ESP Biography

NICOLE ACKERMAN, Physics PhD Student in Med School

Major: Physics/Radiation Oncology

College/Employer: Stanford

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Nicole Ackerman

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I received my undergraduate degree in Physics from MIT in 2007 and came to Stanford to get my PhD in Physics. I worked at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, researching in the field of particle physics. As an undergraduate I had worked on ATLAS (at CERN) and the BaBar experiment (at SLAC). I recently left SLAC to begin working in Radiation Oncology. I study ways radiation treats cancer and imaging techniques using radiation. I like using my skills and knowledge from particle physics in the field of medicine and hope that I will help improve how we diagnose and treat cancer.

I'm originally from the Detroit area of Michigan, but I really like living in California. My hobbies include SCUBA diving, biking, salsa dancing, gardening, and baking cookies. My favorite thing to do is travel to Italy, but it doesn't happen frequently. I really enjoy teaching physics and telling the public about science. I've been a tour guide at SLAC, talked to members of Congress about particle physics, and taught an ESP course at MIT.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S1020: Medical Physics: Treating cancer with particles in Splash! Fall 2010 (Nov. 13 - 14, 2010)
You might have heard about the particle accelerator up at SLAC (or at CERN, in Switzerland), but did you know that there are many accelerators at the local hospital? This class will explore how particles (from accelerators and radioactive decay) are used to treat cancer. We'll cover the basics of particles - what they are and how they interact. Some biology will be discussed, with a focus on DNA and mutations. Finally, we'll explore how they are related, what is currently used in the hospitals, and where current research is heading.