Kayla Stinson, a UAB School of Health ProfessionsM.S. in Health Physics second-year student, was awarded a prize for her research presentation at the Health Physics Society annual meeting on July 7, 2019. Her oral presentation for the award competition was based upon her poster, titled “Characterization of MCP-124 and MCP-150 Alloys for Beam Collimation and Radiation Shielding,” was one of only two awarded – she beat out more than 250 oral and 70 poster presentations.

“This is a huge honor for a young program to win an award competing against so many researchers from around the world,” said Muhammad Maqbool, Ph.D., associate professor, Health Physics program, Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, and mentor of Kayla Stinson.

Stinson’s research investigates different materials’ shielding properties – in other words, how well do they protect against radiation. Her work looked at many different factors including scattered radiation and buildup factor as well as mathematical developments based on the Klein-Nishina formula. The work was designed to consider scattering cross sections and radiation dose accuracy for radiation workers and patients.

The MCP-124 a eutectic of the Bismuth-Lead system with low melting point, designed for biomedical applications as it can easily be bended with a melting point of 124 degrees Celsius (255 degrees Fahrenheit). Stinson has also published her work on wax, a commonly used material in this area.

Maqbool says the research in this area continues at UAB. He is expanding the research with three students – two from Health Physics and one from the M.S. in Nuclear Medicine Technology program. Their goal is to present updated results for publication in early 2020.

The UAB M.S. in Health Physics program, the only one of its kind in Alabama, is in only its fourth year of existence. So far, 100 percent of their graduates have landed a full-time position in this field. The current class of second-years has 11 students.

Stinson, who earned a cash award and a plaque for her research award, is on track to graduate in December 2019.