Purdy attended the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. After receiving his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of Texas, Austin, he completed his post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Medical Physics at MD Anderson. He joined UC Davis in 2004 as professor and vice chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology; he served in that position until his retirement in 2011. In 2012, Purdy was appointed Professor Emeritus at Washington University, where he had spent more than 31 years.
In granting the award to Purdy, the MD Anderson Alumni & Faculty Association Steering Committee said that his research efforts in three-dimensional treatment planning and delivery, and quality assurance, have had a profound effect on radiation oncology. They also cited his training of hundreds of resident physicians and medical physicists and his valuable mentorship of junior faculty throughout his career.
Purdy accepted the award on Jan. 16 at an event at MD Anderson, and delivered a lecture titled “Medical Physics: The Road Ahead.”
“I am truly honored to have my name added to the list of previous recipients of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Distinguished Alumnus Award,” Purdy said during his acceptance speech. “I recognize how fortunate I was to have trained at such a great institution. Over the course of my career, I have seen significant advances in radiation oncology and continue to believe the future holds great potential for the next generation of clinicians and scientists to significantly improve treatment outcomes and lower costs, thus making high quality radiation therapy available to cancer patients the world over.”