University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Didactic Lectures

The Radiation Oncology Residency Program provides a series of lectures and seminars focused on enhancing the resident’s breadth of knowledge in the areas described below.

Radiation Physics

The Division of Medical Physics provides a comprehensive course in radiation physics, comprised by 44 hours and taught by the department staff physicists. The didactic attendance is mandatory for residents. Radiation physics training will include an annual lecture series given by the physics faculty, a medical physics rotation and continuous direct work with the physics staff. The formal course will be covered in a weekly two-hour lecture series that runs for six months. A written examination will be given at the end of each lecture series, covering the presented material and based on the RAPHEX physics examination. Residents also take the annual in-service examination of the American Board of Radiology. An evaluation of the course and instructors is completed by the residents at the end of the lecture series and reviewed by the program director and chief physicist.

DirectorGreg Bednarz, PhD

View Physics Lecture Schedule (.pdf)

Radiation Biology

All residents will attend the Radiobiology course. The course includes both didactic lectures and laboratory demonstrations. The course is dedicated to classic radiobiology, modern molecular biology and tumor kinetics. Residents will have opportunity to absorb the basic laboratory techniques with hands-on experience. During the research year, UPCI laboratory facilities and basic science faculty guidance will be a key component of their training.

The radiobiologist interacts with the resident in the formal course, research project selection, and development during the research rotation. The radiobiologist assists and guides the residents in the development of their research project through topic selection, development and presentation. This occurs as an ongoing process throughout the program. The residents also interact with the radiobiologist in the preparation for the written board exam. Residents may also elect to do basic radiobiology research during the third year research rotation.

Course directorMichael Epperly, PhD

Teachers of Radiobiology

  • Yong Lee, PhD
  • Line Zhang, PhD
  • Tao Cheng, MD
  • Chris Bakkenist, PhD

Special Course DirectorPeck-Sun Lin, PhD, Emeritus Professor, VCU

View radiation biology sample schedule

Clinical Lectures

Clinical LecturesThe core curriculum includes a series of seminars in basic clinical radiation oncology where the basics of each disease entity will be reviewed in detail, emphasizing treatment options, techniques, results and morbidity. These will be in addition to one-to-one discussions in the disease-oriented rotations.

View sample lecture topics