Thomas Bortfeld, Ph.D.

Professor, Harvard Medical School 
Director, Physics Division
Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Radiation Oncology
Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center, Rm 106, 30 Fruit St, Boston, MA 02114


Phone: (617) 643 2255
Fax: (617) 724 9532
E-mail: tbortfeld(at)

Detailed Curriculum Vitae: download PDF file

Education and Degrees:

MS (Diploma): University of Heidelberg , Germany, 1988, Physics
Ph.D.: University of Heidelberg , Germany, 1990, Applied Physics
Habilitation: University of Heidelberg, Germany, 1995, Physics - download PDF file

Areas of Interest:

  • Optimization, Multi-Criteria Optimization 
  • Therapy Imaging
  • Proton Radiotherapy
  • Dynamics of Cancer Treatment

Recent Honors:

Fellow, American Association of Physicists in Medicine, 2009
12th annual Suntharalingam Lecture, 2009
Recent keynote lectures
- PTCOG Essen, Germany 2013;
- FIRST conference Sapporo, Japan 2013  

Recent Talks:

Harvard Applied Physics Colloquium: Physics against Cancer 

In the News:

  1. A pioneering approach to cancer treatment
  2. Targeting tumours 
  3. Proton therapy teams up with PET imaging

Editorial Boards: 

 Physics in Medicine and Biology (international advisory board)

 Radiotherapy and Oncology

 European Journal of Medical Physics  

 Medizinische Physik (advisory board)

Selected Recent Publications (total of more than 150 peer-reviewed papers):


  • Verburg JM, Riley K, Bortfeld T, Seco J. Energy- and time-resolved detection of prompt gamma-rays for proton range verification. Phys Med Biol. 2013 Oct 21;58(20):L37-49.
  • Safai S, Trofimov A, Adams JA, Engelsman M, Bortfeld T. The rationale for intensity-modulated proton therapy in geometrically challenging cases. Phys Med Biol. 2013 Sep 21;58(18):6337-53.
  • Flanz J, Bortfeld T. Evolution of technology to optimize the delivery of proton therapy: the third generation. Semin Radiat Oncol. 2013 Apr;23(2):142-8.
  • Yuan Y, Andronesi OC, Bortfeld TR, Richter C, Wolf R, Guimaraes AR, Hong TS, Seco J. Feasibility study of in vivo MRI based dosimetric verification of proton end-of-range for liver cancer patients. Radiother Oncol. 2013 Mar;106(3):378-82.
  • Unkelbach J, Craft D, Salari E, Ramakrishnan J, Bortfeld T. The dependence of optimal fractionation schemes on the spatial dose distribution. Phys Med Biol. 2013 Jan 7;58(1):159-67.
  • Craft D, McQuaid D, Wala J, Chen W, Salari E, Bortfeld T. Multicriteria VMAT optimization. Med Phys. 2012; 39(2):686-96.
  • Ramakrishnan J, Craft D, Bortfeld T, Tsitsiklis JN. A dynamic programming approach to adaptive fractionation. Phys Med Biol. 2012; 57(5):1203-16.
  • Chen W, Unkelbach J, Trofimov A, Madden T, Kooy H, Bortfeld T, Craft D Including robustness in multi-criteria optimization for intensity-modulate proton therapy. Phys Med Biol. 2012;57(3):591-608.
  • Craft DL, Hong TS, Shih HA, Bortfeld TR. Improved Planning Time and Plan Quality Through Multicriteria Optimization for Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012; 82(1):e83-90.
Special Issues: 
  • Controversies in Proton Therapy. Brada M, Bortfeld T eds. Seminars in Radiation Oncology. 2013;23(2):75-153.