2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

Allison Grayev Receives Dean’s Teaching Award

Allison Grayev, MD

Associate Professor Allison Grayev, MD was selected as one of the 2021 Dean’s Teaching Award recipients. This award recognizes excellence and innovation in medical education. The recipients awarded have demonstrated a creative approach to medical education, high teaching effectiveness, and sustained dedication to improving student learning. Dr. Grayev will be presented with the award during a virtual award ceremony on Medical Education Day, which this year is on May 27th.

Dr. Grayev is humbled to have won this prestigious award. “Winning this award is a recognition of the support received from the anatomy team and my colleagues in radiology, allowing me to design and implement new radiology content both during the Forward curriculum roll out and a pandemic. I hope to impart the importance of radiology to all medical students with the goal of creating future clinicians that understand and respect our role in patient care,” she says.

Congratulations Dr. Grayev, and thank you for your continued dedication to our medical students!

Shane Wells Wins Bosniak Research Award

Associate Professor Shane Wells, MD received the Bosniak Research Award from the Society of Abdominal Radiology (SAR). The Bosniak Research Award recognizes collaborative teamwork between Radiology and the UW O’Brien Center for Urology Research on genitourinary radiology research. The award recipient receives a $15,000 research grant to further their work. Dr. Wells received the award for his research proposal, titled Prostate Magnetic Resonance Elastography: Technical Development and Preclinical Evaluation. The award was presented to Dr. Wells at the SAR Annual Business Meeting, which was held virtually from March 20th – 25th. Dr. Wells was grateful to receive the award. “I am honored to receive the prestigious Bosniak Research Award from the Society of Abdominal Radiology. The Radiology and UW O’Brien Center for Urology Research teams are unified under the mission to cultivate new research and clinical tools and ideas while supporting the next generation of urologic researchers in order to reduce the burden of benign urologic conditions on humanity,” says Dr. Wells. Congratulations, Dr. Wells!

Guest Lecture: Tim Leiner, MD, PhD

How can machine learning improve patient care? That is the question Tim Leiner, MD, PhD will answer during his guest lecture. Dr. Leiner is a Professor of Radiology and Chair in Cardiovascular Imaging at Utrecht University Medical Center, in Utrecht, The Netherlands. His guest lecture at UW, “Bringing Machine Learning to the Clinic: Challenges and Opportunities” will take place virtually on Wednesday March 31st.

After obtaining his MD and PhD from Maastricht University Medical School, Dr. Leiner spent 18 months as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Cardiac MR Center at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/ Harvard Medical School in Boston. He then completed his Radiology residency at Maastricht University Medical Center, during which he spent three months at the Vascular Imaging Laboratory at the University of Washington. His research interests focus on the development and implementation of new MR and CT techniques for cardiovascular imaging. Dr. Leiner has served on numerous prestigious imaging committees and is currently President of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM).

Machine learning and deep learning have the potential to greatly improve patient care. In Radiology, machine learning can be used for image analysis; patient selection and examination scheduling; image acquisition and reconstruction; using image data for prognostic purposes; and combining image data with information from electronic health records, laboratory and genetic data. However, when designing algorithms, it is important to take into account clinic workflow and how the technology can be implemented in clinical practice. Dr. Leiner will discuss these aspects of machine learning from a cardiovascular imaging perspective.

The thing he hopes people take away from his lecture is the broad impact machine learning will continue to have on radiology and medical imaging. "It will affect all steps of the imaging chain, from patient selection for imaging, image acquisition, and reconstruction, but also post-processing, reporting and extraction of prognostic information. In short, all aspects of radiology as we know it will be affected,” says Dr. Leiner.

Get more information on this lecture at: https://radiology.wisc.edu/lectures/

Guest Lecture: Corey Arnold, PhD

On April 1st, Dr. Corey Arnold will be giving a guest lecture titled “Computational Disease Phenotyping using Machine Learning”. Dr. Arnold is the Director of the Computational Diagnostics lab and Associate Professor of Radiology, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, and Electrical & Computer Engineering at UCLA. He received his PhD in Information Science from UCLA in 2009 and his BS degree in Bioengineering/Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin in 2002. His research investigates the application of machine learning techniques in medicine to derive more precise and quantifiable characterizations of disease to support diagnosis, progression assessment, and treatment selection.

The lecture will focus on the research Dr. Arnold does in the UCLA Computational Diagnostics lab. This lab investigates data driven methods for extracting discriminative signals from healthcare data. Our work incorporates imaging, pathology, and clinical data in machine learning and deep learning frameworks, with an emphasis on multi-modality data fusion. Current application areas include stroke characterization, prostate cancer detection, and heart failure exacerbation prediction.

For more information on the lecture, use this link: https://radiology.wisc.edu/lectures/

Radiology Report: Quantitative Imaging Methods Lab

Assistant Professor Diego Hernando, PhD started the Quantitative Imaging Methods Lab (QIML) when he was recruited as faculty in 2016. QIML aims to transform MRI into a quantitative imaging modality and to develop quantitative imaging biomarkers to improve the detection, staging, and treatment monitoring of various diseases. This work is highly interdisciplinary, and the lab frequently collaborates with personnel from the Departments of Radiology, Medical Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Urology, the School of Veterinary Medicine, and more, as well as with industry partners. Continue reading to learn more about QIML and their exciting research projects. Dr. Hernando has a long-standing interest in medical imaging, particularly MRI, and its evolution from qualitative to quantitative imaging methods. “Quantitative imaging has enormous potential to enable improved clinical research, such as clinical trials for drug development, and improved clinical care, such as precision medicine. However, there are a number of technical and translational challenges that need to be addressed before this potential can be realized,” says Dr. Hernando. The collaborative nature of QIML and his engineering background put Dr. Hernando in a strong position to address these challenges. Dr. Hernando studied Telecommunication Engineering in undergrad, before getting a master's in Computer Engineering and a PhD in Electrical Engineering. This technical background, combined with the wealth of knowledge of their collaborators, helps Dr. Hernando and QIML meet the complex challenges faced when tackling quantitative imaging. Despite the challenges, the work in QIML is engaging and highly rewarding. A typical research project starts out as theoretical, and moves through prototype implementation, optimization, and validation in phantoms before moving on to volunteers and patients. As the research moves along this pipeline, more collaborators from various fields join the project. “One of the most exciting moments for our research happens when a given method, which we have conceived theoretically as a small team, starts to gain steam and appreciation from others. This is a great source of motivation and encouragement for us, particularly for the trainees within our group, who have a chance to make an impact with their research projects,” says Dr. Hernando. In particular, Dr. Hernando mentions two projects he has worked on recently with lab members that have moved through this pipeline. One project, led by graduate student Annie Zhang, studied novel methods for reliable diffusion MRI of the abdomen. Another project, led by graduate student Ruiyang Zhao, focused on methods for “snap-shot” rapid quantification of fat and iron in the liver. It’s exciting for the lab to see their work move quickly to validation and application in patients, in order to ultimately improve patient care. QIML is currently working on a lot of exciting research projects. One of these projects is focused on developing new methods for abdominal and pelvic MRI, including chemical shift encoded methods for fat and iron quantification, and diffusion MRI for the assessment of cancer. Excess iron accumulation can occur in patients with genetic hemochromatosis and with transfusion-dependent anemias. If left untreated, the excess iron can result in severe complications. Developing novel techniques for iron quantification in tissues can help monitor and maintain safe iron levels in vulnerable patient populations. Similarly, advanced imaging techniques to quantify fat deposition throughout the body are important given the obesity epidemic and high prevalence of metabolic syndrome. The lab is also developing new imaging test objects, called phantoms, for quantitative MRI. Quantitative MRI methods are being used more frequently for non-invasive diagnosis, staging, and treatment monitoring, both in clinical care and clinical trials. However, there is a need for MRI phantoms that accurately mimic various tissue properties in order to develop and evaluate emerging MRI biomarkers. Phantoms can also be used for quality assurance, calibration, and qualification of MRI scanners used in multicenter drug development trials. These new phantoms will help the QIML as well as other MRI research groups as they continue to innovate quantitative MRI methods. In addition to these projects, Dr. Hernando is very interested in machine learning. Many of the lab’s projects have a machine learning component. This interest led Dr. Hernando to co-found the UW Machine Learning for Medical Imaging initiative, which aims to foster interdisciplinary collaboration between machine learning experts and medical imaging researchers at UW to address current problems in medical imaging. Looking towards the future, the lab will continue to conduct research and develop MRI that is quantitative, automated, reproducible, and has high clinical value. And the lab’s future is looking bright. “Dr. Hernando brings an advanced signals and systems-based approach to address important clinical and biological problems with advanced MRI methods. He is an international leader in quantitative imaging biomarkers and his work is already changing how we practice clinical MRI, particularly for diseases of the abdomen and pelvis,” says Professor Scott Reeder, MD, PhD. The lab is excited to continue growing and taking on new research projects. Dr. Hernando teaches two Medical Physics courses that cover the fundamentals of medical imaging. He hopes to continue pushing the lab on the forefront of quantitative imaging methods. “We are always looking for new collaborators and research challenges so we can keep contributing to this growing and important field in medical imaging,” says Dr. Hernando. Learn more about the lab and its current research at: https://qiml.radiology.wisc.edu/  

Faculty Spotlight: Erica Knavel Koepsel

Interventional Radiology Assistant Professor Erica Knavel Koepsel, MD joined the Department in spring 2021. She attended the UW SMPH for medical school, residency, and fellowship before going to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She is now back at UW as a Vascular and Interventional Radiologist. Learn more about her below. Q: Where are you from? A: I grew up in the suburbs of Milwaukee before heading to Northwestern University for my undergraduate studies. Q: Where did you attend Medical School? A: I attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health here in Madsion. Q: Why did you choose Radiology? A: I chose radiology because I have always been fascinated by imaging and anatomy.  I also was drawn to the specialty as it is a vital part of modern medical care. We have such a giant impact on patient care and guiding patient management. Vascular and interventional radiology combined my love of imaging with my interest in procedures/surgery. Q: What is your specialty? A: I am one of the Vascular and Interventional Radiologists. Q: What are your career interests and goals? A: Procedurally, I am interested in complex IVC filter retrievals, MR Guided interventions, tumor ablation, uterine artery embolization, venous recanalization, and MR and fluoroscopic lymphangiography. I hope to grow our MR interventions by adding MR guided prostate and vascular malformation ablation to the list of services we can provide here at UW. Q: Why did you choose UW/What are you excited about at UW? A: I really enjoy the collegiality of the Department of Radiology and the hospital as a whole. I am always impressed by the accomplishments of my talented colleagues and the robust research and innovation that has come out of UW. Q: What are your hobbies? A: In my free time, I enjoy being outside with my husband, Justin, my son, Harrison (21 months) and our pug, Hank. I also practice yoga and enjoy traveling.  

Lonie Salkowski Publishes Fifth Book

Professor Lonie Salkowski, MD, PhD, FACR has just published her fifth book, titled Weir & Abrahams’ Imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy, 6th edition (2021). Dr. Salkowski’s previous books published include Imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy, 4th edition (2010); Breast Imaging Casebase (2013); Weir & Abrahams’ Imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy, 5th edition (2016); and Clinical Breast Tomosynthesis: A Case-based Approach (2017). Her books have been translated into numerous languages, including Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Dr. Salkowski is still a bit shocked to have her fifth book published. “It’s a bit unbelievable. It has been exciting to work with amazing colleagues who have become my friends. This newest edition includes even more online clinical applications and images, which will help medical students all over the world,” she says. While she has had great success with publishing, Dr. Salkowski’s first publishing opportunity came as a result of a small, random act of kindness to a participant at an American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) meeting. Dr. Salkowski and this participant discussed their shared interests in anatomy and education, and a few months later, she was asked to become a co-author of a book. Dr. Salkowski has no plans for publishing more books at this time, but is open to the possibility of publishing more in the future. “If the publisher wants us to put out a 7th edition, I likely will contribute. I am always looking for good cases to showcase,” says Dr. Salkowski. Congratulations on this accomplishment, Dr. Salkowski!

Radiology Report: Contrast Agent Lab

Professor Jamey Weichert, PhD started the Contrast Agent Lab when he came to UW in 1998. The lab designs, synthesizes, and evaluates novel targeted molecular imaging agents for CT, MR, and nuclear medicine, including PET. They take a biochemical approach to design, using naturally occurring compounds known to be stored or metabolized in the organ or tissue of interest, to serve as carriers for the radiologic moiety. Lab members work closely with the molecular imaging group, cancer geneticists, tumor biologists and clinicians at UW. Learn more about the Contrast Agent Lab and their current projects below. Dr. Weichert was trained as a medicinal chemist and worked in a large nuclear pharmacy as an undergraduate before going to graduate school to work with Professor Raymond Counsell, who was well-known for developing radiopharmaceuticals. For his thesis, Dr. Weichert developed new iodinated contrast agents to use in CT scanning, which he continued researching long after graduation. The CT contrast agents he has since developed in his lab are being supplied by Medilumine (Montreal), for preclinical use in animal model micro-CT scanning. He also expanded on his initial research to study MRI and optical contrast agents. While CT contrast agent research presents exciting opportunities for advancement in the imaging field, Dr. Weichert’s latest research has focused on radiopharmaceuticals for cancer imaging and therapy. He is currently working to combine tumor-targeted radionuclide therapy (TRT) with immunotherapy to cure tumors. “Our current research has afforded complete tumor response in a majority of tumor-bearing mice, and results in T-cell memory induction capable of preventing subsequent return of the same cancer,” explains Dr. Weichert. This work, done collaboratively with several other UW labs, has garnered over $20 million in research funding over the past three years, including a $12.5 million dollar, five-year NCI PO1 grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2020. Now that the team has overcome sensitivity challenges with developing a tumor-selective MR contrast agent, they are looking to push their research further to develop a dual-modality, tumor-selective MR/CT contrast agent. “By extending our current approach and using modeling calculations, this goal appears feasible. We are just synthesizing the first target compound now, and hope to continue advancing this research,” Dr. Weichert says. A component critical to this lab’s success is their ability to work with the UW Small Animal Imaging and Radiotherapy Facility (SAIRF). The SAIRF is one of the top small animal imaging facilities in the country and offers advanced tools to assist in research. One of these technologies is the hybrid SPECT/CT scanner that was installed in late 2020, which is capable of 250-micron SPECT and 5-micron CT resolution, both of which are about 50 times better than is possible with clinical scanners. One of the best things about the lab is that all of their work is designed for translation to the clinic. “The wonderful facilities and advanced research will hopefully establish UW as a leading destination for theranostic cancer treatment, capable of conducting paradigm-changing clinical trials and providing top patient care,” says Dr. Weichert. Learn more about the Contrast Agent Lab and their current projects here: https://radiology.wisc.edu/research/research-labs-and-groups/contrast-agent-lab/

Alan McMillan and Vivek Prabhakaran Receive R01 Connectome Grant

Imaging Sciences Associate Professor Alan McMillan, PhD and Neuroradiology Associate Professor Vivek Prabhakaran, MD, PhD were awarded a four-year epilepsy-dementia R01 connectome grant. The grant is for a collaborative project between the UW Departments of Radiology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Medical Physics, and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Epilepsy affects more than two million Americans and is the fourth most common neurological disorder. The team’s research focuses on chronic temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and whether TLE and its comorbidities lead to premature brain and cognitive aging. They are also testing whether chronic TLE neuroimaging biomarkers are associated with cognitive abnormalities, and with risk and protective factors influencing the accelerated aging process. The project is collaborative in nature and includes a team of specialists from multiple UW departments. “This is quite interdisciplinary research. We have experts in imaging physics, artificial intelligence, clinical imaging, clinical neurology, as well as experts in studying Alzheimer's disease. All of these people are needed to create and execute the project, since these are all key ingredients to what we hope to undertake,” says Dr. McMillan. In addition to being highly interdisciplinary, the project utilizes state-of-the-art imaging tools to obtain the best data. “Our project will take advantage of some of the most advanced technology in terms of using a combined PET-MR scanner to collect simultaneous PET and connectome quality MRI data. This will allow us to better capture the pathophysiological changes that occur with the epilepsy brain,” Dr. Prabhakaran adds. The entire research team is excited about the grant and the opportunity it presents for them to further their research and improve patient’s lives. “Ultimately, we want to better understand the reasons for early cognitive decline in people with epilepsy. If we can understand the mechanisms, we will be able to propose modifications to treatments and patient lifestyle to improve the overall health of their brain,” says Dr. McMillan.