Published April 20, 2020
A Firm Commitment to Patient Care
Researcher is training tomorrow’s medical physicists and improving radiation therapy.
Ning Jeff Yue is an internationally recognized scholar who leads the radiation physics team at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. He is also the executive vice chair and chief of physics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, where he researches image registration, image-based tracking, radiation dose optimization, and informatics.
Recently, Yue expanded his research into mining data about cancer treatment to improve the outcomes and efficiency of radiation therapy. He leads a team that provides medical physics services to Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, University Hospital, and several RWJBarnabas Health hospitals.
Yue earned a doctorate in physics from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his medical physics residency at Thomas Jefferson University. He previously was the associate director of medical physics at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and was on the faculty at Yale University. He has been a scientific reviewer for the U.S. Department of Defense’s medical research programs in prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers.
A dedicated mentor of undergraduates, graduate students, doctoral candidates, medical school students, and medical physics residents, Yue received the 2006 and 2017 Teacher of the Year Award from the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology.
Yue is a member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, a senior member of the American Board of Radiology, and a member of the board of the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education. He chaired the board of the Sino-American Network of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and participates in numerous other professional organizations.
The Donald H. Jacobs Chair in Applied Physics was established in 1990 with a gift from the estate of Donald H. Jacobs. The chair is awarded to a different faculty member every three years to recognize senior faculty in myriad fields who have made distinguished accomplishments in applied physics, which forms the basis for modern technology. In a letter to the Jacobs family, Yue said, “We owe our efforts and accomplishments to supportive people like you and your family. I will continue the pursuit of excellence in research, clinical care, and education of radiation oncology and continue to try my best.”
In the Professor’s Own Words
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
The major responsibilities of my work are to 1) ensure the high level of quality and accuracy of radiation treatment to patients; 2) help initiate, develop, and support clinical radiation oncology programs to provide the best possible care and treatment to patients; 3) educate new generations of radiation oncologists and medical physicists; and 4) conduct research to improve clinical practices and technologies. The most challenging aspect of my work is the time management and coordination of various responsibilities so that excellence can be achieved.
What is the most fulfilling aspect?
When a new clinical program or a new research project is successfully completed and when new graduates (radiation oncologists and medical physicists) start to apply their skills and knowledge for the benefit of patients, the sense of achievement is the most fulfilling.
What is the most important thing you hope your students learn from you?
Firm commitment to patient care, a strong sense of responsibility, and critical thinking.
What inspired you to work in this field?
To see my knowledge and skills directly impact patient care and people’s lives.
This story is part of Rutgers University Foundation’s Endowed Chairs Impact series. Supporting professorships and research helps spark innovation and creativity here in New Jersey and beyond.