Alasdair Syme

Assistant Professor

Alasdair Syme

Phone: 902-473-6191
Fax: 902-473-6120
Mailing Address: 
Department of Medical Physics
QEII Health Sciences Centre
Rm 3028, Dickson Building
5820 University Avenue
Halifax, B3H 1V7



  • BSc (McMaster University) - Honours Medical and Health Physics
  • PhD (University of Alberta) - Physics (Medical Physcis specialization)

Research Interests

Novel radiation detectors

This research is focused on the design, fabrication and evaluation of radiation detection and dosimetry systems.  Areas of interest include organic electronic devices and scintillation detectors (organic and inorganic).

4-Pi radiotherapy

Developer Mode on the Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator platform is being used to explore trajectory-based radiotherapy in which the couch, gantry and collimator of the system can be dynamically moved to affect highly compact, conformal dose distributions.

Radionuclide Therapy

We are studying the effects of the composition and size of radiolabeled microspheres used for transarterial radioembolization on the radiation dosimetry of these procedures.  We are developing a framework for fast, accurate, patient-specific dose calculations.

Recent publications

  • Parsons D, Church C, Syme A. (2019) Toward a pre-clinical irradiator using clinical infrastructure. Phys Med 58: 21 – 31.
  • MacDonald RL, Thomas CG, Ward L, Syme A. (2018) Intra-arc binary collimation algorithm for the optimization of stereotactic radiotherapy treatment of multiple metastases with multiple prescriptions. Med Phys 45: 5597 – 5607.
  • Hupman MA, Hill IG and Syme A. (2018). Preliminary characterization of the response of an organic field effect transistor to ionizing radiation. Radiation Measurements. 118: 31 – 35.
  • MacDonald L, Thomas C, Syme A. (2018). Dynamic Collimator Trajectory Algorithm for Multiple Metastases Treatment Planning. Med Phys 45: 5 – 17
  • Church C*, Mawko G, Archambault JP, Lewandowski R, Liu D, Kehoe S, Boyd D, Abraham R, Syme A. (2018). Dose kernel and self-shielding calculations for a novel radiopaque glass microsphere for transarterial radioembolization. Med Phys 45: 934 – 942

  • Hilmi K, Jangal M, Marques M, Zhao T, Saad A, Zhang C, Luo V, Syme A, Rejon C, Yu Z, Asiev K, Fabian M, Richard S, Alaoui-Jamali M, Orthwein A, McCaffrey L and Witcher M (2017) CTCF facilitates DNA double-strand break repair by enhancing homologous recombination repair. Science Advances 3: e1601898
  • Mullins J, DeBlois F and Syme A (2016) Experimental characterization of the dosimetric leaf gap. Biomed Phys Eng Express 2:  065013
  • Maria O, Shalaby M, Syme A, Eliopoulos N and Muanza T (2016) Adipose mesenchymal stromal cells minimize and repair radiation-induced oral mucositis. Cytotherapy 18: 1129 – 1145
  • Maria O, Syme A, Eliopoulos N, Muanza T (2016) Single dose radiation-induced oral mucositis mouse model. Front Oncol 6: Article 154
  • Maria O, Kumala S, Heravi M, Syme A, Eliopoulos N, Muanza T (2016) Adipose mesenchymal stromal cells response to ionizing radiation. Cytotherapy 18: 384 – 401
  • Zismanov V, Chichkov V, Colangelo V, Jamet S, Wang S, Syme A, Koromilas A and Crist C (2016) Phosphorylation of eIF2a is a translational control mechanism regulating muscle stem cell quiescence and self-renewal. Cell Stem Cell 18: 79 – 90
  • Joseph K, Nijjar Y, Warkentin H, Schiller D, Tankel K, Usmani N, Severin D, Ghosh S, Syme A, Nijjar T, Mulder K, Doll C, Wong C and Field C (2015) Prospective phase II study of tomotherapy based chemoradiation treatment for locally advanced anal cancer. Radiother Oncol 117: 234 – 239
  • Asgharizadeh S, Bekerat H, Syme A, Asdelaijan S, DeBlois F, Vuong T, Evans M, Seuntjens J and Devic S (2015) Radiochromic film-based quality assurance for CT-based high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Brachytherapy 14: 578 – 585


Other interests and achievements

  • Director, Halifax Radiation Oncology Physics Residency Program - CAMPEP accredited
  • Deputy Chief Examiner, Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine