Rongxiao Zhang, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Radiation Oncology


(404) 778-3473


Emory Proton Therapy Center



Rongxiao Zhang, PhD, joined Emory in 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Medical Physics in the Department of Radiation Oncology. As a faculty medical physicist, Dr. Zhang works in the Emory Proton Therapy Center, which is scheduled to treat patients in late 2018. He has a strong interest in research related to innovative imaging guidance, molecular imaging, Monte Carlo, dose delivery techniques and adaptive treatment in radiation therapy. He is committed to ensure and continuously improve radiation treatment quality for patients based on clinical and translational researches.

Prior to joining Emory, Dr. Zhang was in the Harvard Medical Physics Residency Program, where he received extensive training in radiotherapy from Harvard Medical School affiliated hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He had a broad range of exposure and solid hands-on experience with various treatment techniques (both photon and proton), treatment machines, treatment planning systems, and verification systems. He had the unique opportunity to join the commissioning of two TrueBeam linear accelerators at Massachusetts General Hospital's second proton center. As a senior physics resident, he was also involved in the training and teaching of junior physics residents and medical physics or dosimetrist graduate students.


Dr. Zhang received his BS from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and his PhD from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. While at Dartmouth College, he did pioneering work to introduce Cherenkov imaging into radiation therapy. They investigated biomedical applications of Cherenkov Radiation Imaging in External Beam Radiation Therapy, including: estimation of surface and exit dose; for accurate patient positioning; Cherenkoscopy for real time treatment monitoring; Cherenkov molecular imaging and tomography for oxygenation assessment from probe phosphorescence lifetime; Cherenkov imaging for reference dosimetry and dose reconstruction.


During his residency, Dr. Zhang developed a proton radiography and proton CT project by using a single detector. Based on this technique, he and his colleagues validated iteratively optimizing relative stopping power (RSP) in x-ray CT voxels to reduce range uncertainties. He also investigated measuring real tissue sample to assess the accuracy of our CT Hounsfield Unit to RSP conversion model. In another project, they evaluated the benefits of dual-energy CT sim in proton therapy for more accurate dose delivery. In clinical projects, he assessed using optical surface imaging only for the guidance of breast treatment and using log files for proton pencil beam scanning quality assurance.