RSO Instructors

Sally Amundson

Sally Amundson, ScD

Dr. Amundson is an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology in the Columbia University Center for Radiological Research. She earned her BA (biology) at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN and her ScD (Cancer Biology) at the Harvard University, School of Public Health.  She was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Radiation Biology at Los Alamos National Laboratory and an IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Cancer Biology. The major focus of her research is the study of gene expression responses to adverse environmental conditions, most notably her work in unravelling the molecular mechanisms underlying the cellular response to ionizing radiation exposure. Dr. Amundson is a recipient of the prestigious Michael Fry Research Award from the Radiation Research Society (RRS), currently serves on the RRS council and is an associate editor of Radiation Research. Her research uses functional genomics approaches to study low dose radiation and bystander effects, unique effects of space radiation, and the development of gene expression approaches for radiation biodosimetry. She is co-director of the Center for High-Throughput Minimally-Invasive Radiation Biodosimetry at Columbia University. She has served on the National Council on Radiological Protection and Measurements (NCRP) since 2004 and on the Science Advisory Committee of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Hiroshima since 2009, chairing RERF scientific review in 2012.

Stephen Balter

Stephen Balter, PhD 

Dr. Balter’s Medical Physics career began as a student in the Radiological Physics Program at Columbia University’s Radiological Research Laboratory where he earned his MS Degree. From there, he went to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute where he developed one of the first brachytherapy dosimetry programs whilst earning his  PhD in Physics (dynamical X-ray scattering) from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. Following that, Dr. Balter joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester and was subsequently recruited by Philips to provide medical physics support for the Cleveland Clinic in its development of coronary angiography. Among his major accomplishments during this time was facilitating the introduction of Digital Subtraction Angiography and Computed Radiography into the clinical environment. He returned to full time clinical medical physics at Lenox Hill Hospital in and later accepted a faculty appointment at Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland) as part of his continuation of European teaching and standards activities. He subsequently returned to his roots in Columbia University where he works today, primarily in interventional cardiology. He is currently a Professor of Clinical Radiology (Physics) in Medicine at Columbia University and is the author of over one hundred refereed publications and numerous books and chapters, most notably as the senior physics author in two of the three current main textbooks in Interventional Cardiology and a contributing author to the third. He has served on committees for the International Atomic Energy Agency and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) and was the chair of NCRP report 168 on interventional fluoroscopy and NCRP statement 11 expanding dose management QA in this area. His numerous professional society activities included vice presidency of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), serving on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, President of the Radiological and Medical Physics Society of New York (RAMPS), work as a RAPHEX examination team member and as an American Board Radiology examiner (chest imaging). He was awarded fellowships by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, American College of Medical Physics, American College of Radiology, Society of Interventional Radiology, and Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions.

David Brenner

David Brenner, PhD

Dr. Brenner is the Higgins Professor of Radiation Biophysics, Director of the Columbia University Center for Radiological Research, Director of the Radiological Research Accelerator Facility at Nevis Laboratories and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences in the Mailman School of Public Health. He is a recipient of the prestigious Failla Award from the Radiation Research Society. He received his BA and MA in Physics from Oxford University, a MSc in Radiation Physics from St. Bartholomew's Hospital, University of London, and his PhD in Physics from the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. Dr. Brenner’s research focuses on developing mechanistic models of the effects of ionizing radiation on living systems and devotes his research efforts to both the effects of high doses of ionizing radiation (radiotherapy) and low doses of radiation (relating to medical, environmental and occupational exposures). He is noted, among many other scientific contributions, for his work in the field of medical imaging, where his research has focused on the risk/benefit balance of higher-dose imaging techniques, particularly computed tomography (CT) and for patient friendly" approaches for prostate cancer radiation therapy that are now in common use worldwide. Dr. Brenner is the Director of the Center for high-Throughput Minimally-Invasive Radiation Biodosimetry, a multi-institute consortium developing technologies to develop rapid testing platforms for individual radiation exposures in the case of large-scale radiological events. Dr. Brenner has published more than 270 peer-reviewed papers and is the author of two books. He serves on the National Academies Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board.

Peter Caracappa

Peter Caracappa, PhD, CHP

Dr. Caracappa has been a practicing health physicist for nearly 20 years, with more than a dozen of those as the radiation safety officer for increasingly broad and diverse programs. As the Chief Radiation Safety Officer for Columbia University, he has responsibility for broad-scope clinical and research licenses for radioactive material and radiation producing equipment, a large cyclotron facility, and use permits at several locations. The radiation safety program he leads encompasses activities at Columbia University, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Barnard College, the New York State Psychiatric Institute and affiliated medical practices, with licensing from City, State and Federal authorities. He previously served as Radiation Safety Officer for a number of academic and research programs, including a 100 MeV electron accelerator facility and a low-power research reactor. Prior to coming to Columbia, Dr. Caracappa was on the faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he taught Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics, was the Director of their 100-watt research nuclear reactor facility and maintained an active research program in reactor physics and medical health physics. Dr. Caracappa has authored 25 peer-reviewed papers or proceedings and 100 conference abstracts. He is certified by the American Board of Health Physics in the comprehensive practice of health physics.

Guy Garty, PhD

Guy Garty is Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology (in the Center for Radiological Research) at the Columbia University Irving Medical Campus. He is also the Associate Director of the Radiological Research Accelerator Facility (RARAF). Guy received his BS in Physics from Tel Aviv University in Israel, and his MSc and PhD in Particle Physics from the Weitzmann Institute of Science in Israel.



Lauren Kelly

Lauren Kelly, CHMM, CDGP

Lauren Kelly serves as a Project Manager for Safety and Regulatory Affairs in the Columbia University Department of Environmental Health and Safety. She has over 19 years of hands-on experience in managing chemical and radioactive wastes in industrial, pharmaceutical, hospital and university settings and is trained as an Incident Commander and Hazardous Materials Specialist. Her expertise include environmental regulatory compliance, emergency spill response and remediation, hazardous materials transport and radioactive waste management. Lauren received her BS, magna cum laude, in Environmental Studies from East Stroudsburg University.



Norman Kleiman

Norman Kleiman, PhD

Dr. Kleiman is an Associate Professor in Environmental Health Sciences and the Director of the MS degree program in Radiological Sciences (with tracks in Health Physics and Radiobiology) in the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. This degree program, the first such offered by a School of Public Health, helps train the next generation of professionals with interests in the intersection of the environmental and human health risks of radiation exposure. Dr. Kleiman is also the Director of the Eye Radiation and Environmental Research Laboratory at Columbia University, where his research interests include the intersection of public health, ophthalmology and radiation research often using the eye as a model system to study the ocular and systemic effects of radiation exposure. In addition to his academic and research responsibilities, he lectures frequently on radiation effects in the eye and provides expertise to a variety of domestic and international regulatory and advisory bodies on issues of radiation exposure. He received his PhD in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University and his BS in Biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Angela Ran Meng

Angela Ran Meng, MS, CHP

Ms. Meng is Deputy Radiation Safety Officer and Associate Manager in the Columbia University Office of Environmental Health & Safety. She received her MS degree in Medical Physics from Columbia University. Angela is experienced in managing radiation safety for research laboratories, medical cyclotron and radiochemistry laboratories and clinical departments including Nuclear Medicine, Nuclear Cardiology, Radiation Oncology and PET imaging.