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University of California San Francisco

Our Team

J. Adam M. Cunha, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Division of Physics
Department of Radiation Oncology

Meet Dr. Cunha

At UCSF we are innovators; I am motivated by my desire to educate the next generation who will bring these breakthroughs to their patients. 

Dr. Cunha is an Associate Professor in the UCSF Department of Radiation Oncology. And the Director of the Graduate Program in Medical Physics, a joint effort between Radiation Oncology and UC Berkeley’s Department of Nuclear Engineering. He earned his Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a member of the BaBar collaboration, his thesis work explored subatomic particle interactions generated using the GeV-energy electron/positron linear accelerator at SLAC National Laboratory in Palo Alto, CA. Dr. Cunha specializes in all aspects of Brachytherapy including Optimization, Robotics, Electromagnetic (EM) Tracking, and 3D Printing applications.



2001 Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ BS Physics
2006 University of California, Santa Barbara, CA PhD Physics
2007 Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY Post- Doctoral Physics
2009 University of California, San Francisco, CA Post- Doctoral Radiation Oncology
Professional Experience

Professional Experience

2018-present UCSF Associate Professor Department of Radiation Oncology
2011-2018 UCSF Assistant Professor Department of Radiation Oncology
2009-2011 UCSF Clinical Instructor Department of Radiation Oncology


Recent Significant Publications

Nattagh K, Siauw T, Pouliot J, Hsu IC, Cunha JA., A training phantom for ultrasound-guided needle insertion and suturing. Brachytherapy. 2014 Jul-Aug;13(4):413-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2014.01.003. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Crehange G, Krishnamurthy D, Cunha JA, Pickett B, Kurhanewicz J, Hsu IC, Gottschalk AR, Shinohara K, Roach M 3rd, Pouliot J., Cold spot mapping inferred from MRI at time of failure predicts biopsy-proven local failure after permanent seed brachytherapy in prostate cancer patients: implications for focal salvage brachytherapy.Radiother Oncol. 2013 Nov;109(2):246-50. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2013.10.028. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Pinnaduwage DS, Cunha JA, Weinberg V, Krishnamurthy D, Nash M, Hsu IC, Pouliot J., A dosimetric evaluation of using a single treatment plan for multiple treatment fractions within a given applicator insertion in gynecologic brachytherapy. Brachytherapy. 2013 Sep-Oct;12(5):487-94. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2013.02.003. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

Cunha JA, Pouliot J, Weinberg V, Wang-Chesebro A, Roach M 3rd, Hsu IC., Urethra low-dose tunnels: Validation of and class solution for generating urethra-sparing dose plans using inverse planning simulated annealing for prostate high-dose-rate brachytherapy.Brachytherapy. 2012 Sep-Oct;11(5):348-53.

Reed G, Cunha JA, Noworolski S, Kurhanewicz J, Vigneron D, Hsu IC, Pouliot J., Interactive, multi-modality image registrations for combined MRI/MRSI-planned HDR prostate brachytherapy. J Contemp Brachytherapy. 2011 Mar 31;3(1):26-31.

Siauw T, Cunha A, Atamtürk A, Hsu IC, Pouliot J, Goldberg K., IPIP: A new approach to inverse planning for HDR brachytherapy by directly optimizing dosimetric indices. Med Phys. 2011 Jul;38(7):4045-51.

Krishnamurthy D, Weinberg V, Cunha JA, Hsu IC, Pouliot J., Comparison of high-dose rate prostate brachytherapy dose distributions with iridium-192, ytterbium-169, and thulium-170 sources. Brachytherapy. 2011 Nov;10(6):461-5.

Cunha JA, Pickett B, Pouliot J., Inverse planning optimization for hybrid prostate permanent-seed implant brachytherapy plans using two source strengths. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2010 Jun 3;11(3):3096.

Cunha JA, Hsu IC, Pouliot J, Roach Iii M, Shinohara K, Kurhanewicz J, Reed G, Stoianovici D., Toward adaptive stereotactic robotic brachytherapy for prostate cancer: demonstration of an adaptive workflow incorporating inverse planning and an MR stealth robot. Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol. 2010 Aug;19(4):189-202.

Foster W, Cunha JA, Hsu IC, Weinberg V, Krishnamurthy D, Pouliot J., Dosimetric impact of interfraction catheter movement in high-dose rate prostate brachytherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 May 1;80(1):85-90. Epub 2010 Jun 3.

Cunha JA, Hsu IC, Pouliot J. Dosimetric equivalence of nonstandard HDR brachytherapy catheter patterns, Med Phys. 2009 Jan;36(1):233-9.


Redefining Possible