Konrad Nesteruk, PhD, received a prestigious National Institutes of Health MERIT Award (R37) for the project “A compact beam delivery system enabling ultra-fast dose delivery for upright proton therapy” by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) R37 Award provides longer-term grant support to Early Stage Investigators (ESI) who submitted exceptionally promising R01 research proposals. Investigators may not apply for an ESI MERIT Award. Most meritorious, best-scoring R01 applications submitted by ESIs are considered for conversion to the MERIT Award. This award can provide an additional 2 years of funding after the traditional five-year R01 period.  

The R01/R37 grant represents the most competitive type of federal funding mechanism to obtain. It supports health-related research and development that aligns with the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) mission.

The funded project aims to develop a compact proton therapy dose delivery system incorporating Fixed-Field Alternating Gradient (FFA) technology and fast proton beam energy changes. The system will enable ultra-fast dose delivery for more effective treatment of moving targets, reducing treatment time, increasing cost-effectiveness, and thus improving the accessibility of proton therapy. It will be realized in an international academic-industrial consortium led by Dr. Nesteruk – Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Melbourne (Australia), and Pyramid Technical Consultants, Inc. The MGH research team includes investigators: Thomas Bortfeld, PhD, Benjamin Clasie, PhD, and Susu Yan, PhD.

About the PI:

Konrad Nesteruk, PhD

Dr. Konrad Nesteruk is an Instructor in Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School and a Proton Therapy Physicist in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He leads and implements technology upgrades and development projects in two MGH’s proton therapy centers. These upgrades improve the usability and functionality of the centers and allow for optimal cancer care for our patients. He is also the head of a research lab focused on dose delivery technology R&D for particle therapy. The mission of Dr. Nesteruk’s lab is to improve the precision and efficiency of dose delivery in particle therapy through technology. The lab is at the intersection of physics and engineering to develop technology that will contribute to better treatment outcomes and improved accessibility of particle therapy.