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Hugo named director of Medical Physics Division

Division ensures safety, accuracy of radiotherapy for cancer, cardiac arrhythmia patients

by Michelle LinhardtAugust 3, 2021

Washington University

Geoffrey Hugo, PhD, a professor of radiation oncology, has been named director of the Medical Physics Division in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Hugo is recognized for his role in developing the use of radioablation to treat patients with cardiac arrhythmias, and for his work advancing adaptive radiotherapy, which involves changing a patient’s radiation therapy plan to accommodate changes in the anatomy over the course of treatment. He is an international leader in the field of real-time imaging and motion management, and was recently a member of the radiation therapy and biology study section of the National Cancer Institute.

“Dr. Hugo is an outstanding research scientist and an excellent medical physicist,” said Dennis E. Hallahan, MD, the Elizabeth H. and James S. McDonnell III Distinguished Professor of Medicine and head of the Department of Radiation Oncology. “He is leading the way to improve radiotherapy for cancer and cardiac arrhythmias so that more effective treatments can be brought to the clinic. His strengths, talents and expertise are precisely what we were looking for in leadership for the Medical Physics Division.”

Washington University is a national leader in radiation oncology, developing standard protocols and quality-assessment tools used by radiation therapy centers across the country.

“I am very excited to start this new role in this amazing department,” said Hugo, who is also a fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. “I was drawn here several years ago by the outstanding history of innovation, wealth of resources and support, and most of all by the wonderful people in the department. I look forward to collaborating across the department, school and university to continue growing our clinical, research and educational programs.”

After earning his master’s and doctoral degrees in biomedical physics from the University of California, Los Angeles, Hugo joined the staff of William Beaumont Hospital, in Royal Oak, Mich., where he participated in the clinical implementation of cone beam computerized tomography (CT) technology and was involved in developing an adaptive radiotherapy program for lung cancer. He then joined the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Radiation Oncology in Richmond, Va., in 2008 as an assistant professor and also served as director of the Medical Physics Graduate Program there.

In 2017, Hugo joined the Washington University School of Medicine faculty. He began serving as interim director of the Medical Physics Division in May 2020.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 1,700 faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is a leader in medical research, teaching and patient care, consistently ranking among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.