Michael Snyder

Michael Snyder

Adjunct Associate Professor, Physicist (Radiation Oncology) at Beaumont Hospital


Michael Snyder


4201 St. Antoine
Detroit, MI 48201
Office Location: SW Corner of the GROC Physics Area

Office Phone



I have been at WSU since 2010 as a faculty member in the Department of Radiation Oncology. I currently teach both the Treatment Planning and Brachytherapy courses and help students with their Doctoral or Master's theses. In addition to teaching and mentoring, I also enjoy watching my meager forays into medical physics research crash and burn spectacularly on the seven hills of vendor apathy.

Education Training

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.S. Physics, Astrophysics and Astronomy 5/1998
University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D. Physics 5/2006
Wayne State University School of Medicine, M.S. Radiological Physics 4/2010

Postgraduate Training
5/06 - 9/06 Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Complex Quantum Systems, Univ. of Texas
7/09 - 9/09 Clinical Intern, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit MI
9/09 - 5/10 Medical Physics Resident, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit MI

Faculty Appointments
5/10 - Present Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI

Professional Appointments
8/10 - Present Graduate Admissions Committee, WSU Medical Physics
8/10 - Present Student Advisory Committee, WSU Medical Physics
8/10 - Present Curriculum and Evaluations Committee, WSU Medical Physics

Research Interests

I am willing to work on just about anything, but my background is somewhat mathematical and computational. Simple models that attempt to describe some sort of phenomena. For Master's students in particular, however, I tend to attempt to make the research projects as clinically applicable as possible, using tools that would be useful to understand in clinical practice.

My current Research Interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Thermal Imaging for skin reaction diagnosis
  • Low energy x-ray therapy using heavy metal nanoparticles
  • Radiotherapy applications of Microsoft Kinect
  • Biological modeling of normal tissue toxicities
  • Deterministic modeling of chaotic resonances in the biological distribution of nanoparticles
  • Phantom design for anthropomorphic MR studies
  • Planning strategies for hypofractionated treatments
  • The use of entropy to predict plan complexity and IMRT failure rates


An individual research project is most often a small piece of a larger line of research. Many of the projects listed below can be extended or completed, should a student find the topic interesting.

Recent Student Projects

  • Slava Zakjevskii, "Development of an End-to-End Accuracy Test for TrueBeam"
  • Kathryn Masi, "Efficacy of Prostate SBRT When the Daily Anatomy Differs Significantly From the Baseline Anatomy"
  • Ben Catt, "A Forward Scattering Approximation to Dose Calculation Using the Linear Boltzmann Transport Equation"
  • Alan Mayville, "Contrast-Enhanced Low-Energy Radiation Therapy, A New Approach"
  • Joseph Koh, "Construction of MicroMLC for use on Contrast Enhanced Low Energy Radiation Therapy"
  • Steve Neilsen, "Mouse Irradiation Platform for Co-60"
  • Andrew Veres, "Complexity Analysis of IMRT QA Surrogate Plans"
  • Swetha Sabu, "Statistical Relationship Between Random Leaf Motion Error and Spinal Cord Dose in Lung SBRT Treatments"
  • Mary Cherven, "Calibrating the Eclipse Treatment Planning System for use in Low-Energy Radiotherapy Treatments"
  • Yashwanth Katkuri, "Investigating the Use of Microsoft Kinect Motion Tracking Toolkit in Quantifying Deviations in Patient Position during Radiotherapy Treatments"
  • Jonathan DeLauter, "Non-Stochastic Effects of Machine Parameters on Mult-Leaf Collimator Leaf Positioning Errors"
  • Robyn Spink, "Quality and Deliverability of Intensity Modulated Neutron Radiotherapy (IMNRT) Plans"
  • David Jack, "Significance of Leaf Motion Error for RapidArc Lung SBRT in Proximity to the Heart
  • Michael Sigler, "A Comparative Study of Conventional Radiotherapy, Hypo-Fractionation, and SBRT in Prostate Cancer Using BiologicalEffective Dose"
  • Peng Zhou, "Web-Based Database of Linac Morning Quality Assurance Data"
    Hao-Wen Cheng, "Modeling Dose Enhancement from High Atomic Number Nanoparticles Using the GEANT4 Monte Carlo Simulation Toolkit"
  • Michael Derr, "The Sensitivity of RapidArc Lung SBRT Plans to Leaf Motion Error"
  • Xiaodong Liu, "Fast Monte Carlo Simulation for Total Body Irradiation using a Co-60 Teletherapy Unit"
  • Steve Laub, "A Technical Evaluation of Tomotherapy's Automatic Roll Correction Feature"
  • Ali Kakakhel, "Commissioning of a Cylindrical Teflon Phantom for SBRT Delivery Quality Assurance"
  • Shawon Joseph, "Cellular Automata Approach to Radiobiological Modeling"
  • Ryan Price, "Analysis of Varian Linear Accelerator Dynalog Files using Data-Mining Techniques"
  • Elizabeth Wennerstrom, "Deforming Planning CT Images to CBCT Images Using MIMVista"


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Division of Radiation Oncology