Leadership Transition

Stephanie Leon, PhD

UF Medical Physics is excited to announce the appointment of Dr Stephanie Leon, Associate Professor, as the next Director of the UF Medical Physics Graduate Program, which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP). Dr Leon will assume the position effective July 1, 2024, at which time Dr Manuel Arreola, the current director, will assume the role of Assistant Director.

Dr Arreola has done a phenomenal job overseeing all aspects of the program, which transitioned from the College of Engineering to the College of Medicine in 2017. Since that time, the program has emerged into one of the top medical physics graduate programs in the nation. Dr Leon has been serving as the Assistant Director of the program since the transition and is the ideal successor. Dr Leon has assisted in overseeing all aspects of the program, to include the program’s recent successful reaccreditation by CAMPEP for the full five-year term.

Dr Leon is a proud “Triple Gator”, graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelors of Science (Physics & Psychology) in 2005, a Master of Science (Nuclear Engineering) in 2007, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Biomedical Engineering) in 2012. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as an AAPM Undergraduate Fellow, UF Undergraduate Intern, and UF Graduate Assistant. Subsequently, she accepted faculty positions at the University of Florida (2007-2009) and the University of Texas McGovern Medical School (2010-2016), before returning to the University of Florida (2016-present). She is board certified in Diagnostic Medical Physics (American Board of Radiology), and both Radiation Protection, and Nuclear Medicine Physics and Instrumentation (American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine). She is also licensed by the State of Florida as both a Diagnostic Radiological Physicist and a Medical Nuclear Radiological Physicist. Dr Leon has additional training in multi-cultural mentoring, teaching, machine learning, neural networks and deep learning, and practical medical image analysis.  

As an Associate Professor in the Division of Clinical Radiological Physics with the Department of Radiology, Dr Leon is one of six primary clinical faculty that work as diagnostic medical physicists, which encompasses a vast array of responsibilities to include testing (all modalities); compliance (regulation and accreditation); quality (assurance and control); calculations (shielding and patient dose); communication (radiation safety practices); and patient surveys (radiation). She also serve as the modality manager for mammography physics and nuclear medicine physics, and as a member of the Radiation Safety Committee and Human Use of Radioisotopes and Radiation Committee.

As a member of the UF Medical Physics Graduate Program’s graduate faculty, Dr Leon has embraced both a leadership and teaching role. In addition to serving as the program’s Assistant Director, she serves as the director/instructor for multiple courses; has advised multiple MS students; served as chair/committee member on several PhD supervisory committees; and oversees admissions. She also serves as the Associate Program Director for the Diagnostic Imaging Medical Physics Residency (DIMPR) program, which enables her to effectively guide students to the next step in their medical physics careers.

Dr Leon’s research experience is solid, with many publications and presentations. She is eager to continue collaborations with faculty, residents, and students. She is also a member of numerous societies (and actively participates in leadership roles and on multiple associated committees), to include the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), the Florida Chapter of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (FLAAPM), American Board of Radiology (ABR), the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), the Society of Directors of Academic Medical Physics Programs (SDAMPP), and the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP). She also serves/has served as an editor, reviewing abstracts and manuscripts for various publications in the medical physics field.

Dr Leon’s qualifications are stellar, as evidenced by her clinical duties, educational endeavors, research initiatives, academic/leadership roles, and administrative responsibilities. She will effectively lead the UF Medical Physics Graduate Program into the future. We are excited about the many opportunities that lie ahead and look forward to Dr Leon’s continued dedication and collaboration on improving the health and well-being of others through the advancement of the science of Medical Physics.

Please join us in welcoming Dr Leon to her new role and in thanking Dr Arreola for his service. We are confident that not only will the transition in leadership be seamless, but that the program will continue to grow and prosper.