Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Medical Foundation and Dr. Kanta Marwah Scholarship in Medical Physics

The following note was sent to the Kiwanis Office from the recipient of the scholarship at Carleton University.

Dear Kiwanis Club,  

I am a fourth year PhD student in the Medical Physics department of Carleton University and am the recipient of the latest scholarship from Dr.Marwah and the Kiwanis club. I wanted to write to express my sincerest thanks and also to tell you a bit about myself.

First of all, I cannot thank you enough for the financial support you have provided. As I'm nearing the end of my time in graduate school, the financial burdens of not being out the in 'real world' are starting to take a toll. Its moments like this that remind me that my work and perseverance is appreciated and worthwhile.

I work under the supervision of Dr.Joanna Cygler at the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre. Throughout my MSc and PhD, I have been working on in vivo dosimetry, which is a field that studies different ways to measure the radiation dose delivered to patients during their cancer treatment. We can use different detectors and place them directly on the patient's body to act as a final check of the delivered treatment.

Most recently we've been working with a new detector that measures dose and position.
This is especially useful in treatment of lung cancer, where tumours can move significantly throughout the breathing cycle. Tracking breathing and tumour motion can potentially allow us to deliver treatment more efficiently, delivering a higher dose to the tumour while sparing nearby healthy organs.
I enjoy my work because I have the opportunity to work directly with patients and to see the benefit of my work with my own eyes.

I'm sure you can understand how rare this opportunity it since many scientific developments take years before being implemented outside the lab.

More than anything, I must thank you for working to develop this scholarship in the first place. Knowing that you believed it was a worthwhile cause that deserved to be recognized is something I will not soon forget. I will be sure to stay in touch and to let you know when I finally finish this degree!
Thank you once again.
Amanda Cherpak