<p> Michael Cox, Master of Medical Physics '13 <p> </p>

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Michael Cox

PhD student in biomedical engineering, University of Cincinnati


PhD in Biomedical Engineering, University of Cincinnati ’20-expected
Master of Medical Physics, University of Pennsylvania ‘13
Bachelor of Science in Physics, Cedarville University ‘10

“I wanted to go into a field where I could use physics and interact with people,” shares Michael Cox (Master of Medical Physics ‘13), a PhD student in biomedical engineering at the University of Cincinnati and former Captain in the United States Air Force. “Of all the programs that I applied to, Penn’s Master of Medical Physics was the only one that immediately followed through and gave me a call from the admissions office to say they received my application. That made a big impression.”

Michael joined the Medical Physics Programs through a scholarship from the United States Air Force. The scholarship paid for the degree and a living stipend during the school year. In return, Michael made a three-year commitment to the Air Force, where he would practice and train in medical physics after graduation. He recalls, “The summer before my first class, I was commissioned into the Air Force Reserves and was an officer when I started at Penn.”

During his time at Penn, Michael gained hands-on experience by working at a hospital in the Penn network in New Jersey close to his home. There, he spent 16 to 20 hours each week shadowing physicists. “I liked the flexibility of the program as a commuter. In the second year especially, I was able to condense my classes into three days per week. Not only did it cut down on my travel time, but it gave me more opportunities for clinical practice.”

Upon graduation, Michael commenced active duty as a First Lieutenant, receiving an additional rank for having his master’s degree. His first station was at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio where his duties included radiation safety preceptorship and overseeing all aspects of radiation safety including the use of radioactive materials, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and diagnostic imaging.

After completing his three years in the Air Force, Michael landed in a PhD program at the University of Cincinnati where he is focusing on proto-acoustic and x-ray acoustic imaging. He adds, “I have a fascination with particle beam therapy. The training I received at Penn’s proton therapy center during my master’s helped me get into this PhD.” Michael obtained certification by the American Board of Radiology in Diagnostic Medical Physics in May 2017.

Growing up, Michael found his calling in physics while spending time in Brazil with his family of missionaries. “Every year at the Bible seminary, there was a visiting physicist from NASA that gave lectures in regards to creation and evolution. I always found his lectures fascinating. It generated a desire in me to reach people through scientific discovery.”

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