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Final Words: Wei Zhou and the Medical Physics Program

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Author: Wei Zhou | Category: Final Words... | April 20, 2016

Your name, program, dissertation title.

Wei Zhou, Medical Physics Track in Radiological Science Ph.D. Program. My dissertation is entitled “MRI of the visual pathway in glaucoma.”

Please tell me about yourself, why did you pick UT Health Science Center, and your program.

I was intrigued by world of physics when I was in junior high school. Therefore I chose physics as my major in my undergraduate study. I graduated with a bachelor of science degree from Nanjing University, China in June 2012. 

I realized that I could apply my physics knowledge into the medical field, e.g. to improve the technique for diagnosis of patients by imaging modalities. 

The Radiological Science program here in UT Health Science Center, San Antonio is one of the best radiological programs and it provides the ample resources for imaging research. I feel very luck to spend my graduate study here learning all the concepts about the radiological physics.

Please provide a few sentences summarizing your dissertation. What was the experience like for you?

The overall objective of my dissertation is to develop and optimize a comprehensive multimodality MRI protocol for testing the central hypothesis that MRI could be a sensitive tool to neuro-degeneration along the visual pathway in glaucoma.

Despite all the challenges I had, I feel it is very interesting to talk to many people who were recruited in my study.

Why are you passionate about your research topic? How did you first become interested in it?

Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness. Understanding the complexity of glaucoma pathology could provide new insights on finding new biomarkers for early diagnosis to preserve more vision, and developing more effective treatment to stop disease progression.

During monthly ophthalmology research meeting in my first year, I got a chance to know the clinical questions about glaucoma from ophthalmologists that there is a urge to better understand this ocular disorder. I was then motivated and collaborated with clinicians and scientists to design this study.

What was your best memory during graduate school or what did you learn?

I feel the Co-Rec Soccer game by the UTHSCSA study life is one of my best memories. I had a wonderful time playing soccer with my awesome team members.

What’s next?

I got matched into the Medical Physics Residency program in Mayo Clinic, Rochester and I will work as an imaging resident starting this July.

Any advice for your fellow graduate students?

It is not easy to find the right way of performing experiments and analyzing data, and it takes a lot of time and efforts. Be patient and you will get it. 

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