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Grand Rounds Lecture: Personal Finance and Burnout

Fourth year Diagnostic Radiology residents Varun Razdan, MD and Jordan Ross, MD will be giving a Grand Rounds on “Personal Financial Health in Improving Wellness and Reducing Burnout in Residency”. The lecture takes place on June 3rd at noon via WebEx. The lecture will look at how physician burnout can be related to personal finance and then will focus on financial topics pertinent to residents, such as budgeting, loan management, insurance, and more. “We hope that residents will learn that taking control of your finances can improve wellness and reduce burnout. We will structure our talk in a way that will provide a ‘financial checklist’ for residents to complete by the time they graduate,” says Dr. Razdan. Click here to join the lecture: https://radiology.wisc.edu/lectures/ Varun Razdan, MD Jordan Ross, MD

Radiology Report: Fowler Research Group

In 2013 Assistant Professor Amy Fowler, MD, PhD started the Fowler Research Group, a collaborative, multidisciplinary lab that focuses on translational breast cancer imaging research. The lab aims to advance the use of molecular imaging to better understand the biology of breast cancer, including its response to targeted drug therapies and early identification of drug resistance. Specifically, Dr. Fowler is interested in quantitative imaging of steroid hormone receptors (estrogen and progesterone) and their signaling pathways, since most breast cancer deaths occur in patients with hormone receptor positive disease. Continue reading to learn more about the exciting research in this lab. The lab has conducted many interesting projects over the years. Recently, Dr. Fowler had her manuscript, titled “Measuring Glucose Uptake in Primary Invasive Breast Cancer Using Simultaneous Time-of-Flight Breast PET/MRI: A Method Comparison Study with Prone PET/CT”, published in the journal Radiology: Imaging Cancer. The study compared simultaneous breast PET/MRI scans to PET/CT scans, and found that PET/MRI scans provided an acceptable approximation of tumor glucose uptake and metabolism of primary invasive breast cancer compared to the PET/CT scans. The same journal also published a commentary on Dr. Fowler’s study, which noted the important contribution of Dr. Fowler’s research as a baseline for countless future research projects. Dr. Fowler and the rest of the research group are currently working on numerous clinical trials. Two ongoing trials focus on simultaneous breast PET/MRI scans for quantifying estrogen and progesterone receptor expression in breast cancer. Other trials utilize PET/CT and targeted tracers to optimize estrogen and progesterone receptor antagonist drug dosing for patients with metastatic breast cancer. They are also involved in a national multicenter trial that looks at Fluoroestradiol PET as a predictive measure for endocrine therapy in patients with newly diagnosed metastatic breast cancer. In addition to the clinical trials, the lab is working on a number of other research projects. The lab is doing preclinical work examining the effect of progesterone receptor gene mutations in breast cancer cells and tumor xenografts. They are also studying progesterone receptor mediated regulation of glucose uptake in breast cancer. In the future, Dr. Fowler plans to incorporate progesterone receptor imaging using breast PET/MRI as a biomarker for response to neoadjuvant endocrine therapy for patients with newly diagnosed hormone receptor positive breast cancer. She also wants to do further research into low dose breast PET/MRI for screening women with high risk for breast cancer. The lab will continue their innovative research to help provide more information and improved treatment for those with breast cancer. Learn more about the lab’s current research here: https://radiology.wisc.edu/research/research-labs-and-groups/fowler-research-group/

Scott Reeder and Oliver Wieben Receive NIH Grant for Cirrhosis Research

Scott Reeder, MD, PhD

Congratulations to Professors Scott Reeder, MD, PhD and Oliver Wieben, PhD for being awarded an NIH Grant for their research proposal, titled “Development of 4D Flow MRI for Risk Stratification of Variceal Bleeding in Cirrhosis”. Their research focuses on the technical development and preclinical and clinical validation of rapid 4D flow MRI to stratify patients with portal hypertension for risk of variceal bleeding. The grant is for over $2.25 million and goes through the end of 2024.

Oliver Wieben, PhD

“The broad, long-term objective of our research is to improve the health of the nearly 1 million Americans with advanced liver disease (cirrhosis). One of the most important complications of cirrhosis is the development of enlarged, fragile blood vessels in the wall of the lower esophagus, which can rupture without warning, leading to life-threatening bleeding. We aim to develop non-invasive MRI methods that can detect this complication before bleeding occurs, to facilitate preventative treatment that can reduce cirrhosis-associated mortality,” says Dr. Reeder.

The research team is honored to receive the grant and enthusiastic about starting the project. “We are thrilled to receive the grant! I am excited to have the resources to pursue this exciting project with my amazing colleagues in Medical Physics, Radiology, and Hepatology,” Dr. Reeder says.

Weibo Cai Selected for CCSG Program Pilot Award

Dr. Weibo Cai
Congratulations to Professor Weibo Cai, PhD for winning a 2020-2021 CCSG Program Pilot Award. The award is through the UW Carbone Cancer Center and provides the recipient $50,000 in funding towards their research project. Dr. Cai received the grant for his research with UW School of Pharmacy Assistant Professor Quanyin Hu, PhD for their project, titled “Nanoparticle-mediated vaccination for local and metastatic colorectal cancer treatment”. Colorectal cancer does not respond well to immunotherapy. One of the main reasons for this suboptimal response is the lack of T and B cells (immune cells) accumulating in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. “The goal of this pilot project is to develop a nanoparticle drug delivery system to efficiently shuttle a synthetic drug to the lymph node to elicit GI tract mucosal and systemic immune responses against local and metastatic colorectal cancer,” says Dr. Cai. The pilot funding will help the researchers gather preliminary data on their proposed vaccine delivery systems for future R01 grant submissions.
Dr. Quanyin Hu
Dr. Cai is excited to be working with Dr. Hu on this groundbreaking research. “Dr. Hu has a stellar track record. As a member of his mentoring committee, I am convinced that he will soon become a star in the field, and I am very excited about future long term collaboration with him in utilizing nanobiotechnology to combat cancer and potentially also other diseases. As Co-PIs of this UWCCC Pilot Award, we are both very excited that the UWCCC recognizes the importance of this research project and truly appreciate the gracious support,” says Dr. Cai.

Lindsay Stratchko to Present at UW CCC Grand Rounds

Dr. Lindsay Stratchko
Assistant Professor Lindsay Stratchko, DO will be presenting at the Carbone Cancer Center Oncology Grand Rounds on Wednesday April 28th. The virtual presentation is titled “Musculoskeletal Interventional Oncology: Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Ablation” and will highlight musculoskeletal interventions for oncology patients. Dr. Stratchko’s background – fellowship-trained in both Musculoskeletal and Interventional Radiology – puts her in a position to provide care for cancer patients. She is part of a team that performs minimally-invasive treatment options for management of their malignancy, including local control of cancer as well as cancer-related pain. “I hope the audience will become more familiar with percutaneous treatment options for patients with osseous and soft tissue metastatic disease. My goal is to help identify patients that may benefit from the addition of ablation to their multidisciplinary cancer treatment plan,” says Dr. Stratchko. Presentation Link: https://uwmadison.webex.com/uwmadison/onstage/g.php?MTID=e4d25ea5ce9a85181027da25806c05294

Radiology Report: Integrative Systems Neuroimaging Laboratory

John Paul Yu

Neuroradiology Fellowship Program Director and Assistant Professor JP Yu, MD, PhD started the Integrative Systems Neuroimaging Lab when he joined the Department of Radiology in 2015. The lab looks at how genes, the environment, and gene-environment interactions impact the brain’s microstructure in neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric illnesses. They use neuroimaging to help diagnose, characterize, and track outcomes in neurologic and psychiatric diseases. Lean more about this lab’s exciting research below.

One of the reasons Dr. Yu was initially interested in this research is the high prevalence of mental health disorders and the lack of relevant imaging tools available. “Globally, 1 in 7 people suffer from a mental or substance use disorder. Currently there are no imaging biomarkers or imaging methods available to diagnose or track therapeutic treatment response in these patients, thus making psychiatric illness one of the most intractable group of diseases worldwide,” he says.

Dr. Yu was also interested in psychiatric research because it is undergoing a major paradigm shift. Psychiatric research is moving away from clinical phenotypes towards biological psychiatry and characterizing the biological processes that drive these psychiatric disease states. “If we are to use imaging to characterize and quantify psychiatric illness, as a field, we have to have a better understanding of how neuroimaging methods (past, present, and future) quantify biological changes occurring in the brain,” he says.

The research in the lab is only getting more exciting as they continue to explore new projects. Recently, one of the graduate students in the lab authored a paper describing how neuroglial alterations in the brain, which are common in neuropsychiatric illnesses, significantly alter commonly used quantitative imaging parameters. “It was a big first step to demonstrate the limitations of the current state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques we’re using as applied to psychiatric neuroimaging research,” says Dr. Yu.

Currently, the lab is expanding upon this work and conducting research to understand and improve neuroimaging techniques in psychiatric neuroimaging. In addition, they are investigating how the environment – such as chronic stress and the gut microbiome – affect quantitative measures of brain microstructure. Dr. Yu plans to continue this work in the future to help increase our understanding of neuropsychiatric disorders and to improve our use of neuroimaging techniques in detection and treatment.

Radiology Report: Neuroimaging Research Program

Vivek PrabhakaranIn 2008, Associate Professor Vivek Prabhakaran, MD, PhD started the Neuroimaging Research Program. The lab uses multimodal neuroimaging tools and advanced analyses approaches to study neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to recover from and adapt to changes due to injury or aging. The lab’s core personnel are from the Departments of Radiology, Neuroradiology, and Medical Physics, but they frequently collaborate with researchers and clinicians in other departments to best tackle their neuroimaging projects. Continue reading to learn more about this lab’s exciting research.

The Neuroimaging Research Program works on a wide variety of projects, as they frequently collaborate with investigators from outside the lab to assist on their neuroimaging research. The core lab focuses on brain plasticity changes in aging and in various patient populations, including patients that have strokes, vascular lesions, brain tumors, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injuries.

Some of the lab’s biggest projects have focused on strokes. “We have looked at spontaneous recovery after stroke, as well as have developed a novel rehabilitation tool using brain computer interface technology to guide recovery after stroke,” says Dr. Prabhakaran.

The lab recently finished working on two large brain connectome studies in collaboration with the Medical College of Wisconsin. Connectome studies look to map the various neural connections in the brain, and help researchers understand what is different in a brain of a person with an injury or illness so that they can determine the best treatment options. These studies specifically looked to map the brains of epilepsy patients and patients Alzheimer’s Disease. Currently, the lab is using similar advanced neuroimaging techniques to study juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) in patients between 12- and 20-years old.

There are many interesting projects in process in the lab. One research focus is mapping neural substrates involved in cognitive processes, such as working memory and reasoning, and validating these brain maps using different patient populations, such as stroke patients. Brain mapping identifies structures involved in language, memory, vision, and sensorimotor processes so that clinicians avoid these areas during treatment.

The lab is also developing tools to help with brain mapping. One of the tools they are working on is fMRI/DTI, which is used for brain mapping prior to surgery for brain tumors, vascular lesions, and epilepsy. The tool is being developed for clinical use. The lab is also researching fMRI/TMS for validation of brain mapping and fMRI/EEG for seizure localization.

Dr. Prabhakaran hopes to expand on these current research projects in the future. “Our future projects will focus on characterizing the stroke connectome and more stroke rehabilitation studies, as well as intervention studies to improve memory in older patients at risk for dementia. We will utilize multimodal neuroimaging and advanced neuroimaging analyses for all these projects,” he says.

In addition, the lab will keep fostering projects with external investigators conducting neuroimaging research. “We continue to provide support to other groups interested in using neuroimaging tools to study various topics from traumatic brain injury, delirium, migraine, Zika virus,” says Dr. Prabhakaran.

One of the things that makes the Neuroimaging Research Program unique is the various backgrounds of the researchers involved. “We are a rather diverse group including scientists, a postdoc, and several grad students of different nationalities. The grad students come from different educational backgrounds, such as biomedical and electrical engineering, medical physics, neuroscience, and psychology. This diversity adds new experiences and perspectives to our research,” says Veena Nair, PhD, Senior Scientist in the lab.

Learn more about the lab’s current research at: https://radiology.wisc.edu/research/research-labs-and-groups/neuroimaging-research-program/

Meghan Lubner Awarded ICTR Pilot Grant

Congratulations to Professor Meghan Lubner, MD, for receiving an ICTR Novel Methods Pilot Award. The ICTR Novel Methods Pilot Program aims to foster development of interdisciplinary collaborations that will advance translational science to improve human health. With the award, Dr. Lubner and her team receive a grant of up to $50,000 for 12 months of support for their research. Dr. Lubner’s research uses precise radiologic pathologic correlation to define the imaging signature of aggressive pathologic components of renal cell carcinoma. “We are using 3D printed molds, tissue localization clips, CT, and MRI to image ex vivo specimens and extract image data from specific portions of the tumor with direct correlation with pathology at that site.  We hope to move to in vivo tissue localization in the near future.  We are also working with an engineering group to use machine and deep learning to better identify aggressive areas on imaging,” says Dr. Lubner. The funding from the award will help the research team obtain preliminary data. It will be used for printing 3D molds, securing time for the CT and MRI scanners, and pathologic analysis. Accruing this preliminary data will establish that the team can successfully implement this workflow in their research. Dr. Lubner was thrilled to receive this award. “I was so wonderfully surprised and happy.  We had just recruited our first subject after long-term planning the week the awards were announced.  This funding will be critical in helping us continue to move the project forward.  Our team is so very excited,” she says.  

Allison Grayev Receives Dean’s Teaching Award

Allison Grayev, MD

Associate Professor Allison Grayev, MD was selected as one of the 2021 Dean’s Teaching Award recipients. This award recognizes excellence and innovation in medical education. The recipients awarded have demonstrated a creative approach to medical education, high teaching effectiveness, and sustained dedication to improving student learning. Dr. Grayev will be presented with the award during a virtual award ceremony on Medical Education Day, which this year is on May 27th.

Dr. Grayev is humbled to have won this prestigious award. “Winning this award is a recognition of the support received from the anatomy team and my colleagues in radiology, allowing me to design and implement new radiology content both during the Forward curriculum roll out and a pandemic. I hope to impart the importance of radiology to all medical students with the goal of creating future clinicians that understand and respect our role in patient care,” she says.

Congratulations Dr. Grayev, and thank you for your continued dedication to our medical students!

Shane Wells Wins Bosniak Research Award

Associate Professor Shane Wells, MD received the Bosniak Research Award from the Society of Abdominal Radiology (SAR). The Bosniak Research Award recognizes collaborative teamwork between Radiology and the UW O’Brien Center for Urology Research on genitourinary radiology research. The award recipient receives a $15,000 research grant to further their work. Dr. Wells received the award for his research proposal, titled Prostate Magnetic Resonance Elastography: Technical Development and Preclinical Evaluation. The award was presented to Dr. Wells at the SAR Annual Business Meeting, which was held virtually from March 20th – 25th. Dr. Wells was grateful to receive the award. “I am honored to receive the prestigious Bosniak Research Award from the Society of Abdominal Radiology. The Radiology and UW O’Brien Center for Urology Research teams are unified under the mission to cultivate new research and clinical tools and ideas while supporting the next generation of urologic researchers in order to reduce the burden of benign urologic conditions on humanity,” says Dr. Wells. Congratulations, Dr. Wells!