We at UCSF take your care seriously. Click here for COVID-19 information

University of California San Francisco

Our Team

Chris J. Diederich, Ph.D.

Director of Clinical Hyperthermia Physics Section &
Thermal Therapy Research Group
Department of Radiation Oncology

Enjoys a good BBQ, water sports such as scuba diving and body surfing, fishing with work buddies

Meet Dr. Diederich

I am motivated by the opportunity to deliver safe and effective hyperthermia therapy in a compassionate way while striving for patient comfort.


Dr. Diederich’s clinical expertise includes treatment planning, quality assurance, and delivery of hyperthermia therapy (thermal therapy) in conjunction with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. He has over 32 years of experience as a Medical Physicist in the field of Hyperthermia Therapy, with applications of ultrasound and electromagnetic systems for delivering superficial, interstitial, and deep hyperthermia. He is Director of Clinical Hyperthermia Physics. This clinical service includes standard of care procedures, as well as scientific investigations of (1) the use of ultrasound to preferentially target ThermoDox, a thermally sensitive nanoparticle, for treatment of recurrent breast cancer, (2) catheter-based ultrasound hyperthermia in conjunction with HDR brachytherapy for the treatment of locally advanced prostate and cervix cancer, and (3) deep hyperthermia for pelvic tumors.

Research Focus

His main focus of research has been the development of ultrasound devices and treatment delivery strategies for targeted hyperthermia, thermal ablation therapies, and drug delivery. This includes integration of devices with magnetic resonance (MR) and ultrasound (US) imaging techniques to guide and monitor therapy delivery. Areas of expertise include ultrasound physics, bioacoustic thermal modeling and control, MR and US image guidance, and theoretical and experimental techniques to develop and evaluate thermal therapy devices prior to clinical implementation. Dr. Diederich’s lab group is investigating methods of applying hyperthermia or moderate thermal therapy (40-45 °C) to tissue to significantly enhance radiation therapy, chemotherapy, gene therapy, immunotherapy, and drug delivery/activation (e.g., nanoparticles). Further, high temperature (50-80+ °C) thermal therapy is being investigated to outright destroy tumors or permanently change the physical properties of tissue. The image-guided ultrasound devices and methods developed by his group can produce precise shaped heating patterns and are more controllable than other modalities, thus potentially providing more conformable heating, better response and lower complication rates; the technology has demonstrated potential for cancer therapy and treatment of non-malignant disease. Catheter based ultrasound devices and a delivery system developed by his group are currently being applied in an NIH sponsored clinical study at UCSF for applying hyperthermia in conjunction with HDR brachytherapy for the treatment of locally advanced prostate and cervix cancer (FDA IDE G040168). Research funded projects include development of catheter-based, endoluminal, and endocavity ultrasound technology for thermal therapy treatment of prostate cancer, cervix cancer, pancreatic cancer, uterine fibroid ablation, and bone and spinal tumor ablation.



1984 University of California, San Diego BS                      Bioengineering                                                      
1986 University of Arizona MSEE Electrical Engineering                                           
1990 University of Arizona Ph.D. Electrical Engineering                                                 
Professional Experience

Professional Experience

2006-present  UCSF Department of Radiation Oncology Professor                                                                         
2000-2006 UCSF       Department of Radiation Oncology Associate Professor                         
1990-2000 UCSF  Department of Radiation Oncology  Assistant Professor                                                   

Awards & Honors

1993 Recipient of Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Research Award
1996 Physics Councilor (96-98), North American Hyperthermia Society (NAHS)
1999-2003 Vice President Elect, President-Elect, President, and Past-President of the North American Hyperthermia Society – NAHS
2000 Recipient, Norby-Smith Award for Minimally Invasive Surgery, North American Spine Society
2001-2002 17th President, North American Hyperthermia Society (Now STM)
2007-2011 Secretary Treasurer, Society of Thermal Medicine (NAHS)
2008-2011 Executive Board Member, International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound
2010 Recipient of the 2010 J. Eugene Robinson Award, Society for Thermal Medicine- in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of hyperthermic oncology, presented at the Society for Thermal Medicine annual meeting, Tampa, Florida
2011-2021 AAPM Meeting Coordination Committee, Program, and Ultrasound Specialty Track
2013-2015 Co-Chair, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco Joint Bioengineering Graduate Program
2013-2021 AAPM Task Group Member, TG-241 MR guided Focused Ultrasound
2014-2017 Executive Board Member, International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound
2019 Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, FAAPM, presented at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine annual meeting, San Antonio, Texas
2019 Recipient of the George M. Hahn Award, given in recognition of outstanding contributions in research which has contributed in a significant way to new clinical applications in thermal therapy, given by the Society for Thermal Medicine annual meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida
2022                                               Recipient of the ESHO-Pyrexar Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of hyperthermia, given by the European Society of Hyperthermic Oncology, 34th Annual Meeting, September 14-17 2022 Gothenburg, Sweden





Recent Significant Publications


Kim K, Diederich C, Narsinh K, Ozhinsky E. , Motion-robust, multi-slice, real-time MR thermometry for MR-guided thermal therapy in abdominal organs. Int J Hyperthermia. 2023; 40(1):2151649. PMID: 36535967.

Zubair M, Adams MS, Diederich CJ., An endoluminal cylindrical sectored-ring ultrasound phased-array applicator for minimally-invasive therapeutic ultrasound. Med Phys. 2023 Jan; 50(1):1-19. PMID: 36413363.

Kim K, Jones P, Diederich C, Ozhinsky E., Technical note: Low-cost MR-compatible pneumatic respiratory organ motion simulator for the development of MR-guided thermal therapy. Med Phys. 2022 Jul; 49(7):4365-4371. PMID: 35635215; PMCID: PMC9288488.

Wang D, Adams MS, Jones PD, Liu D, Burdette EC, Diederich CJ., High Contrast Ultrasonic Method With Multi-Spatiotemporal Compounding for Monitoring Catheter-Based Ultrasound Thermal Therapy: Development and Ex Vivo Evaluations. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2021 10; 68(10):3131-3141. PMID: 33755552; PMCID: PMC8489743.

Zubair M, Adams MS, Diederich CJ., Deployable ultrasound applicators for endoluminal delivery of volumetric hyperthermia. Int J Hyperthermia. 2021 08 10; 38(1):1188-1204. PMID: 34376103; PMCID: PMC8802621.

Payne A, Chopra R, Ellens N, Chen L, Ghanouni P, Sammet S, Diederich C, Ter Haar G, Parker D, Moonen C, Stafford J, Moros E, Schlesinger D, Benedict S, Wear K, Partanen A, Farahani K., AAPM Task Group 241: A medical physicist’s guide to MRI-guided focused ultrasound body systems. Med Phys. 2021 Sep; 48(9):e772-e806. PMID: 34224149.

Kim K, Zubair M, Adams M, Diederich CJ, Ozhinsky E., Sonication strategies toward volumetric ultrasound hyperthermia treatment using the ExAblate body MRgFUS system. Int J Hyperthermia. 2021; 38(1):1590-1600. PMID: 34749579; PMCID: PMC8806831.

Zhang W, Trivedi H, Adams M, Losey AD, Diederich CJ, Ozhinsky E, Rieke V, Bucknor MD. , Anatomic thermochromic tissue-mimicking phantom of the lumbar spine for pre-clinical evaluation of MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) ablation of the facet joint. Int J Hyperthermia. 2021; 38(1):130-135. PMID: 33541151.

Adams MS, Lotz JC, Diederich CJ., In silico feasibility assessment of extracorporeal delivery of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound to intervertebral discs within the lumbar spine. Phys Med Biol. 2020 11 05; 65(21):215011. PMID: 32620003.

Nazer B, Giraud D, Zhao Y, Qi Y, Mason O, Jones PD, Diederich CJ, Gerstenfeld EP, Lindner JR., Microbubble-Facilitated Ultrasound Catheter Ablation Causes Microvascular Damage and Fibrosis. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2021 01; 47(1):131-138. PMID: 33092899; PMCID: PMC8211318.

Wang D, Liu D, Sang Y, Zhang Y, Wan M, Diederich CJ., In vivo Nakagami-m parametric imaging of microbubble-enhanced ultrasound regulated by RF and VF processing techniques. Med Phys. 2020 Nov; 47(11):5659-5668. PMID: 32965033.

DA Horne, PD Jones, M Adams, JC Lotz, CJ Diederich, LIPUS far-field exposimetry system for uniform stimulation of tissues in-vitro: development and validation with bovine intervertebral disc cells, Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express, 2020

Liu D, Adams M, Burdette EC, Diederich CJ. Dual-sectored transurethral ultrasound for thermal treatment of stress urinary incontinence: in silico studies in 3D anatomical models. Med Biol Eng Comput. 2020 Jun;58(6):1325-1340. doi: 10.1007/s11517-020-02152-6. Epub 2020 Apr 10.

Lee JE, Diederich CJ, Bok R, Sriram R, Santos RD, Noworolski SM, Salgaonkar VA, Adams MS, Vigneron DB, Kurhanewicz J. Assessing high-intensity focused ultrasound treatment of prostate cancer with hyperpolarized 13 C dual-agent imaging of metabolism and perfusion. NMR Biomed. 2019 Oct;32(10):e3962. doi: 10.1002/nbm.3962. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

Adams MS, Diederich CJ. Deployable cylindrical phased-array applicator mimicking a concentric-ring configuration for minimally-invasive delivery of therapeutic ultrasound. Phys Med Biol. 2019 Jun 10;64(12):125001. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/ab2318.

Dobšíček Trefná H, Schmidt M, van Rhoon GC, Kok HP, Gordeyev SS, Lamprecht U, Marder D, Nadobny J, Ghadjar P, Abdel-Rahman S, Kukiełka AM, Strnad V, Hurwitz MD, Vujaskovic Z, Diederich CJ, Stauffer PR, Crezee J. Quality assurance guidelines for interstitial hyperthermia. Int J Hyperthermia. 2019;36(1):277-294. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2018.1564155. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

Yao X, Adams MS, Jones PD, Diederich CJ, Verkman AS. Noninvasive, Targeted Creation of Neuromyelitis Optica Pathology in AQP4-IgG Seropositive Rats by Pulsed Focused Ultrasound. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2019 Jan 1;78(1):47-56. doi: 10.1093/jnen/nly107.

Liu D, Adams MS, Diederich CJ. Endobronchial high-intensity ultrasound for thermal therapy of pulmonary malignancies: simulations with patient-specific lung models. Int J Hyperthermia. 2019;36(1):1108-1121. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2019.1683234.

Liu D, Adams MS, Burdette EC, Diederich CJ. Transurethral high-intensity ultrasound for treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI): simulation studies with patient-specific models. Int J Hyperthermia. 2018 Dec;34(8):1236-1247. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2018.1456679. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Ozhinsky E, Salgaonkar VA, Diederich CJ, Rieke V. MR thermometry-guided ultrasound hyperthermia of user-defined regions using the ExAblate prostate ablation array. J Ther Ultrasound. 2018;6:7. doi: 10.1186/s40349-018-0115-5.

Adams MS, Salgaonkar VA, Scott SJ, Sommer G, Diederich CJ. Integration of deployable fluid lenses and reflectors with endoluminal therapeutic ultrasound applicators: Preliminary investigations of enhanced penetration depth and focal gain. Med Phys. 2017 Oct;44(10):5339-5356. doi: 10.1002/mp.12458. Epub 2017 Aug 8.

Trefná HD, Crezee H, Schmidt M, Marder D, Lamprecht U, Ehmann M, Hartmann J, Nadobny J, Gellermann J, van Holthe N, Ghadjar P, Lomax N, Abdel-Rahman S, Bert C, Bakker A, Hurwitz MD, Diederich CJ, Stauffer PR, van Rhoon GC. Quality assurance guidelines for superficial hyperthermia clinical trials: I. Clinical requirements. Int J Hyperthermia. 2017 Jun;33(4):471-482. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2016.1277791. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

Dobšíček Trefná H, Crezee J, Schmidt M, Marder D, Lamprecht U, Ehmann M, Nadobny J, Hartmann J, Lomax N, Abdel-Rahman S, Curto S, Bakker A, Hurwitz MD, Diederich CJ, Stauffer PR, Van Rhoon GC. Quality assurance guidelines for superficial hyperthermia clinical trials : II. Technical requirements for heating devices. Strahlenther Onkol. 2017 May;193(5):351-366. doi: 10.1007/s00066-017-1106-0. Epub 2017 Mar 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 28251250;

Adams MS, Salgaonkar VA, Plata-Camargo J, Jones PD, Pascal-Tenorio A, Chen HY, Bouley DM, Sommer G, Pauly KB, Diederich CJ. Endoluminal ultrasound applicators for MR-guided thermal ablation of pancreatic tumors: Preliminary design and evaluation in a porcine pancreas model. Med Phys. 2016 Jul;43(7):4184. doi: 10.1118/1.4953632. PubMed PMID: 27370138; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4912561.

Zagar TM, Vujaskovic Z, Formenti S, Rugo H, Muggia F, O’Connor B, Myerson R, Stauffer P, Hsu IC, Diederich C, Straube W, Boss MK, Boico A, Craciunescu O, Maccarini P, Needham D, Borys N, Blackwell KL, Dewhirst MW. Two phase I dose-escalation/pharmacokinetics studies of low temperature liposomal doxorubicin (LTLD) and mild local hyperthermia in heavily pretreated patients with local regionally recurrent breast cancer. Int J Hyperthermia. 2014 Aug; 30(5):285-94.

Myerson RJ, Moros EG, Diederich CJ, Haemmerich D, Hurwitz MD, Hsu IC, McGough RJ, Nau WH, Straube WL, Turner PF, Vujaskovic Z, Stauffer PR. Components of a hyperthermia clinic: recommendations for staffing, equipment, and treatment monitoring. Int J Hyperthermia. 2014 Feb; 30(1):1-5.


Redefining Possible