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5 Questions with Dr. Rana

5 Questions with Dr. Rana

Meet Dr. Shushan Rana, who joins us at the Center for a one-year fellowship. Dr. Rana is pursuing a career in pediatric radiation oncology because he believes in the power of protons for kids, but he’s eager to learn about protons for adults, too. While here, Dr. Rana hopes to start a program much like one at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) that promotes continued engagement of pediatric patients by having them return to decorate their therapy masks once their treatment is complete. OHSU provided art supplies like paint, markers, feathers, glitter, and the kids transformed their plain masks into superheroes, princesses, and other works of art. Please read our 5 Questions with Dr. Rana.

What drew you to work in proton therapy?

What drew me to protons is how well it can decrease side effects compared to other forms of radiation therapy. This is especially important since we’re now seeing more cancer survivors, and they are living longer than a couple of decades ago. I believe protons do a great job of reducing or eliminating the side effects of therapy so patients can later regain a better normalcy to their lives. My main focus lies in serving the pediatric population and I hope to research how we can improve care to minimize neurocognitive side effects. I believe proton therapy has improved considerably since its inception in 1954 and it will continue to do so.

What’s your favorite part of the workday?

In all honesty, it’s spending time with the patients during clinic. It’s why we’re ultimately here. I love being able to condense advanced particle physics into something understandable to everyone who comes in the door. We harness one of the smallest entities in the universe to make a huge difference in cancer care.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise us?

I used to have blonde hair up until I was a one year old!

What do you like to do outside of work?

I have a bit of a sweet tooth so I like to make a lot of desserts. My specialty is unique recipes of cheesecake and ice cream. When I’m not baking, I’m out on foodie adventures, traveling, and doing nerdy things like making gadgets with my wife, Monica. Most importantly, my wife and I enjoy quality time with our Corgi puppy, Mufasa.

Is there a current or historical figure you’d love to meet?

It’s hard to pick one, but it’d have to be C.S. Lewis or Albert Einstein.