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Mike Merchant

  • PhD, MEng
  • Lecturer in Proton Therapy Physics
  • University of Manchester Institute of Cancer Sciences
  • 6PublicationsNumber of items in Mike's My Publications folder on Mendeley.
  • 10Followers


Dr Mike Merchant is a lecturer in Proton Therapy Physics at the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester. My primary research interest is the design of the Christie Proton Research Beamline, a 250 MeV beamline in development in a dedicated research space at the new Christie proton therapy centre, currently under construction. I received a Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from the University of Surrey, on the topic of the beam optics of magnetic quadrupole probe forming systems for focussing of MeV ions to sub-micron spot sizes. During this time, I developed an interest in the use of ion microbeams to investigate the radiation response of living cells. I followed this interest, and joined the team responsible for design, development, and experiment use of the Surrey Vertical Beamline, an ion microbeam facility capable of targeting single living cells with single ions, and observing the response using timelapse microscopy. In January 2015, I joined the PRECISE (Proton Researh at the Christie and Institute of Cancer Sciences) group at the University, led by Professor Karen Kirkby. I am responsible for the technical development of the Christie Proton Research Beamline. The Christie Proton Research Beamline The Department of Health has committed £250 million to developing high-energy proton beam therapy services in the UK. Two facilities are currently under construction located at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust , Manchester, and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The Christie proton beam therapy centre will host three clinical treatment rooms featuring a ProBeam proton therapy system supplied by Varian Medical Systems. Joint investment by Department of Health and the Christie Charity into the Manchester Proton Therapy Centre has allowed the development of a dedicated proton therapy research space in a fourth room at the Christie proton therapy centre. This research room will house a static horizontal beam line, and have the capability for spot scanning beam delivery. The design philosophy for this beamline is to provide a modular, adaptable end-station to give the flexibility to allow an extensive range of experiments to be performed, encompassing radiobiology, physical, and technical experiments. The research room will be a UK national facility for proton therapy research.

Research interests

Recent publications

  • Measuring and modelling cell-to-cell variation in uptake of gold nanoparticles.

    • Jeynes J
    • Jeynes C
    • Merchant M
    • et al.
    Get full text
  • The influence of stray DC magnetic fields in MeV ion nanobeam systems

    • Merchant M
    • Grime G
    • Palitsin V

Professional experience

Lecturer in Proton Therapy Physics

University of Manchester Institute of Cancer Sciences

January 2015 - Present

Research Fellow

Ion Beam Centre, Uni. of Surrey

February 2007 - Present


PhD (Beam Optics)

Ion Beam Centre, University of Surrey

October 2003 - December 2009(6 years)

MEng Electronic Engineering

University of Surrey

September 1999 - June 2003(4 years)

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