John Kildea, PhD, MCCPM

John Kildea (photo)

Medical Physicist
McGill University Health Centre

Assistant Professor
Department of Oncology,

McGill University

Associate member
Medical Physics Unit, McGill University
Department of Physics, McGill University
Department of Biomedical Engineering, McGill University

Medical Physics Unit

Cedars Cancer Centre, DS1.7141 
1001 boul Décarie
Montréal, Québec 
H4A 3J1

john.kildea at

514 934-1934 ex 44154

Quick Links


Professional Interests

I am a medical physicist and assistant proferssor in the Gerald Bronfman Dept. of Oncology at McGill University, based at the Cedars Cancer Centre of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Quebec.

In addition to some clinical duties, I lead two active medical physics research programs with collaborators in McGill's School of Computer Science, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and in industry (Detec Inc).

I also teach the Health Physics for Medical Physicists and Instrumentation and Computation classes in McGill's CAMPEP-accredited Medical Physics M.Sc program and I created and coordinate the Practicum class of the Graduate Diploma in Oncology program of the Gerald Bronfman Dept. of Oncology.

I co-lead development of the award-winning Opal patient portal and I am co-founder of the Quebec startup Opal Med Apps Inc. Opal was named Quebec eHealth solution of 2019 and was awarded the 2019 Prix d'excellence– ministers' choice award - the highest accolade in the Quebec healthcare system. Our project to build data donation into Opal was awarded the inaugural Trottier-Webster award for Innovation at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

O-HIG and Opal


I am particularly proud of the Opal Health Informatics Group (O-HIG) that I co-founded in 2014 with computer science professor Laurie Hendren and radiation oncologist Tarek Hijal, MD. Our collaborative health informatics research has involved about 70 student researchers thus far and has given fruit to Opal, an award-winning patient portal for mobile phones. Opal provides patients with access to their medical data, personalized education material and questionnaires to collect patient reported outcomes. The Opal development team currently counts eight full-time software developers.

My vision for Opal is that it will become a widely-used tool to bring about SmartCare - defined as the use of patient-centered data and mHealth (mobile health) technologies for remote care and artificial intelligence (AI) research.

For more details, please see my Research Page.

Teaching and Supervision
In 2010 I became course instructor for the Health Physics for Medical Physics class in the McGill Medical Physics program. I restructured the course, previously taught by four instructors, and wrote a comprehensive set of notes. In addition to Health Physics, I currently also teach the Instrumentation and Computation class in the Medical Physics program and I coordinate the ONCO 630 Practicum course in the Oncology Graduate Diploma program of the Gerald Bronfman Dept. of Oncology.

Since 2011 I have officially supervised (primary supervisor) one postdoc, 4 Ph.D. candidates, 14 M.Sc students, 6 research assistants, 5 interns, and 33 undergraduate students in Medical Physics. Within the Opal Health Informatics Group, I lead a team of eight full-time software developers.

Each semester I offer fun and interesting research projects to good undergraduate students in Physics and Computer Science at McGill as part of the MDPH 396 course.

Academic Background
Before moving into medical physics in 2008, I studied physics at Queen's University Belfast, astrophysics at University College Dublin and I did two postdocs in gamma-ray astronomy, one at McGill University and the other at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. I was part of the design and development team that built the VERITAS telescopes in Arizona and I was on shift during first light of the VERITAS prototype telescope in 2003. Click here for a poster explaining VERITAS that I prepared for the First Light fiesta in 2007.

VERITAS telescope
VERITAS telescope array in Southern Arizona, USA

During my studies and career I have had the privilege of being a visiting scholar at four universities: (1) Universität Leipzig (1996), Alaska Pacific University (1997/97), the University of Arizona (2006-2008) and Trinity College Dublin (2014).

Personal Interests
Outside of work, I enjoy running and swimming. I am the founder and race director of the Montreal Pride Run and with some friends I founded a running club, the Tucson Frontrunners, while I lived in Tucson, Arizona.

Maintained by John Kildea
Last updated: 30 November 2020