2019: The Year in Review

Radiology Education

The Department of Radiology continued experiencing rapid development throughout 2019.

"It's a great privilege to build on a legacy of excellence, and to use that as a foundation for reaching new milestones," said Dr. Neil M. Rofsky, Chair of Radiology. "I know we can achieve the goal of becoming a Top-10 radiology department."

In recent presentations to faculty and alumni, Dr. Rofsky highlighted the following accomplishments and honors:

New and Returning Faculty

Fourteen distinguished educators joined or re-joined the faculty in 2019.

"This year, we welcomed three faculty members who completed their fellowship training at UT Southwestern, and we welcomed back a faculty member in a new role," Dr. Rofsky said, "They join 10 new faculty members who really bring a wealth of talent and enthusiasm to the Department."

In Vascular and Interventional Radiology (VIR), "we welcomed back Anil Pillai, who returned to us as the new chief of VIR after serving as section chief at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston," Dr. Rofsky said. "It's good to have him back, and to welcome Jayesh Soni, who worked with Dr. Pillai in Houston. We also brought in Joseph McLaughlin as a faculty member in VIR, fresh off his fellowship training here at UT Southwestern."

Dr. Rofsky continued, "Our Pediatric Radiology Division also got a new permanent chief as Tim Booth was officially named to that position after serving as interim chief since February 2018. This year he brought in Maddy Artunduaga and Elliot Rinzler to the Pediatric Radiology faculty. Maddy just completed her fellowship training at Baylor and Elliot joined us after completing his fellowship training at the University of Cincinnati."

Dr. Aditi Mulgaonkar was promoted to the Research faculty "after serving as a research technician and production radiochemist in our cyclotron program," Dr. Rofsky said. "We also brought in Richard Guo as a Research faculty member. He will be working closely with our MRI team. And Quyen Do joined the faculty after completing her postdoctoral fellowship."

In Neuroradiology, "we brought in Michael Achilleos after he completed his fellowship training with us, so we know he's going to do a great job. And we were fortunate to bring in Lorraine De Blanche in Nuclear Medicine. She had been working at the VA Medical Center in Dallas. And Vishal Kukkar joined our Cardiothoracic Imaging faculty, just after completing his fellowship training at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio."

Because the Community Radiology Division continues to grow, Dr. Rofsky said, "we recruited Arati Khanna and Sheena Prakash from their private practices to help meet the clinical needs of that division. And, after some delays, we finally welcomed Nima Kasraie to our Medical Physics faculty from the University of Missouri in Kansas City."


Faculty Promotions

Dr. Roderick McColl and Dr. Xiankai Sun
Dr. Roderick McColl, left, and Dr. Xiankai Sun

Dr. Rofsky also congratulated several faculty members who were promoted in 2019, including Drs. Roderick McColl and Xiankai Sun, who became full Professors, and Drs. Daniel Costa, Mark Reddick, and Elena Vinogradov, who became Associate Professors.

"These are all well-deserved promotions," Dr. Rofsky said. "Our faculty continue to set the standard for excellence. I especially want to commend Roddy McColl, who joined our faculty just after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Warwick in 1992, and Xiankai Sun, who joined our faculty after a brief stint as a research instructor at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis." 

University and Department Awards

"In other awards, Karuna Raj received the Southwestern Academy of Teachers/Office of Medical Education Fellowship," Dr. Rofsky said. "Craig Morriss was elected to the SWAT Academy, and Jessica Porembka will participate in the Leadership Emerging in Academic Departments program next year."

Dr. Julie Champine
Dr. Julie Champine

Special mention was made of Dr. Julie Champine, the second member of the Radiology Faculty to be elected to the UT System's Kenneth I. Shine, M.D., Academy of Health Science Education. Dr. Diane Twickler was inducted to the Academy in 2016.

"The Shine Academy is a most prestigious honor," Dr. Rofsky said. "Only a small number are selected from all six health institutions in the UT System, so to have two Radiology faculty from UT Southwestern is an extraordinary accomplishment."

Additional Department awards were presented to the following:

  • Aleks Sorra, M.D., Outstanding Senior
  • Julie Champine, M.D., Golden Apple Award, Parkland Health & Hospital System
  • Cory Pfeifer, M.D., Golden Apple Award, Children's Health
  • David Scott, M.D., Golden Apple Award, Clement's University Hospital
  • Diane Twickler, M.D., Outstanding Mentor Award

Grand Rounds

Dr. Rofsky noted another successful year of Grand Rounds lectures with an average attendance of 62. Among the distinguished lecturers, the following visited from outside UT Southwestern:

  • Matthew Davenport, M.D., University of Michigan, "Quality in Radiology: Why It Is Ignored and How We Can Improve"
  • Neb Duric, Ph.D., Wayne State University, "Ultrasound Tomography for Breast Imaging: A Novel Modality for Supporting Lesion Characterization, Risk Assessment and Response to Therapy"
  • Alexander Guimaraes, M.D., Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University, "Quantitative PET/MRI: Challenges and Opportunities"
  • Andrei Holodny, M.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, "Brain Plasticity: New Insights and Applications"
  • Curtis Langlotz
  • Edward Lee, M.D., M.P.H., Boston Children's Hospital, "Pediatric Large Airway Disorders"
  • Leon Lenchik, M.D., Wake Forest School of Medicine, "Imaging of Sarcopenia: Past, Present, and Future"
  • Mark Lockhart, M.D., M.P.H., University of Alabama at Birmingham, "Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound of the Liver and Kidneys"
  • Greg Metzger, Ph.D., "Evolution of Ultrahigh Field MRI in the Body: Applications in Oncology and Beyond"
  • Erick Remer, M.D., The Cleveland Clinic, "Don't Miss This: GU Imaging Pitfalls"

Research Day

Dr. Rofsky noted that the seventh annual Research Day had "strong participation," with 46 presentations and 106 attendees. "Again, we set an attendance record," he said. "I'm very happy to see that continue to enrich our trainees' experience and our Department as a whole."

The first research day had 28 participating trainees.

In the event's keynote address, Dr. Mitchell Schnall, professor and chair of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania, presented "Developing a Personalized Approach to Breast Cancer Screening."

"I want to emphasize how impressed he was with the scientific work that was displayed at our Research Day," Dr. Rofsky said. 

Best Posters
Basic Science Ning Zhou, Ph.D.
Clinical Science Clayton Douglas, M.D.
Educational Gowtham Murugesan, M.S.
Quality Improvement Carson Sibley, M.D.
Best Electronic Presentations
Basic Science Ryan Fisicaro, M.D.
Clinical Science Sahil Nalawade, P.G.D.M.
Educational Akshita Mehta, M.D.
Best Oral Presentations
Basic Science  Reshu Saini, M.D.
 Clinical Science  Maryam Vejdani-Jahromi, M.D., Ph.D.

Publishing Endeavors

In terms of publishing activities, Dr. Rofsky noted that the faculty had again been tracking to end the calendar year with more than 200 print and online publications. "This marks three consecutive years of having 200 or more publications," Dr. Rofsky said. "This is another great source of pride as we innovate to make big differences in patients' lives."

Society Honors & Professional Achievements

Dr. Rofsky congratulated Dr. Maddy Artunduaga for being named to the board of directors of the Society of Pediatric Radiology. "This is a nice appointment early in her career," he said. He also acknowledge the following faculty members, who were recognized by other professional societies and organizations:

  • Tim Blackburn, Ph.D., Living Legends Hall of Fame, Texas Radiological Technologists Society
  • Travis Browning, M.D., Imaging Innovation Award, Radiology Business Journal
  • Fernando Kay, M.D., Young Investigator Award, Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
  • Bob Lenkinski, Ph.D., Associate Editor, Radiology
  • Jacques Lux, Ph.D., Chartered Chemist, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Bob Lenkinski, Ph.D., Associate Editor, Radiology
  • Ralph Mason, Ph.D.Editor's Pick, NMR in Biomedicine
  • Prabhakar Rajiah, M.D. and Jerry Wang, Ph.D., Editor's Recognition Award, Radiology
  • Todd Soesbe, Ph.D., Best Scientific Paper, European Congress of Radiology
  • Rathan Subramaniam, M.D., Ph.D., Innovation & Leadership Award, Radiology Research Alliance
  • Rathan Subramaniam, M.D., Ph.D., Honored Educator Award, Radiological Society of North America

He gave special recognition to Dr. Julia Fielding for receiving the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award from the American Association for Women Radiologists.Dr. Julia Fielding

Dr. Julia Fielding

"I was fortunate to have attended the group's annual event in December, when Dr. Fielding was presented honored for lifetime achievement," he said. "It was quite a wonderful moment," Dr. Rofsky said. "It was a landmark achievement for Dr. Fielding, and she was also elected a Fellow of the organization. "Dr. Rofsky also noted four faculty members who had been inducted as Fellows of various societies:

  • Baowei Fei, Ph.D., M.Eng., American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering
  • David Fetzer, M.D., Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound
  • Joseph Maldjian, M.D., American Society of Functional Neuroradiology
  • Lee Pride, M.D., American College of Radiology

Expanded Programs and Additional Learning Opportunities 

UT Southwestern has one of the largest Radiology residency programs in the nation, with three programs that can accommodate up to 75 dedicated trainee positions, Dr. Rofsky said." During 2018, we revamped our resident conferences so we could focus on the goal of education," he continued, "and the feedback I've received is that there's satisfaction with the way they've been redesigned. We now have a weekly mega conference for a large group experience supplemented by division- and site-specific conferences to optimize resident schedules while being mindful of travel time and clinical needs. The new system reduces the amount of lecture time per month, but also saves about seven hours of travel time and restores nearly 15 hours when residents had to be off service. In 2018, the Department also began offering five undergraduate courses, up from three.Dr. Rofsky holds the Effie and Wofford Cain Distinguished Chair in Diagnostic Imaging and serves as Co-Director of Translational Research for the Advanced Imaging Research Center.