GilmerValdes10.23.13This week’s Science in Action Lecture Series welcomed medical physicist Gilmer Valdes, PhD. Dr. Valdes is a Postdoctoral fellow doing a clinical rotation in the Department of Radiation Oncology at UCSF. He spoke on the topic of Gene Therapy and Radiation with great energy and enthusiasm, and kept the attendees very interested in the topic.

Dr. Valdes was born in Cuba and attended the University of Havana, where he obtained his Bachelor Degree in Nuclear Sciences and a Masters in Radiochemistry. After a tumultuous departure from Cuba, including seeking political asylum in Mexico, he was able to move to the United States and go on to win the Cota-Robles Fellowship to join the Biomedical Physics Interdepartmental Program at UCLA to pursue his PhD, where he studied a different approach to kill glioblastoma cells in the brain using a combination between a drug delivery and radiation therapy.

In 2013, he completed his program and joined the Radiation Oncology Department at UCSF as a postdoctoral fellow. His research interests go from interaction of radiation with matter, to developing automatic QA processes to assure the safe use of ionizing radiation in Radiation Oncology Clinics. Currently he is working on automation of radiotherapy equipment.

This popular weekly lecture series is always free and open to anyone who may be interested. If you would like more information, contact Dr. Carmen Velez at

Written by Alana Utsumi and Carmen Velez, Photo by Carmen Velez.