2022 Leaders on the Horizon | Championing the Future Leaders of Radiology

A collaboration between Applied Radiology and Bracco Diagnostics, Inc., the “Leaders on the Horizon” Residents’ Program champions the next generation of radiology leaders. It offers radiology residents the opportunity to be recognized for their outstanding clinical research while expanding their knowledge of the medical imaging industry.

“Bracco is proud of its longstanding reputation as a luminary when it comes to industry-related education initiatives. A huge part of this mission includes providing the tools and resources necessary to support the best and the brightest future leaders. The Leaders on the Horizon Program does just that, supporting young people in research and providing exposure and mentoring opportunities for accelerated growth. It brings forward a diverse slate of new voices with the new ideas that could impact the future of imaging,” said Fulvio Renoldi Bracco, CEO of Bracco Imaging SpA, the parent company of Bracco Diagnostics.

“This program is a key component of Applied Radiology and Bracco Diagnostics’ ongoing commitment to advancing medical imaging knowledge, leadership, and education,” said Kieran Anderson, vice president of Anderson Publishing, Inc., and group publisher of Applied Radiology and Applied Radiation Oncology.

“The Leaders on the Horizon Program was designed to identify and cultivate young radiologists earlier in their career by providing them with an opportunity to be published in Applied Radiology,” Anderson said. “Together, Applied Radiology and Bracco are committed to the future of imaging. We're both living up to our true values, which is to support medical imaging. It always starts with education and providing people an opportunity to explore avenues into their career. Leaders on The Horizon is one step forward with that.”

Cosimo DePinto, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Bracco Diagnostics, said Leaders on the Horizon has a reach that goes beyond the program. “Anytime that we can have young, enthusiastic, smart, next-generation leaders share their passion for science and the findings of that science with the broader organization, we all win,” DePinto said.

Leaders on the Horizon Winning Research Papers

In 2022, the program challenged radiology residents to submit research papers on topics related to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Five winning papers were chosen by a review board comprising 10 radiologists and educators from several sub-specialties of medical imaging.

The authors were honored for their achievements at a special reception hosted by Applied Radiology and Bracco Diagnostics at RSNA 2022.

First place: Relating cardiac sarcoidosis and quantitative T2 mapping to functional cardiac parameters

Jordan Chamberlin, MD, Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Chamberlin is a first-year resident at the Medical University of South Carolina, with an interest in cardiothoracic imaging. His paper focused on relating cardiac sarcoidosis and quantitative T2 mapping to functional cardiac parameters, such as ejection fraction and end-systolic volumes. Although it’s well-known that people with cardiac sarcoidosis have cardiomyopathy and reduced ejection fraction, less is known about how quantitative T2 MR mapping correlates to cardiac function.

“This is a question that had been brought up multiple times and pushed off to the future,” said Dr. Chamberlin. “When I saw this year’s subject was MR imaging, I knew we had something to add to the literature because we had two-plus years of work on this subject. I’m excited to continue this evolution in the next few years.”

Noting that he was “ecstatic” when learning of his first-place win, Dr. Chamberlin said, “I couldn’t have asked for anything more.” He said he plans to continue his research into the topic, which he hopes will help patients suffering from cardiac sarcoidosis.

Second place: Striving for a better understanding of PI-RADS® 3 lesions

Alexander Satei, MD, Trinity Health Oakland - Wayne State University

Dr. Satei is a first-year resident at Trinity Health Oakland - Wayne State University in Pontiac, Michigan. He and his team chose the topic identifying the lack of information around stage 3 lesions in the Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data system (PI-RADS®) v2.1.

Prior to PI-RADS v2.1, there was clearer data around PI-RADS 3 lesions – an “intermediate” score indicating lesions that are equivocal for the presence of cancer, portending clinically significant prostate cancer. “There is a paucity of data on what percentage of these lesions are cancerous,” said Dr. Satei.

The team performed a literature review to better understand the rates of clinically significant cancers in PI-RADS 3 lesions. They also searched through their own picture archiving and communication system (PACS) to identify lesions that would fit a PI-RADS 3 “indeterminate” description.

“The Leaders on the Horizon program increased my interest in research and MR imaging. I think it’s a great program for anyone who’s early in their radiology careers to get experience doing research and learning more about MRI,” Dr. Satei said.

Third place: Multitasking neural networks for multiplanar MRI prostate localization and segmentation

Melina Hosseiny, MD, University of California San Diego (UCSD)

Dr. Hosseiny is a first-year resident at University of California San Diego (UCSD) with an interest in oncologic imaging and artificial intelligence (AI). She believes deep learning can be a powerful tool for automating visual tasks in medical imaging, including segmentation and localization of anatomic structures. However, training these algorithms often requires substantial data curation that may require expert image annotation on multiple imaging planes.

“We decided to develop a deep learning strategy capable of integrating annotations across multiple imaging planes on MRI to cover this gap, and we hypothesized that it would outperform traditional algorithms developed using single-plane MRI imaging data only,” said Dr. Hosseiny. “We aimed to evaluate its performance for accomplishing two tasks. First, dividing the prostate into central and peripheral zones leveraging annotations in axial sections, and then localizing the base and apex of  prostate leveraging annotations in sagittal sections.”

She said her win has inspired her to support the next generation of radiologists. “When I learned I’d been selected as a winner, it was an incredible feeling,” she said. “I have a vision to be a person who can pave the way for other medical students. I want to support them to follow their biggest dreams.”

Fourth place: Low versus ultra-high field MR: How to select your MR fleet

Moozhan Nikpanah, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

Dr. Nikpanah is a first-year resident who led a multi-institutional collaboration between the UAB Radiology Department, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Auburn University, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Their paper focuses on comprehensive review of technical features of cutting-edge low-field and ultra-high field MRI systems, their clinical applications, as well as advantages and disadvantages.

“Developing a successful MR program in a healthcare setting is a nuanced task that involves various operational and financial considerations. In order to select an MR scanner for each healthcare facility, it is crucial to evaluate the imaging scenarios for which the scanner is intended and in which it excels,” she explained. “Our paper provides the medical imaging community with a comprehensive knowledge of low and ultra-high field MR scanners, as well as their strengths and limitations, to help them choose the MR system that best fits the needs of their healthcare setting.”

She says she was “thrilled” to be chosen as one of the top papers. “The Leaders on the Horizon program provides the opportunity to get recognition for our work and meet the pioneers in the field, which creates more opportunities going forward,” Dr. Nikpanah said.

Fifth place: Bridging the gap in making MR safety decisions

Akarshan Monga, MD, Detroit Medical Center

Dr. Monga is a fourth-year resident who plans to enter a radiology fellowship at the University of Michigan in 2023. For his paper, he performed a literature review on radiology resident knowledge of MRI safety, created a presentation around MRI safety guidelines designed for other residents in his program, and then conducted pre- and post-tests to assess their growth in understanding.

“The results showed there was a significant difference between before and after scores. Presenting this information to the residents made a difference by increasing their confidence in making decisions about MRI safety,” he said, noting that he was inspired to explore the issue based on his own experiences.

“My colleagues and I often had issues with MRI safety, and I found there were knowledge gaps that could be addressed using online modules,” he said.

Dr. Monga, who said he plans to develop online modules to improve knowledge of MRI safety, aspires to take on a leadership role in an MRI department at his future institution. “As a leader, I’d like to help train technologists, nurses and physicians about MRI safety, while taking on an ownership role of this very important topic,” he said.

For more information about the “Leaders on the Horizon” Residents’ Program, visit AppliedRadiology.com/Leaders.

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