February 26, 2020
The National Society of Black Physicists honors Dr. Julianne Pollard-Larkin. Dr. Pollard-Larkin is a clinical medical physicist and an assistant professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.
Dr. Julianne Pollard-Larkin is originally from Miami, Florida. She double-majored in Physics and Mathematics at the University of Miami for her BS. She received her PhD from UCLA in Biomedical Physics. Her dissertation work was focused on assessing radiomodulatory agents in radiosensitive cell lines derived from patients with Ataxia-Telangiectasia. After receiving her PhD at UCLA, Julianne was accepted into the Medical Physics Residency program at MD Anderson in Houston, TX. Following her residency, Julianne was hired by MD Anderson as faculty.
Currently, Dr. Pollard-Larkin is an Associate Professor of Medical Physics at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. She also serves as the clinical Medical Physicist Service Chief over MD Anderson’s Thoracic and Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology Clinics. She conducts clinical research and mentors and teaches Medical Physics residents and graduate students. Her primary research interests include ultrahigh dose rate radiotherapy dose measurements and improving the efficacy of motion management in thoracic treatments and radiobiology. Julianne is also the Chair of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.
Legacy - Addressing the global cancer divide by increasing representation of underrepresented groups.
In addition to her clinical work, her main goal is to expand her teaching and mentoring to include physicists and students in the global community to help address the global cancer divide. She has partnered with international physicists to teach Medical Physics to African graduate students via online resources. Ensuring that more underrepresented students and women follow in her footsteps is Julianne’s passion. In her role as the Project Lead for MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Women and Minority Faculty Inclusion program, she organizes STEM outreach events at her center to encourage the local Houston middle and high school students to study STEM. Although, Julianne was the first African American woman at her PhD program and first African American woman Radiation Physics faculty member at MD Anderson, her goal is to make sure that she is not the last.