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  • Research Resident Grant Recipient Awarded $2 Million From NIH

    Terence Gade, MD, PhD

    Terence Gade, MD, PhD, received the 2012 Cook Medical Cesare Gianturco/RSNA Research Resident Grant to evaluate the use of dynamic hyperpolarized carbon-13 nuclear MR spectroscopy for the non-invasive assessment of metabolic changes in hepatocellular carcinoma cells, in response to transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) treatment. These metabolic changes enable cell survival under TACE-induced ischemia and often result in recurrence following a period of latency, not seen until follow-up imaging.

    Dr. Gade, now an assistant professor of radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, has been awarded a $2 million, 5-Year NIH Director’s Early Independence Award to further elucidate the metabolic alterations in cells surviving ischemia and to translate his initial findings into a clinically applicable imaging paradigm that will improve treatment of this devastating disease.

    “This is the first time a radiologist has received this award and I think it demonstrates the progress we are making in radiology research, in large part due to pilot funding mechanisms like the Research Resident Grant,” Dr. Gade said. “I want to express my appreciation for the support of the Foundation and all who make these grants possible.”


    Automatic Image Quality Evaluation For CT Protocol Guidances

    Bruce Lehnert, MD

    2015 RSNA Research Seed Grant recipient Bruce Lehnert, MD, plans to develop and validate automated techniques to quantify the acquisition quality and the contrast enhancement adequacy of CT scans.

    “Automating the process of acquiring quantitative image quality metrics from production line CT scans will allow for continuous CT quality assurance, including radiation dose and diagnostic performance optimization, as protocols are modified and CT equipment updated.”


    Image Rich Radiology Report Adds Value to Imaging

    Jose Lopez, BS

    2015 FUJIFILM Medical Systems/RSNA Research Medical Student Grant recipient Jose Lopez, BS (center), with scientific advisors Rendon C. Nelson, MD, (right) and Bhavik N. Patel, MD, MBA, will investigate the role of an image-rich radiology report (IRRR) in the current busy clinical environment by determining the unmet needs, interest and preferences of both the referring physicians who will use the reports and the radiologist who will create them.

    Ultimately, analysis of experimental data will be used to implement an optimal health information technology (HIT) solution that adds value to imaging by reducing perceived incongruence between text reports and images and by improving operational efficiencies.


    Research Explores Non-Invasive Monitoring of Liver Inflammation and Fibrosis

    Michael A. Ohliger, MD, PhD

    Liver fibrosis – an important worldwide health problem if left unchecked – can progress to cirrhosis and corresponding portal hypertension and liver failure. Cirrhosis is also a major risk factor for development of hepatocellular carcinoma. Biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosing fibrosis, but is invasive and subject to sampling errors. With a 2014-2016 Mallinckrodt/RSNA Research Scholar Grant, Michael A. Ohliger, MD, PhD, seeks to develop new hyperpolarized carbon-13 MRI methods to monitor the progression of inflammation and fibrosis using clinical MRI scanners.

    “The techniques developed in this study can be directly translated into human studies; a 13C-labeled compound ([1-13C] pyruvate) has already been tested in humans,” Dr. Ohliger said. “Data will be used to gain further funding and regulatory approval to bring hyperpolarized 13C techniques in the clinic, providing new tools to help patients with chronic liver disease.”


    Integrating Brain Imaging and Metabolomics in Malnourished Children

    Manu S. Goyal, MD, MSc

    Through a collaborative effort between the RSNA Research & Education (R&E) Foundation and the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR), 2015–2017 ASNR/ RSNA Research Scholar Grant recipient, Manu S. Goyal, MD, MSc, will join a team of investigators to study the neurological effects of childhood malnutrition on the brain by integrating data from brain MRI and serum metabolomics. Such integrative methods are expected to provide further insight into the nutritional and metabolic needs of the developing brain.

    The goal of the $150,000 two-year award is to fund additional research in neuroradiology and to help prepare the next generation of researchers to become fully funded physician-scientists with their own research programs.


    Restriction Spectrum Imaging for Breast Cancer Imaging

    Rebecca Rakow-Penner, MD, PhD

    2015 RSNA Research Resident Grant recipient Rebecca Rakow-Penner, MD, PhD, with clinical breast imaging team, pictured from left to right: Mohammed Eghtedari, MD, PhD, Rebecca Rakow-Penner, MD, PhD, Haydee Ojeda, MD, Ajay Rao, MD, will evaluate and further develop a diffusion MRI technique called Restriction Spectrum Imaging (RSI) for breast cancer imaging.

    “RSI provides a mathematical framework for separating small spherically isotropic diffusion (representing tumor nuclei), from less restricted unwanted signal, and also corrects for B0 field inhomogeneity artifacts,” said Dr. Rakow-Penner. “The technique has the potential to improve errors due to distortion and non-invasively reflect tumor grade.”