Within the 'PARticle Therapy REsearch Center (PARTREC)' imbedded in the Depts. of Radiation Oncology and Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), Groningen, the Netherlands, we have an immediate opening at the Professor/Associate Professor level in Radiation Physics with a focus on particle therapy. The successful candidate will assume the Radiation Physics Team Leader role and will oversee three physics faculty as well as, graduate and postgraduate students, and will be a member of the PARTREC Management Team and Scientific Board.
UMCG PARticle Therapy REsearch Center (PARTREC)
At present, the UMCG is one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands and the largest employer in the Northern Netherlands. With over 1.300 beds and more than 13.000 employees and takes care of an adherence region of over 2.5 million inhabitants in the north of the Netherlands. The UMCG is ISO-certified for patient care, teaching, training and research. The University of Groningen (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, RUG) is a top 100 university in international rankings.
UMCG foresees an important role for particle therapy in general and proton therapy in particular, both for patient care and for research. Therefore, UMCG is further intensifying the proton therapy research by establishing the PARTREC facility. PARTREC is a dedicated research facility embedded in the Depts. of Radiation Oncology and Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems, and will work in synergy with the existing clinical proton facility, the Groningen Proton Therapy Center (GPTC), which is part of the Department of Radiation Oncology of UMCG. Our strategic research priorities are related to the physics and biology of particle irradiation, with a special focus on proton therapy. This focus fits completely with the UMCG strengths (state-of-the-art infrastructure) and priorities (focus on healthy aging and on complex pathology).
UMCG PARTREC operates a large superconducting cyclotron for experimental research (former KVI-CART), mainly in radiation physics and biology, to support further development of radiotherapy with ion beams. For this research program the cyclotron delivers beams of various ions ranging from protons to oxygen with energies up to 190 MeV for protons and 90 MeV per nucleon for ions of helium to oxygen. The accelerator is furthermore used for research in nuclear physics by faculty of the University of Groningen and for commercial radiation hardness testing. Some 20 FTEs of technical staff operate the accelerator facility and provide support to design and build experimental apparatus.
UMCG PARTREC promotes multidisciplinary research in which radiation physics and biology, imaging, big-data analysis, and clinical research come together to improve the quality of proton therapy treatment and explore potential benefits of other particles for cancer treatment. Over 30 PhD students and post graduate students are currently dedicated to particle therapy research.
The facility is well-integrated in the research landscape, participating in various EU-projects. Currently a new research infrastructure for image guided preclinical irradiations (IMPACT), supported by an infrastructure grant awarded by the Dutch Cancer Society in 2019, is under development. It is expected to be fully operational by 2023. At this new infrastructure novel irradiation modalities such as FLASH and SFRT with proton and helium beams will be available for worldwide users. UMCG PARTREC has the ability to uniquely combine technology development, preclinical and patient studies with an R&D program to demonstrate clinical and economic benefits and to continuously improve proton therapy technology and the treatment itself, while assessing the feasibility of other particles for high precision radiotherapy.