MR guided Radiotherapy Research Lab

Ali Fatemi, PhD, MCCPM

Chief Medical Physicist, Director of MRI guided Radiotherapy lab

Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Radiology

University of Mississippi Medical Center

2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216-4505

E mail:

Tel: (601)-815-1778,


Dr. Ali Fatemi is the Chief Medical Physicist and Director of MRI guided Radiotherapy lab at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). He is a certified medical physicist by The Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine (CCPM) in therapeutic physics. He is a chair of AAPM Task group 117, " Use of MRI Data in Treatment Planning and Stereotactic Procedures - Spatial Accuracy and Quality Control Procedures".

His team working on optimizing MRI for stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in collaboration with both the Departments of Radiology and of Radiation Oncology. They proposed the quality assurance (QA) program for the MRI machine intended for SRS treatment planning, evaluated the geometrical and dosimetric accuracy of geometrically corrected anatomical MRI images for SRS planning, evaluated the geometrical and dosimetric accuracy of synthetic CT images (derived directly from MRI images) for SRS planning (including inhomogeneity correction), evaluated the feasibility of using Synthetic CT images for patient localization co-registration with the onboard Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) on the Gamma Knife Icon machine, evaluated the accuracy and clinical feasibility of different candidate algorithms to generate Synthetic CT images, and finally, considered the use of functional MRI images in the process of SRS planning and post-tumor evaluation.

In collaboration with Dr. Mark Haacke, one of the pioneers in the field of MRI vascular imaging, his team developing for the first time a method to assess MRI tumor vascularity and use multiparametric quantitative imaging for planning and assessment in SRS: Using 3D contrast-enhanced (CE) Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA), Diffusion and Strategically Acquired Gradient Echo Imaging (STAGE) Imaging. Also they investigate the applicability of multiparametric response mapping using radiomics and texture analysis for post tumor evaluation for liver, head and neck and brain tumors.

Facility and Resources

The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) is the only academic medical center in the state of Mississippi with 4 hospitals, 2,900 students, 600 residents and fellows, and 1000 staff physicians. The adult hospital has 722 beds and has 28,000 annual inpatient admissions. The UMMC Cancer Institute is dedicated to providing world-class care that involves research, clinical trials, drug development and outpatient treatment.

The Department of Radiology has 35 full-time equivalent clinical staff, with the majority of radiologists focusing on cancer imaging. The Department of Radiology at UMMC has 7 clinical CT scanners (4 Siemens and 3 GE) and 5 MRI Scanners (3T Skyra and 1.5T Siemens, Espree, Avanto, Aera) and finally the state of Art MAGNETOM AERA RT Pro edition . The UMMC Radiology IT support core team is available to assist with image transfer and storage issues.

The Department of Radiation Oncology strives to provide compassionate, state-of-the-art radiation treatment to cancer patients while continuing to teach the next generation of caregivers and find ever better ways to provide treatment. It is integral part of the Cancer Institute at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Our staff work in two locations, using state-of-the-art technology (5 Linancs, HDR and Gamma knife) and treatment methods (SRS, SBRT, IMRT, VMAT, TBI, and HDR brachytherapy) to provide care for adult and paediatric patients.

MR guided Radiotherapy Lab is measures 300 square feet and contains 5 cubicle desks, each with desktop personal computers and monitors (three with dual monitors). These core facilities are where full-time research fellows (x3) work. Students and residents participating in research also utilize this area. The advance imaging core lab also do have an access to fully equipped and state of art wet lab and machine shop on physiology lab to make phantoms and chemicals..

Research Grants

1. Cancer Care Ontario seed grant, “MRI-guided Radiation Treatment Planning,” 2014, $40k for one year (Funded)

2. UMMC Intramural Research (IRSP) grant, “MR QA procedure for patient-specific distortion correction,” 2016, 30k for a year (Funded)

3. UMMC Neuro Institute pilot research grant, “MRI-based Radiation Treatment Planning (MRgRTP),” 2017, 30k for a year (Funded)

4. UMMC Intramural Funding Support Program (IRSP), MRI guided radiotherapy, 2018, 30k for a year (Funded)

5. Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation, “Autimated clinical workflow for adaptive head&neck cancer radiotherapy uing generalized parametric mapping”, 559k for 2 years (Submitted)

6. Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research (MCCTP), MRI guied Stereotactic Radiosurgury (SRS), 40k for a year (Letter of intent submitted)

7. NIH R01, “ Technical Developments and Applications of MRI Brain Vascular System and quantitative imaging for guided brain Stereotactic Radiotherapy” Asking for 540k (In Preperation)

8. NIH R01, “ MRI based Stereotactic Radiosurgury (SRS)”, Asking for 489k (In Preperation)