James T. Dobbins

James T. Dobbins

Professor in Radiology

Professor in the Department of Physics (Secondary)

Office Location: 
2424 Erwin Road, Suite 302, Durham, NC 27705
Front Office Address: 
2424 Erwin Road, Suite 302, Durham, NC 27705
(919) 684-7761


James T. Dobbins III, PhD., FAAPM
Associate Vice Provost
Director, Office of Duke Kunshan University Programs
Professor of Radiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Physics
Chair, Education Council, American Association of Physicists in Medicine
Co-founder, Society of Directors of Academic Medical Physics Programs, Inc.

I serve in senior university administration as Associate Vice Provost for DKU Programs.  In this role I oversee the academic and programmatic efforts at Duke for the establishment of the graduate and undergraduate programs at Duke Kunshan University -- Duke's joint venture university in Kunshan, China.

My research career has focused on the application of physics to medicine.  I undertake projects that range from theoretical/mathematical projects, to invention of new imaging devices, to clinical trials and implementation of new imaging modalities.  Several research projects in my lab have resulted in commercial products that are now in use in hundreds of hospitals around the world.

I also have a passion for leadership and education.   I was the founding Director of the Medical Physics Graduate Program at Duke, which includes over 50 faculty and 50 MS and PhD students in diagnostic imaging physics, radiation oncology physics, nuclear medicine physics, and medical health physics.  I co-founded the Society of Directors of Academic Medical Physics Programs, Inc, which works to strengthen medical physics education worldwide.  And I currently serve as Chair of the Education Council for the American Association of Physics in Medicine, and through this work influence major educational directions for our field.

Whether in biomedical research, education, or university leadership, the goal of my career has been to enhance the common good in our globally connected community.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison 1985

  • M.S., University of Wisconsin - Madison 1983

  • B.S., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill 1978

Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants

GE Healthcare VolumeRAD lung nodule detection study awarded by GE Healthcare (2009 to 2010)

Digital radiography research agreement with General Electric awarded by General Electric (2000 to 2006)

Dobbins, James T., and H. Page McAdams. “Chest tomosynthesis: technical principles and clinical update.Eur J Radiol, vol. 72, no. 2, Nov. 2009, pp. 244–51. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.05.054. Full Text

Samei, Ehsan, et al. “Effective DQE (eDQE) and speed of digital radiographic systems: an experimental methodology.Med Phys, vol. 36, no. 8, Aug. 2009, pp. 3806–17. Pubmed, doi:10.1118/1.3171690. Full Text

Li, Christina M., et al. “Methodology for generating a 3D computerized breast phantom from empirical data.Med Phys, vol. 36, no. 7, July 2009, pp. 3122–31. Pubmed, doi:10.1118/1.3140588. Full Text

Ranger, N. T., et al. “Extension of DQE to include scatter, grid, magnification, and focal spot blur: A new experimental technique and metric.” Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging  Proceedings of Spie, vol. 7258, June 2009. Scopus, doi:10.1117/12.813779. Full Text

Dobbins, James T. “Tomosynthesis imaging: at a translational crossroads.Med Phys, vol. 36, no. 6, June 2009, pp. 1956–67. Pubmed, doi:10.1118/1.3120285. Full Text

Godfrey, Devon J., et al. “Stochastic noise characteristics in matrix inversion tomosynthesis (MITS).Med Phys, vol. 36, no. 5, May 2009, pp. 1521–32. Pubmed, doi:10.1118/1.3103399. Full Text

Samei, Ehsan, et al. “Detector or system? Extending the concept of detective quantum efficiency to characterize the performance of digital radiographic imaging systems.Radiology, vol. 249, no. 3, Dec. 2008, pp. 926–37. Pubmed, doi:10.1148/radiol.2492071734. Full Text

James, T. Dobbins, et al. “Digital tomosynthesis of the chest for lung nodule detection: interim sensitivity results from an ongoing NIH-sponsored trial.Med Phys, vol. 35, no. 6, June 2008, pp. 2554–57. Pubmed, doi:10.1118/1.2937277. Full Text

Dobbins, James T., et al. “Digital tomosynthesis of the chest.J Thorac Imaging, vol. 23, no. 2, May 2008, pp. 86–92. Pubmed, doi:10.1097/RTI.0b013e318173e162. Full Text

Chen, Ying, et al. “Impulse response and Modulation Transfer Function analysis for Shift-And-Add and Back Projection image reconstruction algorithms in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT).Int J Funct Inform Personal Med, vol. 1, no. 2, 2008, pp. 189–204. Pubmed, doi:10.1504/IJFIPM.2008.020187. Full Text


Dobbins, J. T., and J. M. Boone. “Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optics: Introduction.” Proceedings of Spie  the International Society for Optical Engineering, vol. 3336, 1998.

Ergun, D. L., et al. “Dual-energy computed radiography: Improvements in processing.” Proceedings of Spie  the International Society for Optical Engineering, vol. 2167, 1994, pp. 663–71. Scopus, doi:10.1117/12.175102. Full Text