Dr. Brad Hartl from the University of California, Davis co-authored the paper, “The Effect of Radiation Dose on the Onset and Progression of Radiation-Induced Brain Necrosis in the Rat Model“, which was one of our most accessed articles and he shared some of his insights with us.
How and/or when did you get into this field of study?
I started out as a physics major as an undergraduate. Any projects that bring me closer to and/or involve more physics have a strong appeal for me. When this project came up in graduate school, it was an obvious choice.
Why is this article important?
Predicting and understanding the occurrence of radiation-induced necrosis is a significant clinical challenge when treating brain tumors with radiotherapy. This study provides critical insight into the spatiotemporal dynamics of its progression in a well controlled animal model of the disease.
Where do you see your field in the next 10 years?
These days even 10 years away seems so hard to predict. I’d hope that by then there’d be much more accurate prediction of radiation necrosis from dose planning. And when radiation necrosis is present, surgical outcomes will be significantly improved by using novel optical techniques such as fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy.
Is there any particular article you published that launched your career? (Please send title of the article). Did it lead to recognition/funding/promotion etc?
I guess not necessarily launched my career, but my first paper (Characterizing low fluence thresholds for in vitro photodynamic therapy, Biomed. Opt. Express) holds a certain sentimental value for me.
Do you have any advice for Postdoctoral Researchers?
Find a mentor and lab environment that is fully supportive of you and fosters your ideas.
What is the one job you’d love doing if you weren’t in your current occupation?
Love traveling; after having visited all 50 states (and coming close to all 59 U.S. National Parks), would like to think I’d be a landscape photographer if not a scientist.
What’s the most unusual item you have in your office?
A solidified chunk of igneous basalt I hand-pulled from flowing lava myself.
Star Trek or Star Wars?
The original Star Wars trilogy for the win!
Wine or Beer?
Beer, preferably a dark stout or porter.
Growing up in Wisconsin, I’ve got to go with a good bratwurst and sauerkraut.