This past weekend, Jason Chiang, a medical student and research assistant in Dr. Chris Brace’s Tumor Ablation Lab successfully completed his first marathon in the Wisconsin Dells with a time of 2:46:20. This impressive time earned him the third place finish overall, and he was just 37 seconds away from the second place finisher. The Tumor Ablation Lab has a tradition of marathon-running students. The previous medical student to work in the lab, Paul Laeseke, M.D., won the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in 2006. Chiang currently is 14 minutes behind Dr. Laeseke, but assures us that his marathon career is just beginning.
This past weekend, on Sunday, October 13, Dr. Perry Pickhardt of the Abdominal Imaging Section was be featured on the Big Ten Network's program Forward Motion, which spotlights faculty around the Big 10. Dr. Pickhardt's work was highlighted along with Dr. Josh Medow of the Department of Neurosurgery, and Dr. Richard Davis of the School of Music. Specifically, Forward Motion highlighted Dr. Pickhardt's work with virtual colonoscopy. Virtual colonoscopy is a minimally invasive technique used by radiologists and gastroenterologists to image the colon without the need for pain medication and sedation for the patient. This procedure involves computer software creating a 3-D image of the colon, instead of inserting a camera. Then, if polyps (growths) are detected, a regular optical colonoscopy will be performed the same day with medicine and sedation, in order to remove them and further diagnose the patient. What makes virtual colonoscopy so powerful is that it not only produces an image of the colon, but it also gives radiologists a chance to look around in the pelvis and abdomen for other abnormalities. This is extremely important because it has the potential to detect other life-threatening conditions that are not found in optical colonoscopy procedures. Keep up the good work Dr. Pickhardt!
This summer, the Department of Radiology welcomed two outstanding leaders to the section chief leadership team. It is with great pleasure that we announce Dr. Kirkland Davis as the new Musculoskeletal Section chief. Dr. Davis joined the Department of Radiology in 2000, and has been an active member of the Musculoskeletal Section, currently serving as the musculoskeletal fellowship director and the overall Radiology fellowship director. He is also a member of the Institutional Review Board, Finance Committee, and UWMF Council of Faculty. All of these roles have shaped his leadership excellence, and prepared him to take on the new challenge of leading the Musculoskeletal Section. We are also very enthusiastic to announce the appointment of Dr. Aaron Field to the role of chief of Neuroradiology. Dr. Field came to UW Radiology in 2001 with an impressive background in engineering, including electrical and bioengineering, and received fellowship training in neuroradiology from Wake Forest University. He is currently an associate professor with Tenure in the Department of Radiology with an affiliate appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He also serves as the director of the clinical neuroradiology fellowship program, which has prospered under his superb direction. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Davis and Dr. Field to the section chief leadership team.
Dr. Dustin Pooler, research associate in Dr. Perry Pickhardt's CT Research lab and Department of Radiology intern, just received the Young Investigator award at the Society of Computer Body Tomography & Magnetic Resonance (SCBT-MR) meeting in Boston, MA. This is the second young investigator award for Dr. Pooler this year, as he also received the 2012 International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) Young Investigator award in March 2012. The winning presentation at SCBT-MR 2012 was entitled: Natural history of small (6-9 mm) colorectal polyps followed by CT colonography: in vivo growth rates predict histology. Since Dr. Pooler joined the CT Research group two years ago, he has presented more than 10 oral papers at scientific meetings, and co-authored 17 peer-reviewed publications, including several first-author publications. Dr. Pooler also has several more peer-reviewed publications in the process of being published. Congratulations Dr. Pooler!
Every so often, an idea comes along that has the potential to radically change the status quo. For digital subtraction angiography, that time has come. The always impressive team of Charles Mistretta, Ph.D., of the Imaging Sciences Section, and Charles Strother, M.D., emeritus professor in the Neuroradiology Section, just received a perfect score from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) evaluators and a $1.2 million grant to continue their pioneering research in 4D digital subtraction angiography and 4D fluoroscopy. NIH review committees rarely award a perfect score to even the best grant proposal, and this reflects NIH's enthusiastic support for Dr. Strother and Dr. Mistretta's research. Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is a type of fluoroscopy technique used in interventional radiology to visualize blood vessels in a bony or dense soft tissue environment. Fluoroscopy is a technique that can allow physicians to obtain real-time, moving images of internal structures of a patient. The simplest form of fluoroscopy images are X-rays. DSA images are produced using contrast medium by subtracting a pre-contrast image from later images once the contrast medium has been introduced into the structure. Often, the medium of choice for visualizing blood vessels is iodine. This grant is the direct result of a long-time partnership between Drs. Mistretta and Strother. Their research hopes to improve the safety and diagnostic capabilities of DSA. The pair began working on DSA techniques shortly after Dr. Strother came to UW-Madison in 1976, and made great strides in improving current techniques. Upon his return to UW-Madison in 2006, DSA techniques had evolved into 3D vascular reconstructions, and Dr. Strother had ideas about how to further enhance the impact DSA could have on the imaging world. After consulting with Dr. Mistretta, the concept of 4D DSA and 4D fluoroscopy was born. 4D DSA is an X-ray technique that adds an additional dimension to traditional DSA by producing a time series of 3D image volumes at high frame rates. Using this technique, the examination time is greatly reduced, which exposes patients to a far lower dose of radiation. This particular grant from NIH is specifically funding the validation of the diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of 4D DSA and 4D fluoroscopy, which will advance this technique toward implementation on a broad scale. This incredible ground-breaking study has the potential to change DSA imaging throughout the field of radiology. We are anxiously awaiting more exciting news from this project.
The new academic year brought about some big changes in the leadership team for UW Radiology. We would like to take a moment to recognize the accomplishments of our leaders, as well as look forward to our goals for this next year and beyond. This September, Senior Associate Chair for Clinical Operations, Dr. Fred T. Lee Jr. stepped down from his leadership role, and Dr. Michael Tuite began his appointment as vice chair for clinical affairs.
Fred T. Lee Jr., M.D.Dr. Lee served as the senior associate chair for clinical affairs for five years. Dr. Lee decided to step down to refocus his energy and enthusiasm on his interests in translational research, direct patient care, and entrepreneurship. He returned to his clinical duties in the Abdominal Imaging Section, continue research in image-guided cancer therapy, and is spending more time mentoring our junior faculty members and trainees. “Dr. Lee deserves our deep gratitude for his tireless effort and sacrifice during his term as senior associate chair for clinical affairs,” said Dr. Tom Grist, chair of Radiology. “Our Department is much stronger, thanks to his leadership in many areas, but especially his commitment to clinical excellence in his role as chief of our clinical mission.” Dr. Lee came to the department in 1991, and just four years later established the Tumor Ablation Laboratory which has resulted in over 100 scientific publications, six book chapters, 26 major awards, 10 patents, and substantial federal and industrial grant support.
Michael Tuite, M.D.Dr. Tuite has accepted appointment to the newly-created position of vice chair for clinical affairs. He served as the Musculoskeletal Imaging Section chief for nine years, and the section thrived under his leadership. “Dr. Tuite brings his outstanding clinical reputation, leadership skills, and practical experience to this important leadership position,” said Dr. Grist. Dr. Tuite came to UW Radiology in 1992 as a musculoskeletal fellow, and joined as faculty in 1993. He has held many appointments, including medical director of Outpatient Radiology and General Imaging, and continuing medical education course director for the Practical Imaging and Intervention Conference. He is also an editorial board member of Skeletal Radiology and the American Journal of Radiology.
We are pleased to announce that Associate Professor Frederick Kelcz, M.D., Ph.D. of the Abdominal Imaging Section was invited to speak at the International Congress on MR-Mammography last weekend. He has been invited to speak at the International Congress for the past four sessions, which happens every three years. This three-day conference brings together international experts on breast MRI, as well as experts in basic pathology and alternative imaging techniques. The two topics he discussed were entitled: It's Not All in the BI-RADS or CAD, and Wish List for Breast MRI Workstation. Dr. Kelcz's primary research interests are MRI applications. He initiated the breast MRI clinical and research program at the University of Wisconsin, and remains an active player in the future of breast MRI. His current projects include "Evaluation of Added Value of Advanced Methods for Breast MRI Diagnosis," which aims to determine if new methods in breast MRI are more reliable than current methods. Of the methods being evaluated, four of them hold promise to increase the specificity of breast MRI compared to those currently in use.
Scott B. Reeder, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Cardiovascular Imaging Section, and Oliver Wieben, Ph.D., of the Cardiovascular and Imaging Sciences Sections, are named co-principal investigators on a $985,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study blood flow to the liver in patients with portal hypertension (high blood pressure in the vessel conducing blood from the intestinal tract, liver, and spleen). Portal hypertension is the most common and most lethal complication of chronic liver disease, and it is often responsible for preventing blood flow to the liver. Currently, there are no adequate methods to measure blood flow to the liver due to a number of technical complications. Most existing therapies reduce portal pressure through reductions in the blood flow to the liver or shunting flow from the portal circulation. There is need to find accurate biomarkers of blood flow to the liver that would complement and augment heptic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) measurements. HVPG is an invasive catheter-based method used to measure hypertension in the portal vein, and is currently the best biomarker available for portal hypertension. However, this method only provides a global measure of the disease. This study seeks to rectify the lack of imaging techniques by developing a velocity-sensitive 4D flow MRI method that will, simultaneously, image vascular anatomy, and quantify blood flow within the vascular areas of the liver. If this technique is successful, it would provide a more accurate tool for predicting further complications from portal hypertension in chronic liver disease. The technique would also allow physicians to identify biomarkers to evaluate the blood flow to the liver in a non-invasive way.
Dr. Kenneth Lee, assistant professor in the Musculoskeletal Imaging Section, was awarded a $50,000 UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) grant for his project entitled "Platelet-rich plasma injection therapy for Achilles tendinopathy: Correlating novel ultrasound-based biomarkers." His proposal was one of seven Type 1 Translational Research Pilot Projects chosen by ICTR. Other collaborators on this project include Ray Vanderby, Ph.D., and Sarah Duenwald-Kuehl, Ph.D., from the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, Ryan DeWall, Ph.D., from the Department of Medical Physics, John Wilson, M.D., M.S., from the Department of Sports Medicine, and Darryl Thelen, Ph.D., from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Achilles tendinopathy (AT) is a common debilitating overuse injury characterized as a degenerative condition, and is seen in a wide spectrum of people. To date, there is no effective nonsurgical treatment for chronic AT, and 25-45% of patients eventually require surgery. A promising treatment for overuse injuries such as AT called platelet rich plasma (PRP) use platelets from the patient to increase the concentration of growth factors to promote healing on the cellular level, therefore improving pain and function. This study seeks to evaluate new ultrasound-based techniques as objective outcome measures for PRP therapy for chronic AT. Dr. Lee's group believes that PRP treatment of AT will decrease pain and promote cellular healing over time.
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Jeffrey Kanne of the Chest Imaging Section has earned a Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Honored Educator Award for 2012. This award, established last year, recognizes members of the society who have contributed an array of educational resources in the past calendar year. These educational resources include: serving as faculty at one or more RSNA educational meetings, authoring an educational exhibit or online education materials, and donating a refresher course and writing CME questions for online learning. This award serves as a benchmark of academic productivity in support of a meaningful and successful radiology career. Dr. Kanne is extremely committed to radiology education. He currently serves on the American Board of Radiology (ABR) Thoracic Certifying Exam Committee, the American College of Radiology's E-Learning Subcommittee, and the Society of Thoracic Radiology's Imaging Education Committee. He also works with the American Roentgen Ray Society to develop educational materials for the ABR's Maintenance of Certification Program. Keep up the good work!