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:

Alfred Breit Award, DEGRO (German Society for Radiation Oncology), 2015
Recent keynote lectures
- DEGRO, Hamburg, Germany, 2015  

Review 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):


  • Bortfeld T, Ramakrishnan J, Tsitsiklis J. Optimization of radiation therapy fractionation in the presence of repopulation. Informs Journal on Computing 2015, in press. 
  • Salari E, Unkelbach J, Bortfeld T. A mathematical programming approach to the fractionation problem in chemoradiotherapy. IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems and Engineering 2015; 5(2):55-73. 
  • Bortfeld T, Torresin A, Fiorino C, Andreo P, Gagliardi G, Jeraj R, Muren LP, Paiusco M, Thwaites D, Knöös T. The research versus clinical service role of medical physics. Radiother Oncol. 2015 Mar;114(3):285-8.
  • Ngwa W, Sajo E, Ngoma T, Bortfeld T, Gierga D, White KB, Akinwande B, Enwerem-Bromson MM, Teboh Forbang R, Winningham TA, Court LE, Odedina FT, Wu R, Makrigiorgos M, Nguyen PL. Potential for information and communicatio technologies to catalyze global collaborations in radiation oncology. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 Feb 1;91(2):444-7.
  • Richter C, Seco J, Hong TS, Duda DG, Bortfeld T. Radiation-induced changes in  hepatocyte-specific Gd-EOB-DTPA enhanced MRI: potential mechanism. Med Hypotheses. 2014 Oct;83(4):477-81. 
  • Unkelbach J, Craft D, Hong T, Papp D, Ramakrishnan J, Salari E, Wolfgang J, Bortfeld T. Exploiting tumor shrinkage through temporal optimization of radiotherapy. Phys Med Biol. 2014 Jun 21;59(12):3059-79. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
Special Issues: 
  • Controversies in Proton Therapy. Brada M, Bortfeld T eds. Seminars in Radiation Oncology. 2013;23(2):75-153.