Drs. Strother, Prabhakaran Receive ASNR Awards

Posted on July 2014

Emeritus Professor Charles Strother, M.D. (Left), and Assistant Professor Vivek Prabhakaran, M.D., Ph.D.

At the 2014 American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) Conference, UW Radiology’s breadth of accomplishment was demonstrated by awards taken home by two of our esteemed department members. UW’s Dr. Charles Strother received a prestigious award in recognition of his past contributions at the conference’s opening ceremony, while Dr. Prabhakaran received an important award recognizing the potential of his future contributions at the closing event.

Dr. Prabhakaran received the award for a project involving clinical use of fMRI, and Strother collected the 2014 ASNR Foundation Outstanding Contributions in Research Award, bestowed upon neuroradiologists who have demonstrated consistent excellence and lifelong accomplishment in basic or clinical neuroscience research.

With over 150 scientific publications and 4 books to his name, Dr. Strother has been at the forefront of the neuroradiology field since its inception in the early 1970s. His current research focuses on trying to define characteristics of an aneurysm that may be useful in predicting the risk of rupture, trying to develop better and more durable devices for use in the endovascular treatment of aneurysms and ischemic stroke, and trying to improve the safety and effectiveness of minimally invasive endovascular procedures via angiography and fluoroscopy.

Prabhakaran received the ASNR 2014 Comparative Effectiveness Research Award for his project, Clinical Utility of fMRI as a Pre-surgical Planning Tool in Brain Tumor Patients. The project will prospectively evaluate the utility of advanced brain tumor imaging such as functional MRI versus standard imaging for pretreatment planning of brain tumor patients by examining morbidity, mortality, and other outcome measures.

“What fMRI allows you to do is to discern the proximity of the tumor to functional networks such as motor, language, or memory,” according to Prabhakaran. “You want to resect the tumor, but minimize resecting into functional areas. Showing where those areas are is critical so the neurosurgeon can avoid cutting into vital regions, and instead simply focus on the lesion.”

This is a collaborative project with Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery John S. Kuo, M.D., Ph.D., who is a co-investigator on the project. Others involved in the research include Research Associates Veena Nair, Ph.D. and Wolfgang Gaggl, Ph.D.

The single-year award of $60,000 was announced at a banquet dinner during the annual ASNR conference, held this year in Montreal, Canada, where luminaries such as Nobel Prize Winner Stanley Prusiner were in attendance.