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Siteman Medical Physicist Among 12 Recognized by American Society for Radiation Oncology

Eric Klein, PhD

Jim Goodwin

Oct. 25, 2012 – Eric Klein, PhD, a medical physicist at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, has been named one of 12 fellows this year by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

Klein and the rest of the 2012 class will be recognized Oct. 30 at ASTRO’s 54th annual meeting in Boston. The ceremony is part of the 10:45 a.m. awards event in the grand ballroom at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Among other requirements for consideration, candidates must have made a significant contribution to the field of radiation oncology.

“Being chosen as an ASTRO fellow is one of the most distinguished honors that the society awards,” says Michael Steinberg, MD, ASTRO president and professor and chairman of radiation oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles. “This year's class clearly stood out because of their distinct contributions to ASTRO and to the field of radiation oncology as a whole.”

Klein’s accomplishments include starting the first accredited physics residency program in the U.S. at Washington University School of Medicine, which has served as a model for more than 60 accredited programs that have followed. He also led a task group in linear accelerator quality assurance, TG-142, and is senior physics editor for the International Journal of Radiation Biology and Physics.

Klein, a professor of radiation oncology and co-director of the Medical Physics Division at Washington University School of Medicine, is also lead physicist at the S. Lee Kling Proton Therapy Center. The $25 million facility, slated to open at Siteman in 2013, will offer second-generation proton therapy technology. A highly accurate form of radiation therapy, it is used to treat tumors near the spine, brain, and other vital organs without damaging healthy tissue nearby. It’s especially helpful for treating children, who require greater precision because their growing normal tissues are more sensitive to radiation.

Klein says being named a 2012 ASTRO fellow reinforces Siteman’s commitment to providing innovative cancer care.

“I am honored for the recognition,” he says. “For me, it further validates the outstanding research and training we conduct that ultimately will benefit patients.”