Hello from lovely Anaheim, California. I’m Calla Cofield and I’ll be your main blogger for this year’s AIP Industrial Physics Forum. For the past few years Jennifer Oullette has created some magnificent posts from the IPF, but she’s busy these days running the Science and Entertainment Exchange as well as writing yet another book. I’m absolutely thrilled to take on this assignment.
This year’s IPF titled “Frontiers in Quantitative Imaging for Cancer Detection and Treatment,” and is being held in conjunction with the American Association of Medical Physicists annual meeting.
The AIP IPF takes place at that crucial juncture where basic research and application meet. It’s very important for scientists, engineers, and medical professionals to communicate at this locale, so that basic research isn’t lost before it can develop into useful applications, and so specific needs of industry professionals can be directly addressed by researchers. It also serves as a reminder to the general public that technological advances that impact our lives, begin with basic research.
At the opening reception I got caught up talking with a member of the AAPM Scientific Program Committee, which plans sessions for the meeting. He’s worked as a medical physicist for some time and said that once upon a time the fields of medical imaging (handled mostly by physicists) and radiation/oncology were separate and distinct. But more recently, he said, the two are coming together. While medical imaging is used by all branches of medicine, oncologists and radiologists are utilizing imaging techniques more than ever in treatment and diagnosis. Some would argue that for cancer detection and treatment to be most effective, new imaging technoogies need to be developed with the specific needs of oncologists and radiologists in mind. This is a major theme at the meeting.
So it will no doubt be a jam-packed few days and I’m already relishing the thought of so much physics under the warm Anaheim sun.