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In Memoriam: Fanqing Guo, PhD

March 21, 2023

Fanqing Guo, PhD, assistant professor of therapeutic radiology, died on March 7, 2023. He was a compassionate clinical medical physicist, a dedicated mentor and researcher, and a great colleague who will be missed. He was 53 years old.

Guo was a first-generation immigrant who not only realized the fullness of the American dream but also made impactful contributions to biomedical science, patient care, and the greater New Haven community. He was born on October 15, 1969, in Hubei, China. He received a BS degree from Fudan University (Shanghai) in 1991, and an MS degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing) in 1994, and worked as a young research fellow in the Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He moved to the U.S. in 1997 to pursue his PhD in nuclear chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked on the development and use of radioactive ion beams at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to examine the properties of proton-rich exotic nuclei with α-decay and proton elastic scattering spectroscopy. After graduating in 2004, he spent three years at the University of California Davis Medical Center as a resident trainee specializing in the application of medical physics in radiation oncology. He joined Yale New Haven Hospital in 2007 as a clinical medical physicist and was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Therapeutic Radiology as an assistant professor in 2008.

His professional activities at Yale focused on patient care, teaching, and clinical research. He was certified by the American Board of Radiology for practicing therapeutic medical physics and was an integral part of the multidisciplinary radiation oncology team for the care of cancer patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital. Guo specialized in the physics aspects of a variety of radiation therapy procedures, including high dose rate brachytherapy, Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery, and eye plaque brachytherapy. He also played a vital role in managing the technical aspects of protocol credentialing and data submission for radiation therapy patients enrolled in national clinical trials.

Guo was a dedicated mentor to students, postdoctoral research associates, and particularly the residents in Radiation Oncology and Medical Physics, contributing directly to the success of the physics residency program. He was also involved in a wide range of research projects aimed at improving the efficacy and safety of radiation therapy. As a member of the Yale community for nearly 16 years, Guo was widely recognized as a dedicated and compassionate clinical medical physicist, mentor, and researcher who devoted his time and energy to advancing radiation therapy and the treatment of cancer patients. Most important, he is remembered as a great colleague–humble, friendly, hardworking, and always ready to help whenever needed.

Outside of work, Dr. Guo was an active member of the Southern Connecticut Chinese School and devoted his time to developing and managing the language course curriculum for children in the Chinese American community. He co-organized the Chinese New Year Gala multiple times, including in 2023, and made significant contributions to the growth of next generation Chinese American children in the greater New Haven area. Dr. Guo’s family was his greatest joy, and he will be deeply missed by his loved ones, colleagues, and patients. He will be remembered for his kindness, dedication, and outstanding contributions to biomedical science and patient care.

Dr. Guo is survived by his mother, Jiaying Fang; his wife, Birong Su; their children, Yaya Guo and Jason Guo; his siblings, Songqing Guo, Jine Guo, and Cuie Guo; and his nephews Changtai Guo, Huan He, Le He, and niece Yu Liu. He was predeceased by his father, Qixiao Guo.

Submitted by Robert Forman on March 21, 2023