Advancements in Medical Imaging

The Department of Radiology at BIDMC is committed to the advancement of diagnosis and treatment through leading-edge research.

BIDMC Radiology ResearchersOur accomplished research faculty actively pursue innovative research and strive to translate basic science, technology, and health services advancements into sustainable improvements for our patients. These comprehensive research initiatives span several radiology subspecialties, including Abdominal Imaging and Interventions, Breast Imaging, Interventional Radiology, and Musculoskeletal Imaging, which you can learn about in more detail below, along with our foundation pilot research minigrant program.

Radiology Research Spotlights

Ammar Sarwar, MD, FSIR, and Muneeb Ahmed, MD, FSIR
Ammar Sarwar, MD, FSIR (left), and Muneeb Ahmed, MD, FSIR (right)
In March 2021, the American Journal of Roentgenology published original research by Ammar Sarwar, MD, FSIR, and Muneeb Ahmed, MD, FSIR, BIDMC Interventional Radiology Attending and Chief, respectively, and their cross-institutional colleagues. Titled "Efficacy of TIPS Reduction for Refractory Hepatic Encephalopathy, Right Heart Failure, and Liver Dysfunction," this study determined clinical outcomes of patients undergoing TIPS reduction.

Jim Rawson, MDIn March 2021, the Center for Healthcare Delivery Science at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center appointed three physician-researchers to develop and grow the center’s focus on improving value in healthcare. Jim Rawson, MD, Vice Chair, Operations and Special Projects of the Department of Radiology, has been appointed Lead for Applied Engineering and Creating Value in Clinical Operations.

Seth Berkowitz, MDIn January 2021, an original, peer-reviewed paper by Seth Berkowitz, MD, BIDMC Interventional Radiology, and his cross-institutional colleagues, was published in Radiology Artificial Intelligence. Titled "Deep Learning to Quantify Pulmonary Edema in Chest Radiographs," the paper explores the team's research study to develop a machine learning model to classify the severity grades of pulmonary edema on chest radiographs.

Aaron Grant, PhDAaron Grant, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology and Director of the Preclinical MRI Core Facility, was recently awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Project Grant (R01) to further develop hyperpolarization technology in the context of renal and cerebral perfusion imaging. R01 funding is the original and historically oldest NIH grant mechanism for health-related research and development.

Hyperpolarization is a technology for aligning, or polarizing, the nuclear spins in a contrast agent or metabolic tracer. Agents prepared this way can dramatically enhance nuclear magnetization and, as a result, produce MR signals up to 100,000 times stronger versus conventional imaging. This makes it possible to image the transport, uptake, and metabolic transformations of tracer molecules non-invasively and in real time. The large signal gains offered by hyperpolarization make it possible to image tissue function and metabolism in fundamentally new ways.

Gopal Varma, PhDGopal Varma, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology, received the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Radiology Fellowship for 2020. The fellowship is part of The Eleanor and Miles Shore Faculty Development Award Program at Harvard Medical School. The award, which the Radiology Department administers, may be used for protected time from clinical, teaching, or other responsibilities to pursue academic work, including research, or developing a new clinical or teaching program.

Foundation Pilot Research Minigrant Program

The Beth Israel Hospital Radiology Foundation awards one-year grants of up to $15,000 to enable departmental investigators to gain experience in defining objectives and testing hypotheses in preparation for external grant applications and/or manuscript submissions. These Pilot Research Minigrants are intended to support preliminary or pilot phase scientific projects.

Full-time faculty, part-time faculty, fellows, residents, and research staff employed by the Department of Radiology are eligible to apply. Applicants at the level of Assistant Professor or below require co-signature on the application by a departmental mentor, and early involvement of the mentor in the proposal development is strongly encouraged.

Any area of basic, clinical, or translational research related to radiology is eligible to apply for support.

Submissions are reviewed in two annual cycles. Submissions received by November 17, 2020, will be considered for funding beginning January 15, 2021. Submissions received by May 18, 2021, will be considered for funding beginning July 15, 2021. Off-cycle applications will be considered based on the availability of funds. Up to $100,000, total, will be awarded this academic year.