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Faculty of Science


Biomedical Physics PhD Student Sweeps Student Paper Competition

By Connie Jeske Crane


Humza Nusrat, a fourth-year PhD candidate in Ryerson’s CAMPEP-accredited Biomedical Physics program, recently edged out some fine competition to win the Anthony J. MacKay Award from the Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA) at its annual May conference.

As part of this annual student paper award, which is organized by the CRPA’s Student and Young Professionals Committee and runs in conjunction with the CRPA’s annual conference, Humza will see his contest submission, entitled, “A Novel Method for Resolving the Energy Spectrum of a Radiation Beam Using Doped Plastic Scintillators,” published in the CRPA Bulletin.

The competition, which is open to all Canadian college and university students enrolled full-time in a program in radiation sciences, required Humza and other contestants to submit a 750-word paper abstract related to some aspect of radiation. “The topic is intentionally kept broad to encourage participation from a wide range of students,” notes the CRPA.

Humza, whose research work is based at Sunnybrook Hospital’s Odette Cancer Centre (supervised by Dr. Arman Sarfehnia in collaboration with Dr. Geordi Pang) is focused on “evaluating the variations in cancer radiotherapy using Monte Carlo simulations and the development of novel technology for the measurement of radiation effectiveness.” More particularly of his paper, Humza says, “The goal of this project is to develop new detectors which can help bridge the gap between absorbed dose and the biological effect of radiation.” As such, his research falls in line both with competition goals and overall CRPA aims, which include supporting the development and implementation of radiation protection programs in Canada.  

This year, unlike in previous years where a winner was chosen before the CRPA’s annual conference, the contest got bonus twist. Three finalists -- Humza and fellow finalists Robyn Reist, from the University of Saskatchewan, and Christian Raharja from Toronto’s Michener Institute – got an amazing opportunity, all thanks to this year’s student contest sponsor, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). UOIT covered all conference registration, travel and accommodation expenses for all three finalists, allowing them not only to travel to Quebec City and attend the CRPA conference, but on May 1st, each of them also got to present their student paper to attendees. The winner was then chosen and announced at the competition.

Besides his research and publication work, Humza also serves as the vice-chair of the student councils of both the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP) and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Working Group to Promote Non-Clinical Career Paths for Medical Physicists.

The Faculty of Science congratulates Humza for his vision and hard work and this honour and we look forward to reading his published paper soon!