Dr. Reeder accepts two ISMRM awards, gives inaugural NIBIB New Horizons Lecture

Posted on May 2013

Dr. Scott Reeder, UW SMPH Chief of MRI and associate professor, has recently accepted a highly prestigious pair of awards from the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), being named both as a Fellow of the ISMRM and as a new member of the ISMRM board of trustees. Not only was Dr. Reeder so honored, he was also invited to give the inaugural National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) New Horizons at the 2013 ISMRM Annual Meeting.

To become a fellow of the ISMRM, a member must have made significant contributions to the society or field of magnetic resonance imaging. Only 15 of the society’s 6000 members are awarded this honor each year, and Dr. Reeder is wholly deserving of the honor. Among Dr. Reeder’s achievements that have garnered him this award is his work in cardiovascular and abdominal MRI, as well as his work on the development of advanced fat-water imaging methods. He and his research team, together with collaborators at GE Healthcare, have developed novel biomarkers that quantify the concentration of fat tissue, particularly in the liver. Abnormal fat accumulation in organs and muscles is significantly increasing due to rising trends of obesity worldwide, and robust imaging biomarkers are needed to detect and characterize this abnormal fat build-up. The prototypes developed by Dr. Reeder and his group are now FDA approved and recently made available on commercial MRI systems.

Dr. Reeder was also elected to the ISMRM’s board of trustees, an even more distinguished position since only 4 new members are selected each year from the international organization. Dr. Reeder’s general contributions to abdominal and cardiovascular MRI make him well qualified for this post. As a new member of the ISMRM’s governing body, Dr. Reeder will play a part in global initiatives that become part of the mission of the society. One example of such an initiative, contributed to by 2012-2013 ISMRM President and Chair of the UW SMPH Department of Radiology Dr. Tom Grist aims to provide high quality educational opportunities for members so that they may make a difference in patient care and research.

Dr. Reeder then gave the inaugural lecture of the ISMRM’s NIBIB New Horizons Lecture. The NIBIB one of the National Institutes of Health, created this lecture series aimed providing a platform for mid-career, rising stars in the field of radiology. Dr. Reeder’s lecture, “Frontiers in body MRI: from qualitative to quantitative,” focused on merging quantitative biomarkers developed by leading groups in the field, and also focused on the barriers that must be overcome to creating accurate, precise, robust and reproducible biomarkers in MRI.

For example, said Reeder, “If you take an MRI of a liver to look for fat, doctors now are looking at it qualitatively, saying, ‘there’s fat there,’ but they don’t know how much.” Reeder and his colleagues are working on algorithms to quantify fat concentration more accurately, precisely, and reproducibly. And, Reeder adds, these measurements “should be the same whether they’re taken in Wisconsin, California or China.” Reeder stressed that his research aims to develop and refine new techniques for translation into widespread clinical care.