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Biomedical Physics Program

Biomedical Physics Program

Fresno State's Biomedical Physics Program is designed to combine a solid foundation in physics with adaptability to a wide range of medical and biomedical careers.  Graduates with solid scientific backgrounds are in high demand. Our program has the distinct advantage of small class size, a dedicated and recently updated classroom, individual academic and career advising, and hands-on laboratory and clinical equipment experiences.

The major in biomedical physics has been designed for students who are interested in pursuing careers in interdisciplinary areas such as Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, and Biophysics or related careers in the health sciences.  This major will give students a solid foundation in physics as applied to biological systems and medicine, with a great deal of flexibility to shape the major towards a student’s specific career goals.

Our programs lay the foundation for careers in fields, such as:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biophysics
  • Medical Physics
  • Medicine, dentistry, and other health careers
  • Radiological Physics
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Research-based roles at medical technology companies
  • Other fields of engineering such as biological/chemical engineering

Graduates have entered a variety of engineering fields, including biomedical, civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering.

Our Goal

Our undergraduate biomedical physics program was initiated over 10 years ago by Dr. Amir Huda with the financial support of a training grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The main goal of the program was to prepare our graduates to enter into the very competitive graduate programs (MS or PhD) in medical physics. Graduate school (at least at the MS level) and medical physics residency (imaging or therapy) are required by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) that certifies most of the medical physicists in the United States. About half of our past graduates successfully sought other opportunities in related careers such Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) or Nuclear Medicine Technologist. Starting in the junior year, the program includes courses which prepare the student with the fundamental physics knowledge and experimental methods broadly used across all medical physics specialties.

Our program is currently supported by two physics faculty members (Dr. Amir Huda and Dr. Mihai Gherase) and three adjunct faculty members who are certified practicing medical physicists in the Fresno-Clovis area: Drs. Richard Dunia, Gopi Solaiappan, and Georg Weidlich. Our Seminar in biomedical physics course (Physics 155) includes invited talks from our adjunct faculty, former students, and research or practicing medical physicists. Thus, students find out first-hand about clinical Medical Physics and related careers, graduate school experiences, medical physics residency system, various career-paths, etc. The course also offers the opportunity to learn about subfields of medical physics not covered in our formal course curriculum.

Research Opportunities

Our students are given unique research opportunities:

  • Medical and biological x-ray fluorescence (XRF) under the supervision of Dr. Mihai Gherase in his microbeam lab located in the Science 2 building.
  • Hands-on experience with the linear accelerator (LINAC) at the local Fresno Cancer Centre under the guidance of Dr. Rick Dunia
  • Career-changing summer research internship opportunities at clinical centers in California or across the country. 
  • Research opportunities for undergraduate students in experimental biophysics, are also available at the nearby University of California, Merced.