Avilash Cramer, an HST MEMP doctoral candidate, was granted the John R. Cameron* Young Investigator award at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) annual meeting. Avilash’s award was given for his presentation titled “A Stationary Computed Tomography Module Using Photocathode-Driven X-Ray Sources.”

Avilash works in the lab of Dr. Rajiv Gupta, Associate Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, who directs the Advanced X-ray Imaging Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. In a collaboration between labs at MIT, HMS, MGH, and NASA, Dr. Gupta’s group is developing portable computed tomography (CT) systems that operate without any moving parts, using a novel, miniature x-ray source that they have invented. Since their system is both lighter and cheaper than conventional x-ray systems, Avilash and Dr. Gupta are hopeful that their work can bring CT imaging to ambulatory care and to clinics in rural and low-income communities.

Avilash presented his PhD thesis research at the 2018 meeting of the AAPM, which took place in Nashville, Tennessee. From over 300 abstract submissions by students, post-docs, and residents, his talk was one of ten selected to present in a special symposium for young investigators. Of the ten who presented, a panel of judges awarded Avilash first place. He will receive a plaque and a cash award.

“Receiving this award (especially as a first-time attendee) was an incredible recognition of our work. There is an increasing awareness in the medical physics community of the disparities in care for rural areas, and there is an incredible opportunity for us to expand access to care to billions of people around the world,” says Avilash. “AAPM is tight-knit and dedicated community, and I was grateful that I was able to talk with students, physicians, and scientists from across the country about the role that medical physicists can play in addressing these disparities.”

*Dr. John Cameron was a founding member and former president of the AAPM.

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