Sunday, February 11, 2024, marks the 9th International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This year, the UN has chosen the theme "Women in Science Leadership: A New Era for Sustainability."

To commemorate this event, ESTRO has decided to feature a series of interviews with exceptional women who have played a key role in steering the Society and are shaping the future of Radiation Oncology. Today, we hear from Daniela Thorwarth, Chair of the Physics Committee and co-Editor-in-Chief of phiRO.


What inspired your decision to pursue a career in Radiation Oncology? Were there specific experiences or individuals that influenced your choice?

During a visit at a high energy particle accelerator facility in our physics undergrad programme, I learned about the medical use of ionizing radiation in cancer therapy. This visit, coupled with the idea of helping to treat cancer patients as physicist, inspired me to specialize in Medical Physics.


Do you anticipate that young women aspiring to follow a similar path will encounter the same challenges? How might their experiences differ, and what positive changes do you foresee for them?

I strongly encourage girls and women interested in science to pursue a scientific career. Successful research teams consist of diverse personalities with different approaches to solving problems. Therefore, having qualified and motivated women in science is essential! As our society becomes increasingly aware of the need for female scientists, support structures dedicated to female needs are now available.


If you could offer advice to young women aspiring to pursue a career in Radiation Oncology, what key insights or recommendations would you share based on your own experiences?

Based on my day-to-day experience, research in Medical Physics and Radiation Oncology is highly interdisciplinary. Academic programs in biomedical and life science research, available at many excellent universities around the world, may well suit those preparing for a future career in Radiation Oncology!



Daniela Thorwarth, Chair of the Physics Committee, phiRO co-Editor-in-Chief

Professor of Medical Physics, Research Group Leader, Section for Biomedical Physics, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Tübingen, Germany