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2019 Honors & Achievements

May 09, 2019
by Jane E. Dee

From being the first physicians in Connecticut to perform vital procedures, to traveling the world in service to their profession, faculty from the Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging at Yale School of Medicine began 2019 by showing what it means to lead.

“It's an exciting time to be part of radiology,” says Chair Rob Goodman, MB BChir, MBA. “This is a specialty that is adapting, evolving and making itself an indispensable part of University, hospital and health system operations. Everyone plays their role in this endeavor and I am enormously proud of the commitment, energy and enthusiasm I see throughout the department. This is what collectively makes us so successful.”

Here are highlights from the year so far:

Raj Ayyagari, MD, traveled to India in March to introduce interventional radiologists from the Indian subcontinent to prostate artery embolization (PAE) in a program with the India Society of Vascular and Interventional Radiologists. He also presented seven abstracts about his PAE results from the past three years at the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) meeting in Austin, Texas. Ayyagari also was part of a SIR-sponsored research consensus panel composed of 12 of the world's PAE experts, as well as American Urological Association (AUA) BPH experts, that met in Washington, D.C. Ayyagari presented his results at the AUA meeting in May and gave oral abstracts on PAE at the 13th Annual GEST (Global Embolization Symposium and Technologies) Meeting in New York, where he was a panelist on a several technical forums.

Anna Bader, MD, was an invited speaker for the Thoracic Imaging Session at the NYRS ABR Core Exam Review. Bader published as first author on the European Radiology Journal: Ventricular Myocardial Fat: An Unexpected Biomarker for Long-term Survival?

Julius Chapiro, MD, PhD, was part of a panel of 18 interventional oncologists and immuno-oncologists commissioned to write a white paper by the Interventional Oncologists Society. The panel was tasked with identifying essential elements of the emerging field of immuno-oncology for interventional oncologists with the goal of issuing a consensus document. The white paper, published this month in the journalRadiology provides a report on the state of those synergies, as well as the future directions of those fields.

Isabel Cortopassi, MD, became a member of the ACR Content Advisory Panel as a cardiac specialist. She authored the CT technique session of the ACR Catalog: Lung Cancer Screening eLearning Program 2018.

Melissa Davis’ work with outpatient imaging efficiency measures, "Trends in publicly reported quality measures of hospital imaging efficiency, 2011-2018,” was accepted for presentation at the AcademyHealth 2019 Annual Research Meeting in June in Washington, D.C.

Chris Gange, MD, was selected as 2019 ARRS Clinician Educator Development Program nominee. Gange was invited to attend a highly interactive one-day workshop at the ARRS annual meeting to gain proficiency in teaching skills and designing educational activities.

D.S. Fahmeed Hyder, PhD, recently was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s (AIMBE) College of Fellows. Hyder is a professor of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging and Biomedical Engineering.

Election to the AIMBE College of Fellows is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to a medical and biological engineer.

Dr. Hyder was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for “outstanding contributions to MRI studies of brain physiology and chemistry, revealing how neuronal glial cells fuel their function and (re)growth,” according to AIMBE.

He was inducted along with 156 colleagues who make up the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2019.

Michele Johnson, MD, was elected in February as president of the American Society of Spine Radiology (ASSR), the pre-eminent society in radiology related to the imaging, diagnosis and image-guided treatment of spine disorders.

Jonathan Killam, MD, was an invited speaker at the Chronic Pulmonary Infections Symposium on April 16. Killam attended the Society of Thoracic Radiology (STR) annual meeting and post-graduate course in Savannah, Georgia.

Hosted by Kevin Kim, MD, the first annual Yale - Harvard Interventional Radiology Retreat on Feb. 9 brought together faculty and trainees to share ideas, learn about minimally invasive therapies performed by interventional radiologists and discuss the current and future of the practice of IR. Yale School of Medicine faculty were joined by experts from Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.

Jonathan Kirsch, MD, was elected secretary of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) Neurosonology community. Kirsch was invited to attend a leader orientation session in April.

Juan Carlos Perez Lozada, MD, and Angelo G. Marino, DO, are the first physicians in Connecticut to perform a minimally invasive procedure to create an AV fistula. The procedure will give patients with kidney failure better medical results and quality of life while they undergo dialysis, Perez Lozada and Marino said.

“There is a population of patients with kidney disease who progress quickly toward dialysis. Now they can have a fistula created without surgery or general anesthesia,” Marino said.

Amit Mahajan, MD, is one of several faculty at YSM who was interviewed for an article about HPV and oropharyngeal cancer. The story is slated for publication in Yale Medicine.

A team from Yale School of Medicine, Emory University and other medical schools traveled to Tanzania, East Africa this year to continue training the first generation of interventional radiologists as part of the Tanzania Interventional Radiology Initiative. Trainees from Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam also traveled to the U.S. to receive training at Emory. Through the initiative, patients in Tanzania will have access to the benefits of this sub-specialty, said Frank Minja, MD, the founder and director of the Global Outreach Program. In addition to Minja, Fabian Laage Gaupp, MD, and Douglas Silin, MD, have traveled from Yale to Tanzania as part of the IR teaching team.

For the second year in a row, a team from Yale Radiology & Biomedical Imaging has been chosen to update an RSNA/ American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) online module.

This year’s team is led by Adel Mustafa, PhD and Margarita Revzin, MD and includes Jonathan Langdon, Mathew Hoerner, and Daniel Vergara. They will review and update the RSNA physics teaching module, “Interaction of Ultrasound with Tissue, and Doppler Ultrasound.”

Last year’s team, led by Rob Goodman, MB BChir, and Mustafa, reviewed and updated the online physics of Radiography, Mammography instrumentation module.

The department launched the Translational Image Analysis & Machine Learning Center, (TIAML) directed by Xenophon Papademetris, PhD, and Lawrence Staib, PhD. The goal of the center is to serve as a focal point and catalyst for translational research in radiologic image analysis, bridging our long-standing expertise in image analysis and machine learning, and our clinical excellence in radiology to address important problems in imaging and translate these technologies to clinical use, according to Staib.

Sam Payabvash, MD, was inducted in the 2019 Class of CECI² (Council of Early Career Investigators in Imaging). He was invited to attend the events related to the 10th Annual Coalition for Imaging and Bioengineering Research (CIBR) Medical Technology Showcase in Washington, D.C.

Liane Philpotts, MD, has been named chair of the ACR Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Accreditation Committee. The Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Accreditation Program provides facilities performing stereotactic breast biopsy procedures with peer review and constructive feedback on staff qualifications, equipment, quality control, quality assurance, accuracy of needle placement, image quality and dose. Philpotts also published an editorial in RSNA’s Radiology journal: Density Variation among Mammographic Modalities Will Likely Impact Imaging Management and Risk Stratification. Philpotts also was interviewed about the benefits of 3D mammography for a segment that aired April 29 on NPR’s Morning Edition. Philpotts also appeared on WTNH-TV 8 to discuss new mammography guidelines issued by the American College of Physicians.


Crystal L. Piper, MD, published an article in April in the Radiology ACR Bulletin that offers perspective on some of the challenges facing women in radiology. “When a woman’s potential goes unrealized, bias and discrimination hurt medicine as a whole, including the patients of these women who lose their potential level of caregiving.” Piper wrote. Piper also prepared the poster, "Women in IR, Where We Are," for the Women Faculty Forum at Yale on May 1.

Interventional radiologists Jeffrey Pollak, MD, and Hamid Mojibian, MD, were the first physicians in Connecticut and among the first in the Northeast to successfully perform a pulmonary thrombectomy with a new mechanical device.

A main benefit of the IR procedure is that it does not require the use of thrombolytic agents – clot-busting medicines that can result in bleeding elsewhere in the body, said Pollak. “This expands our ability to treat older patients, or patients with other medical issues who are at a higher risk for bleeding,” he said.

Balaji Rao, MBBCh, and Vahe Zohrabian, MD, were invited to present at the ASSR (American Society of Spine Radiologists) Annual Symposium in February.

Larry Saperstein, MD, discussed nuclear medicine and the use of PET scans in cancer care during an interview with Yale Cancer Answers, which aired in April on NPR.

Dustin Scheinost, PhD, was featured in a news segment on Channel 8 in April about a new autism center at Yale. Scheinost was interviewed about his work studying autism and neurodevelopment in utero using anatomical and functional MRI to measure brain circuits.

A Yale Medicine video team recently interviewed Lawrence Staib, PhD, about the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in interventional oncology and liver cancer imaging. Staib and Julius Chapiro, MD, PhD have collaborated on ML algorithms as part of an NIH-funded project led by James Duncan, PhD.

Jeffrey Weinreb, MD, was invited to the following lectures: Introduction to PI-RADS v2. ACR Education Center Prostate MRI Course. Reston, Va. March 28, 2019

Techniques for Multiparametric MRI of the Prostate. ACR Education Center Prostate MRI Course. Reston, Va. March 28, 2019 Gadolinium Deposition/Retention. Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Radiology. Montreal, Canada. April 12, 2019. Weinreb also has been named organizer, co-chair & moderator: Scientific Research Program for 2018 & 2020 Jornada Paulista de Radiologia (JPR) (organized by RSNA/ Sociedade Paulista de Radiologia (SPR) / Paulista Society of Radiology), Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Submitted by Angel Machon on May 09, 2019