ASRT Foundation Awards $50,000 for International Collaborative Research Grant

May. 24, 2024
Jacob A. Manning

The ASRT Foundation has awarded the $50,000 International Collaborative Research Grant to principal investigator Maria Dimopoulos, Ph.D., R.T.(T), and her co-investigators Nicole Harnett, M.Ed., M.R.T.(T), who is leading the research efforts for Canada, Samantha Skubish, M.S., R.T.(R)(T), Yat Tsang, Ph.D., FCR, and Caitlin Gillan, Ph.D., M.R.T.(T), FCAMRT. The research team is using the grant to analyze previous and current advanced practice radiation therapist training programs internationally and to identify an evidence-based, best-practice framework for APRT education in the U.S. and Canada.

The APRT role practices at an advanced level in radiation therapy. It requires the radiation therapist to complete additional education, training and mentorship under the guidance of a radiation oncologist. The APRT possesses an enhanced and unique scope of practice, allowing them to participate in shared clinical decision-making, leadership, education and research.

According to the researchers, the need for APRTs in the U.S. and Canada is increasing; however, there are no APRT training programs available in the U.S. or Canada. Furthermore, no study has analyzed the international training pathways to identify a best practice framework for APRT education in North America. The APRT model has been successful in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore and is in its implementation phase in the U.S., highlighting its value in improving the quality and advancement of clinical care.

“The findings will contribute to the development of effective and standardized APRT education programs, ultimately enhancing the quality of patient care and advancing the field of radiation therapy in these countries,” said Dr. Dimopoulos.

Dr. Dimopoulos is an assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the Department of Radiation Oncology in New York City where she leads the Center in Radiation Sciences Education. She received a doctoral degree in Health Professions Leadership and Education from Pacific University, a master’s degree in health care from Simmons University, Radiation Therapy Education at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University. She serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences and is a member of the ASRT Foundation Research Grants and Advisory Panel.

The International Collaborative Research Grant supports medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals aspiring to partner with an international colleague to conduct research in radiologic technology. The goal is to enhance the profession’s body of knowledge and to promote international research collaboration with a maximum timeline of two years.