2016 - Dr. Tyler Meyer

Dr. Tyler Meyer

Dr. TYLER MEYER, Ph. D, MCCPM is a medical physicist dedicated to the application of high energy radiation in the treatment of cancer. He holds a clinical position at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary which delivers approximately 3000 courses of radiotherapy treatment each year. He works with 10 other physicists as well as radiation oncologists, radiation therapists and other members of the treatment team outside of the radiotherapy program to ensure state-of-the-art treatments are offered to Albertans based upon current medical evidence across the world. He is the lead physicist for the brachytherapy program, which is a technique to surgically implant radioactive sources to deliver treatment.

He also works towards improving treatments researching through the University of Calgary in the Departments of Physics & Astronomy as well as Oncology. His primary research focus has been in prostate brachytherapy and more recently Permanent Breast Seed Implant (PBSI); a new treatment method for breast cancer. He is supervising a PhD student working on a thesis in PBSI and collaborating with other physicists in Calgary and Kelowna on the development of this technique currently only practiced in these two clinics worldwide. This work has led to a number of research publications in medical journals and international conference presentations.

Tyler grew up on a farm 20 minutes North of Castor and attended Gus Wetter School, graduating in 1998. While in Castor, he enjoyed a number of jobs such as working for the town in public works, the golf course and hockey rink. Following graduation, he moved to Vancouver with his friends to work in roofing and drainage before a steel galvanizing plant. He returned to study physics at the University of Calgary and completed his BSc, PhD and clinical residency before accepting a staff position. He was elected a Member of the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine in 2013. He feels lucky to have had the rare opportunity to remain local for each of these opportunities and remain part of the community. One motivation of his PBSI research is to ease radiotherapy access for Albertans not living near a major city with this single day outpatient procedure rather than standard treatments delivered over weeks.

He identifies a farm upbringing for his problem solving ability with only the resources available, known as “bailer twine solutions” by his PhD supervisor. He also credits the education he received at Gus Wetter School for such a great start to his journey in education. In the modern world of freely available information, education is free to focus on higher levels of learning. He is thankful to his teachers who had the opportunity and made the effort to know their students, in the classroom and community, and uniquely provide each of them the tools they need to achieve their goals. Recognizing the impact this had on him, he has taken several classes and workshops on teaching in order to help him achieve success in that role teaching graduate courses at the University of Calgary.