Plenary Speakers

Plenary Speakers


  • Dr. Billy W. Loo
  • Dr. Kenneth W. Herwig
  • Dr. Ronald Fernando Garcia Ruiz
  • Dr. Mianzhen Mo


Dr. Billy W. Loo, Jr., M.D., Ph.D

Dr. Billy W. Loo, Jr., M.D., Ph.DBilly W. Loo, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. is a Professor of Radiation Oncology, a member of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS) in the Department of Radiology, and a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute, in the School of Medicine. He is a physician-scientist Radiation Oncologist and Bioengineer who directs the Thoracic Radiation Oncology Program at Stanford. 

His clinical specialties are state-of-the-art radiation therapy for lung/thoracic cancers, including stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) and 4-D image-guided radiation therapy for lung tumors. Dr. Loo is a recognized expert in thoracic cancers serving on multiple national committees (including as writing member, chair, or vice-chair) that publish clinical guidelines on the treatment of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, including the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), American College of Radiology (ACR), and American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). 

His clinical research is in clinical trials and implementation of new treatment techniques for lung cancer, and development of new medical imaging methods for measuring organ function and predicting response to cancer treatment. As part of this work, he leads a clinical and preclinical research program in molecular imaging, particularly using novel PET tracers for tumor hypoxia (EF5), tumor proliferation (FLT), and neuroinflammation (PBR06). He also co-leads clinical trials of novel applications of SABR including treatment of pulmonary emphysema and cardiac arrhythmias. 

Since conceiving of a fundamentally new approach to delivering ultra-rapid, ultra-precise radiation therapy, pluridirectional high-energy agile scanning electronic radiotherapy (PHASER), Dr. Loo's major laboratory research focus has been to co-lead a collaborative effort between the Stanford Cancer Institute and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to develop PHASER into a transformative yet clinically practical technology. This program comprises both technology development and fundamental research on the radiobiology of extremely rapid FLASH radiation therapy to optimize the biological therapeutic index.

Dr. Loo received his MD from University of California, Davis and his PhD in Bioengineering from University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley. He completed his Radiation Oncology residency training at Stanford University. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology in Radiation Oncology


Kenneth W. Herwig, PhD


Kenneth W. Herwig, PhDDr. Ken Herwig is Technical Director of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) Second Target Station (STS) Project at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). STS will be a new, high-brightness neutron source using one out of four proton pulses produced by the upgraded SNS accelerator to provide new neutron scattering capabilities to US researchers.

He is an expert in neutron scattering methods and technologies, having served on many national and international advisory committees for new neutron sources and instruments. He has over 35 years of experience using, constructing, developing, and operating neutron sources and neutron scattering instrumentation. His career has had dual objectives of using neutron scattering methods to study complex fluids and interfaces and to develop cutting-edge neutron technologies and instrumentation. Prior to becoming Technical Director, he led the STS Instrument Systems group which is responsible to construct the initial neutron scattering instruments at the STS and ensure that facility design and interfaces support future full build-out of a complete instrument suite. He led the ORNL Laboratory Directed Research & Development effort that developed the initial compact source geometry that is the basis of the high neutron brightness STS design and has been engaged in STS concept development and planning since its beginning.

He joined ORNL in 1998 as the first instrument scientist for the original SNS Project where he led the design and construction of the BaSiS near-backscattering neutron spectrometer which continues to support about 25 to 30 science publications each year. He has served in many leadership and management roles within the ORNL Neutron Sciences Directorate since its creation in 2006. Prior to joining the STS Project, he led the Instrument Methods, Projects and Technologies Group that focused on advancing state of the art in neutron sciences and technologies. From 2015 to 2018, he managed investment in neutron instrument improvements and upgrades at ORNL.

Ken received his BS in physics and computer science and MS in physics from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and his PhD in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Dr. Ronald Fernando Garcia Ruiz, Assistant Professor

Ronald Fernando Garcia Ruiz Ronald Fernando Garcia Ruiz is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics at MIT. His research actives are focused on the development of laser spectroscopy techniques to investigate the properties of subatomic particles using atoms and molecules made up of short-lived radioactive nuclei. His experimental work provides unique information about the fundamental forces of nature, the properties of nuclear matter at the limits of existence, and the search for new physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. 

Ronald grew up in a small town in the Colombian mountains. As a teenager he moved to Bogota, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in physics in 2009 at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. After earning a Master’s degree in Physics in 2011 at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, he moved to Belgium to start his PhD degree at KU Leuven. Ronald was based at CERN during most of his PhD working on laser spectroscopy techniques for the study of short-lived atomic nuclei. After his PhD, he became a Research Associate at The University of Manchester (2016-2017). In 2018, he was awarded a CERN Research Fellowship to lead the local CRIS team. At CERN, he has led several experimental programmes motivated by modern developments in nuclear science, atomic physics and quantum chemistry.

Garcia Ruiz's work has been recognized with several prizes, among them:  APS Stuart Jay Freedman Award 2022;  IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Nuclear Physics 2022; National Academic Award in Science, Alejandro Angel Escobar Prize, Colombia 2021; DOE Early Career Award 2020; FRIB visiting scholar award 2021; IOP Nuclear Physics Group Early Career Prize 2018; and Best PhD Thesis prize (period 2015-2017) from the Nuclear Physics Division of the European Physical Society (EPS).


Mianzhen Mo, PhD

Mianzhen Mo, PhDDr. Mianzhen Mo is currently an associate staff scientist in the High Energy Density Science division of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. His research interest is focused on the utilization of a powerful electron camera, the so-called MeV Ultrafast-Electron Diffraction (MeV-UED), to visualize atomic motions in materials under extreme conditions of temperatures and pressures. Using the MeV-UED technique, he is also interested in exploring the structural dynamics of plasma-facing materials employed in future fusion reactors, and understanding how these materials perform under extreme radiation environments. His experimental studies have provided atomic-level understandings on how solid materials liquify upon intense fs laser excitation, how heavy-ion irradiation and helium implantation alter the material properties of tungsten and how lattice defects are produced and transported during the plastic deformation processes in dynamically compressed matter.


Dr. Mo has published more than 38 papers in respected peer-reviewed journals including prominent ones like Nature and Science. He has given more than 15 invited talks in both national and international conferences including ICOPS, APS-DPP, APS March Meeting and WDM workshop. In 2020, he received a LDRD award from SLAC. Since 2021, he has served as a guest editor for the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Physics. He was a panel member for the 2022 Basic Research Needs Workshop on Inertial Fusion Energy.


Dr. Mo received his PhD in 2015 on Photonics and Plasmas from the University of Alberta in Canada. His thesis studies were focused on the generation of relativistic electrons from ultra-intense laser-plasm interaction relevant to fast ignition laser fusion and laser-wakefield acceleration.