Firas Mourtada, MSE, PhD, DABR, is the chief of clinical physics for Christiana Care's Helen F. Graham Cancer Center. Dr. Mourtada oversees the delivery of radiation treatments by working side by side with a team of radiation oncologists, physicists and dosimetrists to ensure patients receive the safest and most effective treatment for cancer. He is also responsible for seeking and integrating cutting-edge radiation oncology technologies into the Christiana health system.
Since joining Christiana Care in 2011, Dr. Mourtada also has worked to establish a residency program for medical physicists in affiliation with the Thomas Jefferson University residency program. In addition, he supports initiatives for clinical trials at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center as well as clinically oriented research in collaboration with the Center for Translational Cancer Research and within Christiana Care's Radiation Oncology Department.
His own research work at Christiana Care includes a National Institutes of Health-funded grant to investigate a novel dose calculation method for treatment planning of targeted radionuclide therapy. The results could help radiation oncologists better predict how tumors respond to such therapy and the likelihood of cancer recurring and spreading.
Dr. Mourtada has a master's degree in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He earned his doctorate in radiation health from Johns Hopkins in 1997. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md.
He has been certified by the American Board of Radiology in therapeutic radiologic physics since 2005.
Dr. Mourtada previously was a faculty member at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Before his arrival at Christiana Care, he was an associate professor with tenure in both Departments of Radiation Physics in the Division of Radiation Oncology and Experimental Diagnostic Imaging in the Division of Diagnostic Imaging. He was also on the teaching faculty of the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
During his nine years at these institutions, he split his time between laboratory research and clinic. He was the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on numerous National Institutes of Health- and Department of Defense-funded studies, including ones that focused on finding new radiolabeled agents for imaging and targeting tumors, developing software for planning radiation treatments, and testing novel devices for delivering radiation treatments related to gynecological cancers. His academic work included teaching courses on interstitial and intracavity dosimetry and radiologic physics for radiation oncology. He supervised several radiation oncology and medical physics residents and graduate students for the master's and doctoral degrees as well as postdoctoral fellows. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences to mentor his students.
In 2009, the MD Anderson Cancer Center recognized him with the Radiation Physics Chairman's Award for Meritorious Service to the Institution and for Innovation and Creativity.
Dr. Mourtada holds five patents, with a sixth pending. His research is widely published and includes more than 50 peer-reviewed original articles and 10 book chapters. He is frequently invited to speak about radiation oncology at national and international conferences. Over the past decade, he served as the medical physics editor or associate editor for three major journals in his field and as a U.S. expert on brachytherapy for the International Organization of Standardization in Switzerland. He also served on several national task groups for the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the American Society of Radiation Oncology. In addition, he is an active member of the American Brachytherapy Society and the Society of Nuclear Medicine.