Marc Kessler

Marc L Kessler, PhD

Allen S Lichter, MD Professor of Radiation Oncology
Chief Information Officer | Radiation Oncology

330 East Liberty St
Michigan Square, 4th Floor
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2274


Clinical Contacts

Administrative Contact


Dr. Kessler has over 35 years of experience in developing software techniques for image and information processing related to treatment planning and delivery for patients undergoing radiation therapy.

Dr. Kessler obtained his PhD in Biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley where he did research as part of the Heavy Ion Radiotherapy Project. During this time, Dr. Kessler developed techniques to incorporate multimodality image data into the treatment planning process and tools for quantitative evaluation of treatment plans. After graduating in 1989, Dr. Kessler joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in the Department of Radiation Oncology. In 2011, Dr Kessler was named the Allen S Lichter, MD Professor of Radiation Oncology.

Dr. Kessler continues to expand on his work in the area of image and information processing with a focus on workflow and safety optimization by developing and implementing techniques to standardize and automate all aspects of patient management in Radiation Oncology.  He also works closely with the Michigan Medicine leadership team to support information technology at the enterprise level to help promote both efficiency and innovation.

Areas of Interest

  • Medical Image processing
  • Optimization of treatment plans  
  • Decision support
  • Workflow automation

Clinical Interests

  • Informatics for decision support in Radiation Oncology

Honors & Awards

  • 2014  Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine
  • 2011  Allen S Lichter, MD Professor of Radiation Oncology


  • PhD, Biophysics, University of California, Berkeley, 1989 
  • BS, Physics with Honors, University of Florida, 1981


  • 2-P01-CA-59827, (PIs: Lawrence/TenHaken), 05/15/14-04/30/19,NIH: Optimization of High Dose Conformal Therapy, Role: Director, Core C.
  • N020786, (PI: Kessler)10/15/2015-03/14/2017, Varian Co-Development: Design, Implementation, and Testing of Adaptive Workflow Tools, Role: Co-Principal Investigator.   

Published Articles or Reviews

Selected from 71 publications

  • A Safe and Practical Cycle for Team-Based Development and Implementation of In-house Clinical Software. Moran, JM,  Paradis, KC, Hadley, SW, Matuszak, MM, Mayo, CS, Woch Naheedy, K, Chen, X, Litzenberg, D, Irrer, J, Ditman, MG, Burger P, Kessler, ML (senior and corresponding author). Advances in Radiation Oncology (in press)
  • Mayo CS, Phillips M, McNutt TR, Palta J, Dekker A, Miller RC, Xiao Y, Moran JM, Matuszak MM, Gabriel P, Ayan AS, Prisciandaro J, Thor M, Dixit N, Popple R, Killoran J, Kaleba E, Kantor M, Ruan D, Kapoor R, Kessler ML, Lawrence TS., Treatment Data and Technical Process Challenges for Practical Big Data Efforts in Radiation Oncology. Med Phys. 2018 Oct;45(10):e793-e810.
  • Brock K, Mutic S, McNutt T, Li H, Kessler M, Use of image registration and fusion algorithms and techniques in radiotherapy: Report of the AAPM Radiation Therapy Committee Task Group No. 132, Med Phys. 2017 Jul;44(7):e43-e76.
  • Mayo C, et al., Incorporating Big Data into Treatment Plan Evaluation – Development of Statistical DVH Metrics and Visualization Dashboards, Adv Radiat Oncol. 2017 Apr 27;2(3):503-514.
  • Mayo C, Kessler, ML, Eisbruch, A, et al. The Big Data Effort in Radiation Oncology: data mining or data farming? Advances in Radiation Oncology.  1(4):260–271, 2016.
  • Hadley SW, Kessler ML, Litzenberg DW, et. al., SafetyvNet: Streamlining and automating QA in radiotherapy. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 17(1):5920, 2016.
  • Covington EL, Chen XC, Younge KC, Lee C, Matuszak MM, Kessler ML, Keranen W, Acosta E, Dougherty AM, Filpansick SE, Moran JM, Improving treatment plan evaluation with automation. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 17(6):6322, 2016.
  • Kessler ML, McShan DL, Eppelman MA, et al. Costlets: A generalized approach to cost functions for automated optimization of IMRT plans, Optimization and Engineering. 6:421-448, 2005.
  • Kessler ML, McShan DL, Fraass BA. A computer-controlled conformal radiotherapy system. III:Graphical simulation and monitoring of treatment delivery. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 33(5):1173-80, 1995.
  • Kessler ML, Pitluck S, Petti P, Castro JR. Integration of multimodality imaging data for radiotherapy treatment planning. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 21(6):1653-67, 1991.

Web Sites

519 W William St
Ann Arbor, MI 48103-4943