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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.

Grand Rounds Lecture – Harprit Bedi, MD

Have you ever wondered how to better engage your audience when giving a talk? Harprit Bedi, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Radiology at the Boston University School of Medicine, has an answer for you. Dr. Bedi will be giving the Grand Rounds Lecture on March 18th, titled “Increasing Learner Engagement through Polling – A ‘How to’ Guide”. The lecture will look at how polling software in lectures can create a more engaging learning environment. Dr. Bedi is passionate about using technology to improve radiology medical education. In addition to being a Clinical Associate Professor at Boston University, he serves as their Vice-Chair of Education for Radiology and as the Neuroradiology Fellowship Director. He is also the chairperson of the Association of Program Directors in Radiology (APDR) Education Committee and the American College of Radiology (ACR) Learning Design Committee. Dr. Bedi is being awarded the 2021 APRD Achievement Award for his efforts in creating the National Virtual Noon Conference series, a series of Zoom conferences created in response to COVID-19 to offer additional educational resources and keep the community connected. In all his roles, Dr. Bedi advocates for incorporating modern adult learning theory and the science of retention into training experiences. In his lecture, Dr. Bedi will discuss the utility of using polling software to create more engaging learning environments. He hopes that people leave his lecture with a better understanding of how polling can increase engagement and motivation. “Polling can create an active learning environment, which helps in retention of material. I hope people understand these benefits and feel more comfortable incorporating polling into their lectures,” says Dr. Bedi. For more information on the lecture, click here: https://radiology.wisc.edu/lectures/

Faculty Spotlight: Kelly Capel

Kelly Capel, MD

Community Radiology Clinical Assistant Professor Kelly Capel, MD completed her residency in Diagnostic Radiology and her Neuroradiology fellowship at UW before becoming a faculty member. Learn more about Dr. Capel below.


Q: Where are you from?
A: Kenosha, WI

 

Q: Where did you attend Medical School?
A: Rush Medical College in Chicago, IL


Q: Why did you choose Radiology?
A: I was interested in multiple areas as a medical student, but I felt that in a large majority of complicated cases, the next step often depended on imaging. I felt helpless at times when I was dependent on radiology reads to dictate management of my patients. I wanted to be able to incorporate my clinical knowledge with imaging findings to impact patient care and outcomes.


Q: What is your specialty?
A: Neuroradiology


Q: What are your career interests and goals?
A: My specific interests are in head and neck imaging and perfusion and flow imaging with a focus on strokes. I am working on some research in these areas with Dr. Strother, Dr. Eisenmenger, Dr. Aagaard-Kienitz, and the medical physics team. In the future, I aspire to increase my focus on teaching medical students and radiology residents, as I find education extremely rewarding. My drive in education was always question and case based. Why are we doing this imaging study? Why did we choose to image the patient this way? What is the clinical impact, and how can we (in radiology) add value? With great mentors like Tabby Kennedy and Jason Stephenson, I can only hope to follow in their footsteps with a career focused on education.


Q: Why did you choose UW/What are you excited about at UW?
A: When I came to UW to interview as a medical student, I was specifically interested in programs with a well-organized and thorough education curriculum. I still remember my interview with Dr. Allison Grayev discussing the neuro curriculum for residents. Maybe that was my first step into Neuroradiology? I was excited about how welcoming the faculty were to trainees, how many residents were on a first name basis with attendings, and how the staff were passionate about teaching. Research resources seemed plentiful with a goal of innovation throughout all sections of the department.


Q: What are your hobbies?
A: My guilty pleasure is that I love trivia. Before the pandemic, I enjoyed going to trivia nights, traveling across the country and internationally, and attending Badger games here in Madison. For now, I mostly spend my free time playing with my kids, Owen (2.5 years) and Ava (8 months). Since I played college soccer, I enjoy kicking the ball around and running when the weather permits. Hopefully, I will get back into playing guitar more as my kids grow up.

Radiology Report: Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Lab

Alejandro Roldán-Alzate, PhD

In 2015 Assistant Professor Alejandro Roldán-Alzate, PhD started the Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. The lab uses medical imaging, additive manufacturing, and computational fluid dynamics to analyze physiological and pathological flows. Using their research findings, the lab collaborates with physicians to develop improved diagnostic and surgical planning techniques. Continue reading to learn more about this dynamic lab and their current research projects.

Dr. Roldán-Alzate is a biomedical engineer by training, and obtained his PhD in mechanical engineering, with a focus on numerical simulation of physiological flows. This background gives him a unique perspective and allows him to approach cardiovascular health issues from a technical angle. “I have always been interested in applying engineering to solve health problems, specifically those dealing with fluid dynamics,” says Dr. Roldán-Alzate.

While there have been many research projects, Dr. Roldán-Alzate’s favorite so far has been implementing 3D printing and fluid dynamics modeling for congenital heart disease. 3D printed physical models based on patient scans allow for simulation of surgical interventions and control of fluid properties. Combining these techniques allows for procedures to be tailored toward individual patients, leading to improved diagnostic and surgical outcomes. Dr. Roldán-Alzate has worked on this project in many stages, from fetal hearts to patients already treated with surgery, and has had the opportunity to improve his methods and see his work in clinical use.

The Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Lab is currently working on several exciting projects. One project is focused on non-invasive assessment of hemodynamics in different cardiovascular conditions such as congenital heart disease, atrial fibrillation, portal hypertension, and more. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of cardiac arrythmia worldwide. The lab is using 4D flow MRI, fluid dynamics, and physical model experiments with pulse duplicators to better understand atrial fibrilization hemodynamics. The research aims to improve MR diagnostics for detection and treatment.

Another project the lab is working on is implementing computational simulation-based machine learning to enhance 4D flow MRI. By combining 4D flow MRI data with computational fluid dynamics-informed neural networks, the lab is able to produce highly accurate physiological flow fields. This allows them to overcome quantitative and qualitative analysis errors inherent to phase contrast MRI, which is an MRI method used to determine flow velocities and provide 4D imaging.

The lab branched out from its cardiovascular-focused research to study urinary flow dynamics. Specifically, they are looking at non-invasive assessment of urodynamics in patients with prostatic problems. Using advanced MRI sequences and computational fluid dynamics, their research is predicting how urinary tract flow dynamics during voiding are affected by benign prostate hyperplasia and lower urinary tract symptoms.

In addition to these projects, the lab is focused on gold standard validation of their quantitative flow dynamics metrics that they’ve derived from 4D flow MRI by using high-definition optical methods. They are continuing to develop methodologies for manufacturing 3D printed patient-specific organ models. They are also using hydrogels and polymeric resins to develop MRI phantoms for different applications.

The lab may be busy with all their current projects, but they continue to look towards the future of their research. Dr. Roldán-Alzate plans to continue developing in vivo, in vitro, and computational methods for assessing cardiovascular conditions. He also wants to further expand their research to study physiological and pathological flows beyond the cardiovascular system.

While the Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Lab may appear to be a technical engineering lab, the team is here to make physician’s jobs easier and improve care for patients. Dr. Roldán-Alzate is proud of the way the lab’s research is able to help solve health problems. “Having the ability to get the model of a patient’s heart in the surgeon’s hands before surgery gives the surgeon the opportunity to determine their strategy and improve their techniques so the patient has the best possible outcome,” says Dr. Roldán-Alzate.

Learn more about the Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Lab and their current research here: https://uwcvfd.engr.wisc.edu/research-2/

Faculty Spotlight: Lindsay Stratchko

Lindsay Stratchko

Assistant Professor Lindsay Stratchko, DO, comes to UW with a unique skillset, as she was fellowship trained in both Musculoskeletal and Interventional Radiology. She is spearheading a new program in MSK Interventional Oncology (IO) in collaboration with the UW Ablation IO group. Learn more about Dr. Stratchko below.

 

 

Where are you from?
Lancaster, Pennsylvania


Where did you attend Medical School?
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine


Why did you choose Radiology?
I chose radiology for the diversity of imaging, pathology and patient populations. The ability to perform minimally invasive image-guided procedures also led me to my decision to pursue radiology residency and fellowships in musculoskeletal imaging and intervention, as well as interventional radiology.


What is your specialty?
Musculoskeletal Radiology


What are your career interests and goals?
I am interested in interventional oncology as well as interventional spine and pain procedures.


Why did you choose UW/What are you excited about at UW?
? The faculty, staff and trainees at the University of Wisconsin are exceptional and I'm proud to call them colleagues. We are also fortunate to have the support and resources at UW to study, develop, and provide high quality care to patients all across Wisconsin (and beyond).


What are your hobbies?
Hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, rock climbing, yoga, horseback riding.

Faculty Spotlight: Minnie Kieler

Minnie Kieler MD

Clinical Assistant Professor Minnie Kieler, MD is a new member of the Community Radiology section. Learn more about Dr. Kieler below.


Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born in Nairobi, Kenya, which is in the Eastern part of Africa, straddling the equator- fabulous weather all year round! At 19 years old, I left Kenya for the UK to study, and ever since I have travelled extensively and lived in many other parts of the world, so I consider myself a global citizen.

 

Q: Where did you attend Medical School?
A: University of Manchester Medical School, Manchester, England


Q: Why did you choose Radiology?
A: Lots of positive attributes attracted me to radiology, not least the prospect of a good work-life harmony, the diversity of patients seen in a day, and the role of a being a detective as well as a consultant to other providers as you help in problem solving. I was fortunate during my medical school training to have a facilitator/supervisor who happened to be a radiologist, Dr. Richard Whitehouse, and who was instrumental in exposing me to radiology early on.


Q: What is your specialty?
A: Abodminal imaging as well as Nuclear medicine and molecular imaging


Q: What are your career interests and goals?
A: Education, mentoring and global radiology


Q: Why did you choose UW/What are you excited about at UW?
A: UW is a gem! Exceptionally smart, outstanding and the loveliest people make it an excellent place to be, and I'm excited to be part of this family!


Q: What are your hobbies?
A: With two lovely and lively toddlers at home, my hobbies have had to undergo some kind of evolution – I currently enjoy family time and being outdoors, especially during summertime as we get to boat and take walks/hike. We also love travelling far and wide, although at the moment this has kind of stalled and we can't wait to get back to it.

Radiology Report: Liver Imaging Research Program

The UW Liver Imaging Research Program (LIRP) was started in 2009 by Vice Chair of Research and Professor Scott Reeder, MD, PhD. The LIRP is a multidisciplinary lab based in Radiology and Medical Physics, but with multiple collaborators across numerous departments at UW. The program aims to develop advanced imaging techniques, with a focus on MRI, to detect and quantify diseases in the liver and abdomen to improve patient care. Continue reading to learn more about the LIRP and its current research projects.

Dr. Reeder was interested in starting the lab for multiple reasons. He is deeply interested in imaging technology and believes there are many opportunities to invent, develop, and apply new imaging devices. In addition to the technology, the liver is a unique organ with many important unanswered questions that are important to address to improve human health. “The liver is a remarkably interesting organ that is involved in multiple disease properties, such as metabolic diseases, obesity, and iron overload. It is important for cancer research, both for primary liver cancer and metastatic diseases. There is a lot of fascinating pathophysiology in the liver, which keeps the research exciting,” he says.

The LIRP also provided Dr. Reeder an opportunity to combine his knowledge from multiple specialty trainings into a concentrated area of research. He specialized in both abdominal and cardiovascular imaging, and clinically oversees the Department’s MRI service. While the liver is in the abdominal cavity, it has important interactions with the cardiovascular system. It is one of the only organs in the body that gets dual blood supply, from the hepatic artery and portal vein, with unique hemodynamics. Dr. Reeder’s combination of experience and knowledge have helped shape LIRP into an impactful research group around the world. “Under Dr. Reeder’s leadership, the LIRP is a world-class research group that combines cutting-edge technical development with real-world impact in clinical imaging,” says Assistant Professor and affiliated faculty of the LIRP Diego Hernando, PhD.

Collaboration is key in the LIRP, as researchers work closely with other labs in the Department and around the country. One lab that they collaborate with frequently is the Quantitative Imaging Methods Lab (QIML), directed by Dr. Hernando. Currently, the two labs are working on numerous research projects. One of these projects is focused on developing and validating MRI methods for quantifying fat and iron in the liver. This project is being worked on by Ruiyang Zhao, Dr. Reeder, Dr. Hernando, Dr. Kevin Johnson, and Dr. Jitka Starekova. The initial results are promising, and current projects are focused on optimizing and evaluating these methods in a systematic manner. In addition to this project, the labs are working together to develop AI-based methods for automated image prescription of liver MRI. They are also completing a multi-center study to validate rapid and reproducible MRI-based quantification of liver iron overload at various locations with different MRI vendors and protocols.

The LIRP is launching a major research project focused on measuring blood flow to the liver in patients with cirrhosis. A potential deadly complication of cirrhosis is varices, which is when veins become dilated to the point where they can burst and bleed catastrophically. The lab is developing methods to noninvasively determine which patients are more likely to have varices so that hepatologists can take preventive measures.

There are many other exciting research projects currently happening in the LIRP. One project is focused on MR elastography to measure liver stiffness as a biomarker of inflammation and fibrosis in chronic liver disease. Another is using relaxometry to measure MRI properties of the liver that indicate the presence of inflammation and allow the researchers to quantify iron concentration and liver fat. The lab also has projects looking at the esophagus in early disease and precancerous states. And recently, the lab published a paper in JAMA on myocarditis in athletes who tested positive for COVID-19. One thing is for sure, the lab is keeping busy pushing the bounds of liver research!

Throughout its years, the LIRP has consistently focused on quantitative imaging biomarkers. A lot of imaging is qualitative, and the lab wants to turn these qualitative descriptors into quantitative measures with specific values. For example, signal intensity of an image could have corresponding values for fat concentration within the liver. This is Dr. Reeder’s favorite research within the lab, and will continue to be one of the lab’s main focuses going forward. “Our goal is to develop precise, accurate biomarkers. We want to create reliable markers that work every single time to make these imaging methods more impactful for providers and for patients,” Dr. Reeder says.

One of the best things about the LIRP is the interaction with so many great people. “We're very lucky to have a group of really terrific, kind, smart, hardworking people, and it is a fabulous working environment. It is a lot of fun to come to in each day and work with these very special and talented people,” says Dr. Reeder.

Learn more the LIRP and their current projects here: https://lirp.radiology.wisc.edu/

Clinical Science Teaching Award Goes to Tabby Kennedy

Tabby Kennedy MD

Neuroradiology Section Chief and Associate Professor Tabby Kennedy, MD was awarded the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association’s (WMAA) Clinical Science Teaching Award. Each year, a clinical science teacher from Madison, La Crosse, Marshfield, Milwaukee, and Green Bay is selected as an award recipient. The UW fourth year medical students voted and chose Dr. Kennedy to receive the award this year, which will be presented to her during the virtual Match Day celebration for fourth year medical students on March 19th.

This award, which recognizes Dr. Kennedy for her commitment to excellent teaching, is one of multiple awards that she has received recently for her educational efforts. Last year, she was selected as a faculty inductee into the UWSMPH Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honor Society, and received the Women in Neuroradiology Leadership Award. Earlier this year, she was awarded the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) 2021 Outstanding Contributions in Neuroradiology Education Award.

Dr. Kennedy says that having the medical students choose her for this award makes it special. “There is nothing more rewarding than being recognized by one’s students. I am honored to have been selected by the graduating fourth year medical students for this year’s clinical science teaching award,” she says.

Congratulations Dr. Kennedy, and thank you for your dedication to our students!