Dr Mitra Safavi-Naeini

Senior Physicist and Research Lead


Cancer is an insidious and indiscriminate killer, caused by errors in our very source code. A cancer diagnosis is one of the greatest fears anyone could ever face. While treatment for some cancers has improved dramatically in recent decades, we have made very little progress against others. Defeating these cancers demands bold and creative new ideas.

ANSTO's Dr Mitra Safavi-Naeini loves a challenge. With a PhD and MSc in Medical Radiation Physics from the University of Wollongong and a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) from the University of Toronto, she has spent her career opening new fronts in the war on cancer. She has published more than 60 papers and book chapters on radiation therapy and medical imaging and leads an international collaboration to develop one of her inventions - neutron capture enhanced particle therapy - into an effective treatment for some of the most challenging cancers.

Ever the innovator, Mitra led teams in three successful hackathons in 2020 - the Australian Computer Society #flattenthecurvehack (a shared workspace that monitors cleaning standards), the ANZ Defence #shockproof hackathon (an autonomous solar-powered drone fleet for providing temporary communications networks), and the NASA SpaceApps COVID-19 Challenge (a system for disinfecting air and surfaces).

Dr Mitra Safavi-Naeini is a Superstar of STEM.