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Zhen Tian

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago
DepartmentRadiation and Cellular Oncology
AddressChicago IL 60637
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    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    Dr. Zhen Tian is an Assistant Professor and board-certified Medical Physicist in the department of Radiation & Cellular Oncology at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the use of artificial intelligence and parallel computing to advance radiotherapy. She has developed expertise in GPU-based iterative low dose image reconstruction, ultra-fast Monte Carlo dose calculation and microscopic Monte Carlo simulation, AI-based autoplanning for radiotherapy. She has been awarded a R37 grant and a R01 grant from NIH.

    If you are interested at collaboration or joining Dr. Tian's lab, please contact her by emails:;

    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TxResidency12/2018Therapeutic Physics
    University of California San Diego , La Jolla, CAPostdoc09/2013Medical Physics
    Tsinghua University, Beijing, ChinaPhD06/2011Biomedical Engineering
    University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CAvisiting student01/2011Medical Physics
    Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, ChinaB.E.06/2006Biomedical Engineering

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse research activities and funding
    R01CA272991     (YANG, XIAOFENG; TIAN, ZHEN)Apr 1, 2023 - Mar 31, 2028
    Real-time Volumetric Imaging for Motion Management and Dose Delivery Verification
    Role: Principal Investigator

    R37CA272755     (TIAN, ZHEN)Sep 1, 2022 - Aug 31, 2027
    Artificial Intelligence Driven Automatic Treatment Planning of Stereotactic Radiosurgery for the Management of Multiple Brain Metastases
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    Newest   |   Oldest   |   Most Cited   |   Most Discussed   |   Timeline   |   Field Summary   |   Plain Text
    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Lei Y, Tian Z, Wang T, Roper J, Xie H, Kesarwala AH, Higgins K, Bradley JD, Liu T, Yang X. Deep learning-based fast volumetric imaging using kV and MV projection images for lung cancer radiotherapy: A feasibility study. Med Phys. 2023 Sep; 50(9):5518-5527. PMID: 36939395; PMCID: PMC10509310.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    2. Ma C, Tian Z, Wang R, Feng Z, Jiang F, Hu Q, Yang F, Shi A, Wu H. A prediction model for dosimetric-based lung adaptive radiotherapy. Med Phys. 2022 Oct; 49(10):6319-6333. PMID: 35649103.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    3. Lei Y, Fu Y, Tian Z, Wang T, Dai X, Roper J, Yu DS, McDonald M, Bradley JD, Liu T, Zhou J, Yang X. Deformable CT image registration via a dual feasible neural network. Med Phys. 2022 Dec; 49(12):7545-7554. PMID: 35869866; PMCID: PMC9792435.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    4. Liu Y,Shen C,Wang T,Zhang J,Yang X,Liu T,Kahn S,Shu H,Tian Z. Automatic inverse treatment planning of Gamma Knife radiosurgery via deep reinforcement learning. Medical Physics. 2022; 49(5):2877-2889.
    5. Momin S, Lei Y, Tian Z, Roper J, Lin J, Kahn S, Shu HK, Bradley J, Liu T, Yang X. Cascaded mutual enhancing networks for brain tumor subregion segmentation in multiparametric MRI. Phys Med Biol. 2022 04 11; 67(8). PMID: 35299156; PMCID: PMC9066378.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    6. Momin S, Lei Y, Tian Z, Wang T, Roper J, Kesarwala AH, Higgins K, Bradley JD, Liu T, Yang X. Lung tumor segmentation in 4D CT images using motion convolutional neural networks. Med Phys. 2021 Nov; 48(11):7141-7153. PMID: 34469001.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    7. Xie H, Lei Y, Wang T, Tian Z, Roper J, Bradley JD, Curran WJ, Tang X, Liu T, Yang X. High through-plane resolution CT imaging with self-supervised deep learning. Phys Med Biol. 2021 07 14; 66(14). PMID: 34049297.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Lei Y, Tian Z, Wang T, Higgins K, Bradley JD, Curran WJ, Liu T, Yang X. Deep learning-based real-time volumetric imaging for lung stereotactic body radiation therapy: a proof of concept study. Phys Med Biol. 2020 12 18; 65(23):235003. PMID: 33080578.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    9. Zhang Y, Tian Z, Lei Y, Wang T, Patel P, Jani AB, Curran WJ, Liu T, Yang X. Automatic multi-needle localization in ultrasound images using large margin mask RCNN for ultrasound-guided prostate brachytherapy. Phys Med Biol. 2020 10 09; 65(20):205003. PMID: 32640435.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Zeng Q, Fu Y, Tian Z, Lei Y, Zhang Y, Wang T, Mao H, Liu T, Curran WJ, Jani AB, Patel P, Yang X. Label-driven magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) registration using weakly supervised learning for MRI-guided prostate radiotherapy. Phys Med Biol. 2020 06 26; 65(13):135002. PMID: 32330922; PMCID: PMC7771987.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. Tian Z, Yang X, Giles M, Wang T, Gao H, Butker E, Liu T, Kahn S. A preliminary study on a multiresolution-level inverse planning approach for Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Med Phys. 2020 Apr; 47(4):1523-1532. PMID: 32027029.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    
    12. Tsai MY, Tian Z, Qin N, Yan C, Lai Y, Hung SH, Chi Y, Jia X. A new open-source GPU-based microscopic Monte Carlo simulation tool for the calculations of DNA damages caused by ionizing radiation --- Part I: Core algorithm and validation. Med Phys. 2020 Apr; 47(4):1958-1970. PMID: 31971258.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    13. Lai Y, Tsai MY, Tian Z, Qin N, Yan C, Hung SH, Chi Y, Jia X. A new open-source GPU-based microscopic Monte Carlo simulation tool for the calculations of DNA damages caused by ionizing radiation - Part II: sensitivity and uncertainty analysis. Med Phys. 2020 Apr; 47(4):1971-1982. PMID: 31975390.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    14. Zhang Y, He X, Tian Z, Jeong JJ, Lei Y, Wang T, Zeng Q, Jani AB, Curran WJ, Patel P, Liu T, Yang X. Multi-Needle Detection in 3D Ultrasound Images Using Unsupervised Order-Graph Regularized Sparse Dictionary Learning. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2020 07; 39(7):2302-2315. PMID: 31985414; PMCID: PMC7370243.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Lei Y, Dong X, Tian Z, Liu Y, Tian S, Wang T, Jiang X, Patel P, Jani AB, Mao H, Curran WJ, Liu T, Yang X. CT prostate segmentation based on synthetic MRI-aided deep attention fully convolution network. Med Phys. 2020 Feb; 47(2):530-540. PMID: 31745995; PMCID: PMC7764436.
      Citations: 23     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. Zhang Y, Chiu T, Dubas J, Tian Z, Lee P, Gu X, Yan Y, Sher D, Timmerman R, Zhao B. Benchmarking techniques for stereotactic body radiotherapy for early-stage glottic laryngeal cancer: LINAC-based non-coplanar VMAT vs. Cyberknife planning. Radiation Oncology. 2019; 14:193.
    17. Wang T, Lei Y, Tian Z, Dong X, Liu Y, Jiang X, Curran WJ, Liu T, Shu HK, Yang X. Deep learning-based image quality improvement for low-dose computed tomography simulation in radiation therapy. J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2019 Oct; 6(4):043504. PMID: 31673567; PMCID: PMC6811730.
      Citations: 9     
    18. Zhang Y, Le A, Tian Z, Iqbal Z, Chiu T, Gu X, Pugachev A, Reynolds R, Park Y, Lin M, Stojadinovic S. Modeling Elekta VersaHD using the Varian Eclipse treatment planning system for photon beams: A single-institution experience. Journal of Applied Clinic Medical Physics. 2019; 20(10):33-42.
    19. Tian Z, Yen A, Zhou Z, Shen C, Albuquerque K, Hrycushko B. A machine-learning-based prediction model of fistula formation after interstitial brachytherapy for locally advanced gynecological malignancies. Brachytherapy. 2019 Jul - Aug; 18(4):530-538. PMID: 31103434.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. Xu Y, Chen Y, Tian Z, Jia X, Zhou L. Metropolis Monte Carlo simulation scheme for fast scattered X-ray photon calculation in CT. Opt Express. 2019 Jan 21; 27(2):1262-1275. PMID: 30696195; PMCID: PMC6410917.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    
    21. Yen A, Tian Z, Hrycushko B, Albuquerque K. Risk factors for fistula formation after interstitial brachytherapy for locally advanced gynecological cancers involving vagina. J Contemp Brachytherapy. 2018 Dec; 10(6):510-515. PMID: 30662473; PMCID: PMC6335549.
      Citations: 3     
    22. Qin N, Shen C, Tsai MY, Pinto M, Tian Z, Dedes G, Pompos A, Jiang SB, Parodi K, Jia X. Full Monte Carlo-Based Biologic Treatment Plan Optimization System for Intensity Modulated Carbon Ion Therapy on Graphics Processing Unit. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 01 01; 100(1):235-243. PMID: 29079118; PMCID: PMC5736444.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    23. Chang J, Tian Z, Lu W, Gu X, Chen M, Jiang S. A novel geometry-dosimetry label fusion method in multi-atlas segmentation for radiotherapy: a proof-of-concept study. Phys. Med. Biol. 2017; 62:3656.
    24. Tian Z, Jiang SB, Jia X. Accelerated Monte Carlo simulation on the chemical stage in water radiolysis using GPU. Phys Med Biol. 2017 04 21; 62(8):3081-3096. PMID: 28323637; PMCID: PMC5870909.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    
    25. Jia X, Tian Z, Xi Y, Jiang SB, Wang G. New concept on an integrated interior magnetic resonance imaging and medical linear accelerator system for radiation therapy. J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2017 Jan; 4(1):015004. PMID: 28331888; PMCID: PMC5333765.
      Citations: 2     
    26. Tian Z, Li Y, Hassan-Rezaeian N, Jiang SB, Jia X. Moving GPU-OpenCL-based Monte Carlo dose calculation toward clinical use: Automatic beam commissioning and source sampling for treatment plan dose calculation. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2017 Mar; 18(2):69-84. PMID: 28300376; PMCID: PMC5689963.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    27. Qin N, Pinto M, Tian Z, Dedes G, Pompos A, Jiang SB, Parodi K, Jia X. Initial development of goCMC: a GPU-oriented fast cross-platform Monte Carlo engine for carbon ion therapy. Phys Med Biol. 2017 05 07; 62(9):3682-3699. PMID: 28140352; PMCID: PMC5730973.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. Li Y, Tian Z, Song T, Wu Z, Liu Y, Jiang S, Jia X. A new approach to integrate GPU-based Monte Carlo simulation into inverse treatment plan optimization for proton therapy. Phys Med Biol. 2017 01 07; 62(1):289-305. PMID: 27991456; PMCID: PMC5206994.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    29. Qin N, Botas P, Giantsoudi D, Schuemann J, Tian Z, Jiang SB, Paganetti H, Jia X. Recent developments and comprehensive evaluations of a GPU-based Monte Carlo package for proton therapy. Phys Med Biol. 2016 10 21; 61(20):7347-7362. PMID: 27694712; PMCID: PMC5378691.
      Citations: 17     Fields:    
    30. Chi Y, Tian Z, Jia X. Modeling parameterized geometry in GPU-based Monte Carlo particle transport simulation for radiotherapy. Phys Med Biol. 2016 08 07; 61(15):5851-67. PMID: 27427297.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    
    31. Tian Z, Zhang M, Hrycushko B, Albuquerque K, Jiang SB, Jia X. Monte Carlo dose calculations for high-dose-rate brachytherapy using GPU-accelerated processing. Brachytherapy. 2016 May-Jun; 15(3):387-398. PMID: 27216118.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. Yan H, Tian Z, Shao Y, Jiang SB, Jia X. A new scheme for real-time high-contrast imaging in lung cancer radiotherapy: a proof-of-concept study. Phys Med Biol. 2016 Mar 21; 61(6):2372-88. PMID: 26943271; PMCID: PMC5590640.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    33. Li Y, Hoisak J, Li N, Jiang C, Tian Z, Gautier Q, Zarepisheh M, Wu Z, Liu Y, Jia X, Hattangadi-Gluth J, Mell L, Jiang S, and Murphy J. Dosimetric benefit of adaptive re-planning in pancreatic cancer stereotactic body radiotherapy. Medical Dosimetry. 2015; 40(4):318-324.
    34. Song T, Staub D, Chen M, Lu W, Tian Z, Jia X, Li Y, Zhou L, Jiang SB, Gu X. Patient-specific dosimetric endpoints based treatment plan quality control in radiotherapy. Phys Med Biol. 2015 Nov 07; 60(21):8213-27. PMID: 26447829.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    35. Tian Z, Li Y, Folkerts M, Shi F, Jiang SB, Jia X. An analytic linear accelerator source model for GPU-based Monte Carlo dose calculations. Phys Med Biol. 2015 Oct 21; 60(20):7941-67. PMID: 26418216.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    36. Tian Z, Shi F, Folkerts M, Qin N, Jiang SB, Jia X. A GPU OpenCL based cross-platform Monte Carlo dose calculation engine (goMC). Phys Med Biol. 2015 Oct 07; 60(19):7419-35. PMID: 26352012.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    37. Tian Z, Peng F, Folkerts M, Tan J, Jia X, Jiang SB. Multi-GPU implementation of a VMAT treatment plan optimization algorithm. Med Phys. 2015 Jun; 42(6):2841-52. PMID: 26127037.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    
    38. Li Y, Tian Z, Shi F, Song T, Wu Z, Liu Y, Jiang S, Jia X. A new Monte Carlo-based treatment plan optimization approach for intensity modulated radiation therapy. Phys Med Biol. 2015 Apr 07; 60(7):2903-19. PMID: 25776792.
      Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    39. Tian Z, Graves YJ, Jia X, Jiang SB. Automatic commissioning of a GPU-based Monte Carlo radiation dose calculation code for photon radiotherapy. Phys Med Biol. 2014 Nov 07; 59(21):6467-86. PMID: 25295381.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    40. Lu W, Yan H, Gu X, Tian Z, Luo O, Yang L, Zhou L, Cervino L, Wang J, Jiang S, Jia X. Reconstructing cone-beam CT with spatially varying qualities for adaptive radiotherapy: a proof-of-principle study. Phys Med Biol. 2014 Oct 21; 59(20):6251-66. PMID: 25255957; PMCID: PMC4197814.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    41. Zarepisheh M, Long T, Li N, Tian Z, Romeijn HE, Jia X, Jiang SB. A DVH-guided IMRT optimization algorithm for automatic treatment planning and adaptive radiotherapy replanning. Med Phys. 2014 Jun; 41(6):061711. PMID: 24877806.
      Citations: 37     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    42. Li N, Zarepisheh M, Uribe-Sanchez A, Moore K, Tian Z, Zhen X, Graves YJ, Gautier Q, Mell L, Zhou L, Jia X, Jiang S. Automatic treatment plan re-optimization for adaptive radiotherapy guided with the initial plan DVHs. Phys Med Biol. 2013 Dec 21; 58(24):8725-38. PMID: 24301071.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    43. Townson RW, Jia X, Tian Z, Graves YJ, Zavgorodni S, Jiang SB. GPU-based Monte Carlo radiotherapy dose calculation using phase-space sources. Phys Med Biol. 2013 Jun 21; 58(12):4341-56. PMID: 23732697.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    44. Jia X, Tian Z, Lou Y, Sonke JJ, Jiang SB. Four-dimensional cone beam CT reconstruction and enhancement using a temporal nonlocal means method. Med Phys. 2012 Sep; 39(9):5592-602. PMID: 22957625; PMCID: PMC3436920.
      Citations: 35     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    45. Tian Z, Jia X, Yuan K, Pan T, Jiang SB. Low-dose CT reconstruction via edge-preserving total variation regularization. Phys Med Biol. 2011 Sep 21; 56(18):5949-67. PMID: 21860076; PMCID: PMC4026331.
      Citations: 83     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    46. Tian Z, Jia X, Dong B, Lou Y, Jiang SB. Low-dose 4DCT reconstruction via temporal nonlocal means. Med Phys. 2011 Mar; 38(3):1359-65. PMID: 21520846.
      Citations: 21     Fields:    
    47. Yuan K, Tian Z, Zou J, Bai Y, You Q. Brain CT image database building for computer-aided diagnosis using content-based image retrieval. Information Processing & Management. 2011; 47(2):176-185.
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