James T. Dobbins

James T. Dobbins

Professor in Radiology

James T. Dobbins III, PhD., FAAPM
Director, Medical Physics Graduate Program
Professor of Radiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Physics
Co-founder, Society of Directors of Academic Medical Physics Programs, Inc.

The research in my laboratory focuses on three main areas:  (1) advanced imaging applications to improve diagnostic accuracy in clinical imaging, (2) the scientific assessment of image quality, and (3) developing lower cost imaging for the developing world.

Projects in the area of advanced imaging applications have included applications of dual-energy and digital tomosynthesis for improving detection of cancer in chest and breast imaging.  We are the leading laboratory in the world in the application of tomosynthesis to thoracic imaging applications, and were the first to demonstrate that tomosynthesis can triple the detection sensitivity of pulmonary nodules over conventional chest radiography.  We have had four NIH R01 grants funded to develop, optimize, and perform clinical studies of dual-energy and tomosynthesis imaging; commercial products in both these modalities are now available around the world as a result of our laboratory’s efforts.

My lab’s work in the science of image quality analysis has included substantial effort in the theory and experimental measurement of modulation transfer function, noise power spectrum, and detective quantum efficiency in undersampled digital systems.  We received the Sylvia Sorkin Greenfield award in 1996 for the best publication of the year in the journal Medical Physics as a result of this work.

Current projects include the development of a new noise reduction technique called Correlated-Polarity Noise Reduction for improvement of image quality and reduction of dose in CT imaging, and the development of a lower-cost CT scanner for the developing world.

In addition to these research interests, I also serve as the Director of the Medical Physics Graduate Program at Duke, which includes over 50 faculty and 50 MS and PhD students training in diagnostic imaging physics, radiation oncology physics, nuclear medicine physics, and medical health physics.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor in Radiology
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor in the Department of Physics

Contact Information

  • Office Phone: (919) 684-4859
  • Email Address: james.dobbins@duke.edu

Education

  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1985
  • M.S. University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1983
  • B.S. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1978

Specialties

Medical Imaging

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Sylvia Sorkin Greenfield Award. American Association of Physicists in Medicine. 1996

Courses Taught

  • MEDPHY 731: Advanced Medical Imaging Physics
  • MEDPHY 731K: Advanced Medical Imaging Physics

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Kiarashi, N; Lo, JY; Lin, Y; Ikejimba, LC; Ghate, SV; Nolte, LW; Dobbins, JT; Segars, WP; Samei, E, Development and application of a suite of 4-D virtual breast phantoms for optimization and evaluation of breast imaging systems., IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, vol 33 no. 7 (2014), pp. 1401-1409 [abs].
  • Segars, WP; Veress, AI; Wells, JR; Sturgeon, GM; Kiarashi, N; Lo, JY; Samei, E; Dobbins, JT, Population of 100 realistic, patient-based computerized breast phantoms for multi-modality imaging research, Proceedings of SPIE, vol 9033 (2014) [10.1117/12.2043868] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; Wells, JR; Segars, WP, Dose reduction in CT with correlated-polarity noise reduction: Context-dependent spatial resolution and noise properties demonstrating two-fold dose reduction with minimal artifacts, Proceedings of SPIE, vol 9033 (2014) [10.1117/12.2043685] [abs].
  • Wells, JR; Dobbins, JT, Frequency response and distortion properties of nonlinear image processing algorithms and the importance of imaging context., Medical physics, vol 40 no. 9 (2013) [10.1118/1.4817477] [abs].
  • III, JTD; Wells, JR; Segars, WP, Dose reduction in CT with correlated-polarity noise reduction: Comparable image quality at half the dose with projection space processing, Proceedings of SPIE, vol 8668 (2013) [10.1117/12.2008563] [abs].
  • Kiarashi, N; Sturgeon, GM; Nolte, LW; Lo, JY; III, JTD; Segars, WP; Samei, E, Development of matched virtual and physical breast phantoms based on patient data, Proceedings of SPIE, vol 8668 (2013) [10.1117/12.2008406] [abs].
  • Wells, JR; III, JTD, Preliminary investigation of the frequency response and distortion properties of nonlinear image processing algorithms, Proceedings of SPIE, vol 8668 (2013) [10.1117/12.2008549] [abs].
  • Lin, Y; Luo, H; Dobbins, JT; Page McAdams, H; Wang, X; Sehnert, WJ; Barski, L; Foos, DH; Samei, E, An image-based technique to assess the perceptual quality of clinical chest radiographs., Medical physics, vol 39 no. 11 (2012), pp. 7019-7031 [10.1118/1.4760886] [abs].
  • Samei, E; Majdi-Nasab, N; Dobbins, JT; McAdams, HP, Biplane correlation imaging: a feasibility study based on phantom and human data., Journal of Digital Imaging, vol 25 no. 1 (2012), pp. 137-147 [10.1007/s10278-011-9392-z] [abs].
  • Hsu, CM; Palmeri, ML; Segars, WP; Veress, AI; Dobbins, JT, An analysis of the mechanical parameters used for finite element compression of a high-resolution 3D breast phantom., Medical physics, vol 38 no. 10 (2011), pp. 5756-5770 [10.1118/1.3637500] [abs].
  • Samei, E; Ranger, NT; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE, Effective dose efficiency: an application-specific metric of quality and dose for digital radiography., Physics in Medicine and Biology, vol 56 no. 16 (2011), pp. 5099-5118 [10.1088/0031-9155/56/16/002] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; McAdams, HP, Chest tomosynthesis: technical principles and clinical update., European Journal of Radiology, vol 72 no. 2 (2009), pp. 244-251 [10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.05.054] [abs].
  • Samei, E; Ranger, NT; MacKenzie, A; Honey, ID; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE, Effective DQE (eDQE) and speed of digital radiographic systems: an experimental methodology., Medical physics, vol 36 no. 8 (2009), pp. 3806-3817 [10.1118/1.3171690] [abs].
  • Li, CM; Segars, WP; Tourassi, GD; Boone, JM; Dobbins, JT, Methodology for generating a 3D computerized breast phantom from empirical data., Medical physics, vol 36 no. 7 (2009), pp. 3122-3131 [10.1118/1.3140588] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT, Tomosynthesis imaging: at a translational crossroads., Medical physics, vol 36 no. 6 (2009), pp. 1956-1967 [10.1118/1.3120285] [abs].
  • Godfrey, DJ; McAdams, HP; Dobbins, JT, Stochastic noise characteristics in matrix inversion tomosynthesis (MITS)., Medical physics, vol 36 no. 5 (2009), pp. 1521-1532 [10.1118/1.3103399] [abs].
  • Samei, E; Ranger, NT; MacKenzie, A; Honey, ID; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE, Detector or system? Extending the concept of detective quantum efficiency to characterize the performance of digital radiographic imaging systems., Radiology, vol 249 no. 3 (2008), pp. 926-937 [10.1148/radiol.2492071734] [abs].
  • James, TD; McAdams, HP; Song, JW; Li, CM; Godfrey, DJ; DeLong, DM; Paik, SH; Martinez-Jimenez, S, Digital tomosynthesis of the chest for lung nodule detection: interim sensitivity results from an ongoing NIH-sponsored trial., Medical physics, vol 35 no. 6 (2008), pp. 2554-2557 [10.1118/1.2937277] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; McAdams, HP; Godfrey, DJ; Li, CM, Digital tomosynthesis of the chest., Journal of Thoracic Imaging, vol 23 no. 2 (2008), pp. 86-92 [10.1097/RTI.0b013e318173e162] [abs].
  • Chen, Y; Lo, JY; Dobbins, JT, Importance of point-by-point back projection correction for isocentric motion in digital breast tomosynthesis: relevance to morphology of structures such as microcalcifications., Medical physics, vol 34 no. 10 (2007), pp. 3885-3892 [10.1118/1.2776256] [abs].
  • Ranger, NT; Samei, E; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE, Assessment of detective quantum efficiency: intercomparison of a recently introduced international standard with prior methods., Radiology, vol 243 no. 3 (2007), pp. 785-795 [10.1148/radiol.2433060485] [abs].
  • Samei, E; Stebbins, SA; Dobbins, JT; McAdams, HP; Lo, JY, Multiprojection correlation imaging for improved detection of pulmonary nodules., AJR. American journal of roentgenology, vol 188 no. 5 (2007), pp. 1239-1245 [10.2214/AJR.06.0843] [abs].
  • McAdams, HP; Samei, E; Dobbins, J; Tourassi, GD; Ravin, CE, Recent advances in chest radiography., Radiology, vol 241 no. 3 (2006), pp. 663-683 [10.1148/radiol.2413051535] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; Samei, E; Ranger, NT; Chen, Y, Intercomparison of methods for image quality characterization. II. Noise power spectrum., Medical physics, vol 33 no. 5 (2006), pp. 1466-1475 [10.1118/1.2188819] [abs].
  • Samei, E; Ranger, NT; Dobbins, JT; Chen, Y, Intercomparison of methods for image quality characterization. I. Modulation transfer function., Medical physics, vol 33 no. 5 (2006), pp. 1454-1465 [10.1118/1.2188816] [abs].
  • Godfrey, DJ; McAdams, HP; Dobbins, JT, Optimization of the matrix inversion tomosynthesis (MITS) impulse response and modulation transfer function characteristics for chest imaging., Medical physics, vol 33 no. 3 (2006), pp. 655-667 [10.1118/1.2170398] [abs].
  • Samei, E; Saunders, RS; Lo, JY; Dobbins, JT; Jesneck, JL; Floyd, CE; Ravin, CE, Fundamental imaging characteristics of a slot-scan digital chest radiographic system., Medical physics, vol 31 no. 9 (2004), pp. 2687-2698 [10.1118/1.1783531] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; Godfrey, DJ, Digital x-ray tomosynthesis: current state of the art and clinical potential., Physics in Medicine and Biology, vol 48 no. 19 (2003), pp. R65-106 [abs].
  • Duryea, J; Dobbins, JT; Lynch, JA, Digital tomosynthesis of hand joints for arthritis assessment., Medical physics, vol 30 no. 3 (2003), pp. 325-333 [10.1118/1.1543573] [abs].
  • Warp, RJ; Dobbins, JT, Quantitative evaluation of noise reduction strategies in dual-energy imaging., Medical physics, vol 30 no. 2 (2003), pp. 190-198 [10.1118/1.1538232] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; Samei, E; Chotas, HG; Warp, RJ; Baydush, AH; Floyd, CE; Ravin, CE, Chest radiography: optimization of X-ray spectrum for cesium iodide-amorphous silicon flat-panel detector., Radiology, vol 226 no. 1 (2003), pp. 221-230 [10.1148/radiol.2261012023] [abs].
  • Floyd, CE; Warp, RJ; Dobbins, JT; Chotas, HG; Baydush, AH; Vargas-Voracek, R; Ravin, CE, Imaging characteristics of an amorphous silicon flat-panel detector for digital chest radiography., Radiology, vol 218 no. 3 (2001), pp. 683-688 [10.1148/radiology.218.3.r01fe45683] [abs].
  • Chotas, HG; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE, Principles of digital radiography with large-area, electronically readable detectors: a review of the basics., Radiology, vol 210 no. 3 (1999), pp. 595-599 [10.1148/radiology.210.3.r99mr15595] [abs].
  • Bradford, CD; Peppler, WW; Dobbins, JT, Performance characteristics of a Kodak computed radiography system., Medical physics, vol 26 no. 1 (1999), pp. 27-37 [10.1118/1.598781] [abs].
  • Althof, RJ; Wind, MG; Dobbins, JT, A rapid and automatic image registration algorithm with subpixel accuracy., IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, vol 16 no. 3 (1997), pp. 308-316 [10.1109/42.585765] [abs].
  • Hinshaw, DA; Dobbins, JT, Plate scatter correction for improved performance in dual-energy imaging., Medical physics, vol 23 no. 6 (1996), pp. 871-876 [10.1118/1.597855] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; Ergun, DL; Rutz, L; Hinshaw, DA; Blume, H; Clark, DC, DQE(f) of four generations of computed radiography acquisition devices., Medical physics, vol 22 no. 10 (1995), pp. 1581-1593 [10.1118/1.597627] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT, Effects of undersampling on the proper interpretation of modulation transfer function, noise power spectra, and noise equivalent quanta of digital imaging systems., Medical physics, vol 22 no. 2 (1995), pp. 171-181 [10.1118/1.597600] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; Rice, JJ; Goodman, PC; Patz, EF; Ravin, CE, Variable compensation chest radiography performed with a computed radiography system: design considerations and initial clinical experience., Radiology, vol 187 no. 1 (1993), pp. 55-63 [10.1148/radiology.187.1.8451437] [abs].
  • Chotas, HG; Floyd, CE; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE, Digital chest radiography with photostimulable storage phosphors: signal-to-noise ratio as a function of kilovoltage with matched exposure risk., Radiology, vol 186 no. 2 (1993), pp. 395-398 [10.1148/radiology.186.2.8421741] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; Chotas, HG; Benveniste, H, Direct digitization of optical images using a photostimulable phosphor system., Medical physics, vol 19 no. 4 (1992), pp. 1071-1080 [10.1118/1.596917] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; Rice, JJ; Beam, CA; Ravin, CE, Threshold perception performance with computed and screen-film radiography: implications for chest radiography., Radiology, vol 183 no. 1 (1992), pp. 179-187 [10.1148/radiology.183.1.1549669] [abs].
  • Chotas, HG; Dobbins, JT; Floyd, CE; Ravin, CE, Single-exposure conventional and computed radiography image acquisition., Investigative Radiology, vol 26 no. 5 (1991), pp. 438-445 [abs].
  • Chotas, HG; Floyd, CE; Dobbins, JT; Lo, JY; Ravin, CE, Scatter fractions in AMBER imaging., Radiology, vol 177 no. 3 (1990), pp. 879-880 [10.1148/radiology.177.3.2244003] [abs].
  • Floyd, CE; Chotas, HG; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE, Quantitative radiographic imaging using a photostimulable phosphor system., Medical physics, vol 17 no. 3 (1990), pp. 454-459 [10.1118/1.596569] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; Powell, AO, Variable compensation technique for digital radiography of the chest., Radiology, vol 173 no. 2 (1989), pp. 451-458 [10.1148/radiology.173.2.2798877] [abs].
  • Hasegawa, BH; Dobbins, JT; Naimuddin, S; Peppler, WW; Mistretta, CA, Geometrical properties of a digital beam attenuator system., Medical physics, vol 14 no. 3 (1987), pp. 314-321 [10.1118/1.596086] [abs].
  • Hasegawa, BH; Naimuddin, S; Dobbins, JT; Mistretta, CA; Peppler, WW; Hangiandreou, NJ; Cusma, JT; McDermott, JC; Kudva, BV; Melbye, KM, Digital beam attenuator technique for compensated chest radiography., Radiology, vol 159 no. 2 (1986), pp. 537-543 [10.1148/radiology.159.2.3961188] [abs].
  • Dobbins, JT; Pedersen, PL; Mazess, RB; Cameron, JR; Hansen, JL; Hefner, LV, A scanning-slit x-ray videoabsorptiometric technique for bone mineral measurement., Medical physics, vol 11 no. 5 (1984), pp. 582-588 [10.1118/1.595554] [abs].
  • Swanson, DK; Myerowitz, PD; Hasegawa, B; Van Lysel, MS; Watson, KM; Frantz, DW; Banaszak, S; Hausman-Stokes, E; Peppler, WW; Dobbins, JT, Videodensitometric quantitation of mean blood flow., Journal of Surgical Research, vol 34 no. 6 (1983), pp. 524-532 [abs].
  • Van Lysel, MS; Dobbins, JT; Peppler, WW; Hasegawa, BH; Lee, CS; Mistretta, CA; Zarnstorff, WC; Crummy, AB; Kubal, W; Bergsjordet, B; Strother, CM; Sackett, JF, Work in progress: hybrid temporal-energy subtraction in digital fluoroscopy., Radiology, vol 147 no. 3 (1983), pp. 869-874 [10.1148/radiology.147.3.6342038] [abs].
  • Shaw, CG; Ergun, DL; Lysel, MSV; Peppler, WW; Dobbins, JT; Zarnstorff, WC; Myerowitz, PD; Swanson, DK; Lasser, TA; Mistretta, CA; Dhanani, SP; Strother, CM; Crummy, AB, QUANTITATION TECHNIQUES IN DIGITAL SUBTRACTION VIDEOANGIOGRAPHY., Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, vol 314 (1981), pp. 121-129 [abs].

Lectures and Invited Talks

  • Theoretical and practical elements of tomosynthesis imaging (invited workshop), SPIE Physics of Medical Imaging Conference,
  • Imaging in Medicine: digital radiography (keynote address), SPIE Physics of Medical Imaging Conference,
  • Digital radiography: technical foundations and contemporary research, Memphis BioImaging Symposium,
  • Advances in digital radiography -- Digital radiographic advanced methods for depth discrimination: chest tomosynthesis, Radiological Society of North America 91st Scientific Assembly,
  • Digital x-ray detectors for radiography: technical innovations (physics plenary talk), Radiological Society of North America 85th Scientific Assembly,

Selected Activities

  • Founder and Director, Duke Medical Physics Graduate Program,
  • Co-founder, Society of Directors of Academic Medical Physics Programs,
  • Former Chair, NIH Special Study Section,
  • Chair, University Misconduct in Research Committee,
  • Vice-chair, Education Council, American Association of Physicists in Medicine,