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Research GrantsTechnology

Technology research topics of interest to Varian include, but are not limited to, the following; contacts are listed below:

Knowledge-Based Planning

  • How to simplify and partially or fully automate the model generation process.
  • Development of knowledge-based decision support. For example, use of DVH estimation to determine is IMRT justified for this patient, or do I need to adapt today’s treatment?
  • Development of knowledge-based continuous quality improvement. We propose that a model is a representation of a practice at a given point in time. Could models created at different times be used to assess effectiveness of quality improvement measures?
  • Can sharing of models facilitate the adoption of best practices?
  • Can models be used to achieve greater plan consistency in clinical studies? Can models be used to perform quality assurance of plans in clinical studies?

Distributed Learning

  • How to create a distributed learning system that learns from all patients and updates itself regularly.
  • Development of ontologies for oncology to enable data comparisons and improve data quality.
  • How to maintain data quality in a distributed learning environment.
  • Application of a distributed learning system to answer clinical questions, such as:
    • Which SBRT dose schema is best for a particular patient?
    • What is the probability of dyspnea/dysphagia in a particular lung cancer patient?
    • Based on radiomics features, should a particular patient’s plan be adapted?


  • Development of predictive analytics in oncology, including use of imaging for predictive analytics
  • How to enhance cyber security on premise in the clinic, in the cloud, and in hybrid systems.
  • How to leverage new ‘big data’ sources, such as genomics.

Advanced Treatment Planning

  • How to implement online adaptive planning; what are the clinical cases that will benefit the most from online adaptive planning.
  • Development of new treatment techniques that improve dose compactness and conformality.
  • Development of new and innovative image segmentation algorithms, such as probabilistic-based models that factor in shape, texture, etc.
  • Development of MR only planning.
  • Development of new optimization engines, in particular to improve plan conformity and robustness.
  • How to raise the level of abstraction for the Eclipse API. How to make the API easier to use and make it possible to solve problems with less code.


  • How to improve intrafraction imaging of soft tissues.
  • How to use prior knowledge to improve CBCT image quality.
  • How to accurately identify implanted fiducials >99.9% of the time in kV and MV images.
  • How to identify 3D location of implanted fiducials using a single 2D image.
  • Development of markerless tumor tracking.
  • Development of techniques for planar and volumetric intra-fraction imaging at non-zero couch angles.
  • Development of digital tomosynthesis.
  • What is the future of in room ultrasound?
  • What is the future of in room functional imaging?
  • How to use radiomics in standard workflow to assess response during treatment and possibly adjust therapy
  • Development of image-based tumor analytics.
  • How to enhance visualization techniques in bioinformatics.

Quality Assurance and Safety

  • How to analyze machine log files to predict failures before they occur.
  • How to simplify and automate routine QA processes.
  • How to improve safety throughout the radiotherapy process.


  • How to use biosensors and wearable devices in the management of oncology patients.
  • How to use gamification and other techniques to increase patient engagement, e.g., to improve compliance to treatment regimens during treatment, to increase engagement with educational materials and survivorship, and to increase participation in long term follow up.


Scott Johnson, PhD
Sr Director, Academic Relations
Telephone: +1-773-490-4721

Anthony Lujan, PhD
Sr Manager, Global Research Collaborations
Region: Northeast North America
Telephone: +1-312-391-1976

Timo Berkus, PhD
Sr Manager, Research Collaborations
Region: Europe and India
Telephone: +49-151-1135-8407

Michael Davis, MS, JD
Sr Manager, Research Collaborations
Region: Central and Western North America, Central and South America
Telephone: +1-713-397-4403

Camille Noel, MSCI, PhD
Manager, Research Collaborations
Region: Northeast, Southeast, Central North America
Telephone: +1-650-272-7712

Johnny Cheng
Manager, Research Collaborations
Region: Asia and Australia
Telephone: +852-2722-8130



BC Cancer Summit
British Columbia, Canada
Ahmedabad, India
Third Annual Miami Brain Symposium
Miami, FL, USA