theme could involve a loosely-directed reading project to scope out alternative methodologies and applications. Later on, specific apparatus will be designed and built for the external beam. Concerning the hadron therapy theme, we are already working on the physics of relevant nuclear reactions, so student projects will have more specific computational or experimental goals. Students with an interest in nuclear physics, medical physics, radiation effects, radiobiology, computation, and instrumentation design can contribute to this project.
This research project can be tailored to suit students of the following type(s)
- 3rd year special project
- PhB (1st year)
- PhB (2nd or 3rd year)
- Honours project
- Vacation scholar