Perry Pickhardt Named Most Influential Radiology Researcher by AuntMinnie

Posted on October 2023

AuntMinnie awarded Perry Pickhardt, MD this year’s Minnie in the category of “Most Influential Radiology Researcher.” The award recognizes his work on automated AI body composition tools for opportunistic computed tomography (CT) screening. 

CT scans are often used for a specific clinical purpose – like determining the cause of a patient’s acute abdominal pain. However, these scans also provide a wealth of supplementary metrics that often goes unused. CT scans can quantify bone mineral density, visceral and subcutaneous fat, skeletal muscle, and liver fat, among other organ and tissue metrics.  

In opportunistic CT screening, these supplementary data are leveraged to evaluate a patient’s overall health and wellness. From the patient perspective, this adds significant prognostic value without requiring additional imaging time or radiation exposure. 

Still, the labor-intensive nature of manual (or even semi-automated) body composition measurements has prevented opportunistic screening from being integrated into clinical practice. Artificial intelligence (AI) might offer a solution by allowing the analysis of biomarker information to be automated. 

“This avenue of research is proving to be very fruitful,” says Dr. Pickhardt. “There is now a growing appreciation that we should strive to extract all the extra clinical value we can from the imaging that we are already doing.” 

It’s not Dr. Pickhardt’s first time winning a Minnie. In 2016, he also won the “Most Influential Radiology Researcher” category. In the years since, his work’s merit has continually been recognized on the national and international stage. His papers have won two Best of American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) awards in 2022, a Best of AJR award in 2021, a Society of Abdominal Radiology (SAR) Best GI Paper Award in 2020 and more. In 2023, received the Lodwick Award (which is presented annually to the author of the paper with the largest impact in the field of musculoskeletal radiology, medicine or physiology).  He was named an Honorary Fellow of the European Society for Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology (ESGAR) and will receive the Certificate of Merit at the 35th annual ESGAR meeting in 2024.

His numerous awards recognize his commitment to advancing the field of abdominal imaging – and his work has led to over 400 scientific publications and book chapters, as well as multiple textbooks. 

“It’s always an honor to be considered for such an award,” says Dr. Pickhardt. “It’s very gratifying to see one’s research being recognized like this.” 

In addition to Dr. Pickhardt, the University of Wisconsin-Madison won the 2023 Minnies award for “Best Radiologic Sciences Program.” The School of Radiologic Technology at UW is a hospital-based radiography program sponsored by UW Health University Hospital. Because of affiliation agreements with multiple colleges and universities, aspiring technologists attending the school can access professional medical radiography resources to achieve the Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology (BSRT).