News & Announcements
Read the latest news from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Department of Radiology. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about our faculty’s latest achievements, awards and honors.
Iron nanoparticles could be one day used to attack cancer cells, according to a recent Northwestern Medicine study.
- New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jessica Peterson07.14.2020
Dr. Peterson joins Northwestern Radiology from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City. Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, she completed her medical degree, a residency in Diagnostic Radiology, and a Breast Imaging fellowship at U of Kansas. She joins our faculty as Assistant Professor in the Breast and Women's Imaging section.
She has a lot of hometown loyalty to her favorite sports teams including the Jayhawks, the Chiefs, the Royals, and Sporting KC. She and her family are excited to move to Chicago. In her free time, Dr. Peterson enjoys reading, exercising, outdoor activities, and spending time with her husband and daughter.
Cancer patients with other comorbidities have a higher risk of dying from complications due to COVID-19, and should discuss the risks and benefits of continuing cancer treatment with their physician, according to a recent study.
- New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Golbahar Houshmand07.13.2020
We are excited to welcome Dr. Goli Houshmand as Assistant Professor in the Breast and Women's Imaging Section of Northwestern Radiology. Dr. Houshmand has an array of education and leadership experience that she brings to our team.
After earning her medical degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, she joined a basic science research lab at the University of Pittsburgh. At U Pitt Medical Center, she went on to finish residency as well as research and clinical fellowships in Women's Imaging. Since 2017, she served as Assistant Professor of Radiology at Magee Women's Hospital.
During her time at UPMC, she was also an active member of residency education and curriculum committees. She worked to initiate a curriculum system based in structured milestones as well as to establish resident-driven diagnostic ultrasound and ultrasound-guided procedure workshops. She received the divisional teacher of the year award at UPMC.
Dr. Houshmand has been an investigator on several NIH-funded grants, has authored several book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in major scientific journals, and is invited to lecture at academic meetings.
- New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Amir Borhani06.23.2020
Dr. Borhani, recently appointed Associate Professor in the Body Imaging Section and Medical Director of CT, comes to Northwestern from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. After earning his medical degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, he finished residency, clinical fellowship, and a research fellowship at UPMC. Since 2014, he has served as Assistant Professor of Radiology and Chief of Body CT at UPMC as well.
During his time at UPMC, Dr. Borhani received divisional Teacher of the Year awards for four consecutive years. He has authored five radiology textbooks and more than 60 peer-reviewed articles. His numerous scientific presentations include invited lectures at RSNA and SAR.
To date, Dr. Borhani is an active member of scientific committees in RSNA, SAR, and ACR LIRADS. He is a member of the editorial boards for AJR, Radiology case reports, and the American College of Online Radiology Education.
His main clinical and research interests include imaging of hepatopancreaticobiliary diseases, spectral CT, radiomics, and quantitative imaging. He has been a principal investigator and co-investigator on several funded research projects.
Hasan B. Alam, MD, the Norman W. Thompson Professor of Surgery and section head for general surgery at the University of Michigan Medical Center, has been named the Loyal and Edith Davis Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery.
Northwestern’s Alpha Omega Alpha honor society chapter inducted 35 new members last week, including Feinberg students, residents, fellows, faculty and alumni.
- McComb Appointed Chief of Head & Neck Radiology02.28.2020
We are pleased to announce that Erin N. McComb, MD, is the new Chief of Head & Neck Radiology in the Division of Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology at NMH. Dr. McComb joined the faculty at Northwestern in 2008 after completing a Neuroradiology Fellowship at UCLA and after completing a Radiology Residency here at Northwestern in 2007.
Dr. McComb has served on Education Committees for the American Society of Head and Neck Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America as well as a reviewer for the American Journal of Neuroradiology. Additionally, Dr. McComb was Program Chair for the 10th Annual Midwest Head and Neck Radiology meeting in 2019.
Dr. McComb succeeds Dr. Achilles Karagianis as the Chief of Head & Neck. Achilles will be leaving NMH after June 2, 2020 to take a job elsewhere. It goes without saying that Achilles will be greatly missed and that his departure will be a major loss for us, but we look forward to continuing the tradition of outstanding service to be led by Dr. McComb in the future.
- Department Mentorship Program Kicks Off02.11.2020
The Northwestern University Radiology Mentorship Program (Nu RaMP) has officially begun! A kickoff meeting for mentors and mentees was held on February 5 with presentations by mentorship program leadership and research office management. The mentorship program is a result of collaborative efforts between several faculty members led by program facilitator and faculty member Dr. Jeanne Horowitz.
The mentorship program pairs faculty who establish goals and a plan to meet up on a regular basis to work together. Particular areas of focus are career development, leadership skills, research, and promotion. During the kickoff, Dr. Horowitz led a discussion regarding how to set clear and aligned goals, as well as how to get the most out of a mentoring relationship for both mentors and mentees.
Following Dr. Horowitz, Jessica Anaya Agosto, Senior Research Administrator, and Julie Blaisdell, Research Operations Manager, gave a presentation for new faculty and physician scientists about how to work with the Research Office at Radiology to get involved in clinical trials, projects funded by federal or foundation sponsorship, and non-funded industry relationships.
Nu RaMP is one of several wellness initiatives under way in the department. Keep your eyes open for more information about career development, wellness activities, and accessing the full array of what work at the Department of Radiology has to offer.
- Students Complete RSNA-Sponsored Research12.04.2019
With RSNA fully underway, it's a great time to highlight some of the student research this society is sponsoring at NU. RSNA offers a number of funded research opportunities for students and faculty at all levels. This year, Aakash Gupta, BS at Northwestern and Monica Matsumoto, MS4 AT University of Chicago were awarded stipends for very different, but very significant research projects that are a great springboard for further work as they continue their graduate studies.
Gupta, sponsored by Dr. Michael Markl, received funding for a project titled "4D flow MRI-derived energy biomarkers for grading of mitral regurgitation severity." His work focused on investigating whether 4D flow MRI-derived energetic biomarkers can be used to quantify and characterize mitral regurgitation (MR) severity. Accurate quantification of MR severity is of paramount clinical importance as current guidelines largely recommend valve repair only for severe MR. This energetic-based approach may also help overcome limitations of current echocardiography and cardiac MRI techniques to capture MR jet distribution and impact on left atrial hemodynamics.
Matsumoto, with scientific advisors Dr. Sam Mouli and Dr. Andrew Larson, is investigating the effects of intra-arterial liver-directed therapies, including yttrium-90 radioembolization, on the expression of immune checkpoint markers in an animal model of liver cancer. More specifically, she is using this animal model of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to analyze the local and systemic immune response to these therapies at different points in time, focusing on the expression of immune checkpoint markers PD-1, PD-L1, CTLA-4. The purpose of this project is to inform the timeline of administering combination intra-arterial and immunotherapy drugs for patients with HCC and better incorporate immunotherapy into the clinical paradigm for liver directed therapies. This project is helping to launch Northwestern's interventional oncology research group's endeavors to incorporate imminology applications into their work.
Congratulations to both of these students on such exciting and forward-thinking work!
- Horowitz Graduates from Scholars of Wellness11.06.2019
"Physician wellness is something that has always been important to me," Dr. Jeanne Horowitz said when asked about her recent completion of the Scholars of Wellness program. Scholars of Wellness is a professional development program with the intention of creating faculty experts in wellness in order to drive meaningful change at NMH. Dr. Horowitz was part of the first cohort to graduate from the program.
As a radiologist and faculty member, Dr. Horowitz has long been aware of the issues of physician wellness, summing it up in these terms. "Physician burnout is a term used to describe emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, cynicism, and reduced self-efficacy. Physicians also have a higher suicide rate than the general population, and efforts to combat burnout are also performed to try to decrease the physician suicide rate."
Burnout is the result of a multitude of factors that can be addressed in the workplace, according to Horowitz. "Many of the factors contributing to physician burnout arise due to work overload, lack of control, lack of fairness, insufficient rewards or recognition, lack of community, and conflict in values."
These factors point to the importance of wellness initiatives, which Scholars of Wellness address with their projects. "Scholars of Wellness teaches physicians about which groups of individuals might be at risk for burnout," she said, "And how to make improvements for physician groups, which could be at the clinic/ section, department, or institutional level."
Dr. Horowitz chose a wellness project relating to radiology faculty and ergonomics. She focused on repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), which are injuries typically located in the wrist, fingers, back, and neck caused by overuse and repetitive motions. Radiologists in the reading room are often at risk of these injuries due to long hours at the PACS workstations. "Twenty-three of our radiologists reported that they currently had a RSI in a survey sent out in January 2019," Horowitz reported. "Another 42% of the radiologists with RSIs surveyed also reported symptoms that can lead to burnout." Based on this evidence, the goals of her project were not only to find a way to reduce RSIs, but also to get the department involved in a wellness initiative involving the PACS stations.
Several interventions were introduced over the course of the past year. Dr. Horowitz organized an ergonomics committee made up of faculty, trainees, NMH management, and IT. This committee worked on the PACS stations themselves by replacing broken chairs and tables with more ergonomic options, as well as adding ergonomic hardware such as mice and wrist pads. An occupational health professional was also brought in to faculty meetings to teach about best practices for radiologists.
Work on this project did not end with graduation from Scholars of Wellness. One great feature of this program is that the projects not only have great potential to create real change, but they also start conversations about ongoing wellness efforts enacted by departments and the institution.
Horowitz detailed other ergonomics-related events in the future. "While wireless M705 Logitech mice were deployed, there are currently a set of G502 Logitech mice being programmed to allow a choice. These G502 gaming mice will be larger with a greater number of customizable buttons. IT is also adding a shortcut on our PACS desktops to a folder of auto hot key programs so that radiologists can use buttons on the sides of the new mice for their commonly used PACS tools."
The aim of using improved hardware is to prevent RSIs or support current injuries. This additional comfort can also lead to increased productivity, which was described as a "cost savings" factor for NMH due to higher satisfaction with the workplace caused by engagement with physicians' needs. "A happy physician can not only contribute to patient wellness, "Horowitz pointed out, "But can also be a pleasure for other co-workers to work with, contributing to a functional team, which benefits everyone they work with in the healthcare system."
We look forward to more departmental wellness initiatives in the future! Click the link for a glimpse of Dr. Horowitz's graduation poster!
- Welcome New Diagnostic Radiology Associate Program Directors11.05.2019
Interviews for both the Diagnostic Radiology and Integrated Interventional Radiology residencies are officially under way until January 9, 2020. Our department has been hard at work fine tuning these programs, which includes appointing three new faculty members as Associate Program Directors for the Diagnostic program. We welcome Ankur Garg, MD, Linda Kelahan, MD, and Jon Youngner, MD to the programming team! They bring a wide range of experience and knowledge of the field in their specialties, as well as their educational experience. As we move closer toward match day every day, we are grateful for the faculty and staff who support students, residents, and fellows every step of the way.
- Emergency Radiology Division Created10.16.2019
This fall, Dr. Samir Abboud was not only appointed as faculty in the Department of Radiology, but he was also tasked with creating a new medical specialty within the clinical divisions -- Emergency Radiology. Dr. Abboud was happy to talk about his background in the area, as well as the goals for this exciting new division.
When asked where his interest in Emergency Radiology came from, Abboud pointed to his time as a resident here at Northwestern. "Taking call in the emergency room is probably one of my favorite experiences from residency," he said. "The wide range of pathology, the pace, and the intensity definitely keep you on your toes." And, if residency isn't enough, he also recalls that he was also exposed to this area of medicine through his family. "It doesn't hurt that my mother is an emergency physician. So I guess one could say I was exposed to emergency medicine in utero."
It is not easy to start a new division, but physicians have recognized the need for it. Abboud offered an explanation for this change. "Growing volumes and demand for rapid, near real-time turnaround has shifted imaging services in the ED from an after-thought service to an essential entity within our department." Emergency Radiology at NMH will cover a a wide variety of diagnostic needs. The long-term challenge, according to Abboud, is "maintaining a Northwestern Radiology standard of quality while managing clinical necessity of high volumes and rapid turnaround time. With ever-evolving practice of radiology, it will be crucial to deploy novel imaging modalities or techniques in order to maintain or even improve patient care in an efficient manner."
Meeting patient needs is only the beginning, however. The goal is also to exceed expectation. As for how Emergency Radiology bolsters ED care at NMH, he said, "Physicians and acute care/ emergency surgical services benefit from the direct, customized attention and centralized nature offered by an Emergency Radiology division. Tailoring our imaging protocols and techniques should allow us to maintain the Northwestern standard of quality while addressing the ED's particular needs. The formation of an Emergency Radiology specific operations group will allow for regular evaluation of our methods and manners. I also believe that Emergency Radiology serves a very specific patient population rahter than being a system- or organ-based specialty."
Dr. Abboud is the sole member of his team right now, so he has his work cut out for him. However, he has an outline of his goals to get this division off the ground. "Only with a strong relationship to the ED can we work together to build an Emergency Radiology division in an intentional, thoughtful manner. Establishing a high-touch, high-communication relationship is my number one task," he said. "Within the context of the broader Northwestern Radiology umbrella, I believe the unified PACS and VNA provides an amazing opportunity, both for me professionally and for the department as a whole. Building the section with an eye towards eventual system-wide overnight emergency coverage, I believe, is a natural step for Northwestern Radiology. I am excited to be a part of this era of growth and opportunity."
We are also looking forward to what Dr. Abboud will bring to Northwestern with this fantastic new division!
Feinberg faculty and students celebrated the ninth annual Medical Education Day at the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center with sessions, lectures and workshops that examined the future of medical education.
- New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Michael Magnetta08.30.2019
Dr. Magnetta has joined NU Radiology as Assistant Professor of Radiology in the Body Imaging Division. He attended medical school at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine before going on to complete his Diagnostic Radiology residency and Abominal Imaging fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he was also Chief Resident. In his spare time, he enjoys devoting time to the three C's: Cycling, Cooking, and Computer Programming. Dr. Magnetta is originally from St. Charles, Illinois, and says he is happy to be back in the Chicagoland area after so many years away. We are so excited to see all the great work Dr. Magnetta will bring to his division and the department!
- New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Tyler Litton08.29.2019
We are happy to welcome Dr. Tyler Litton as Assistant Professor of Radiology in the Breast Imaging Division. Litton, who grew up in St. Louis, but has traveled extensively for his education. Litton attended medical school at the NYU School of Medicine and completed his Diagnostic Radiology Residency at St. Louis University, where he was Chief Resident. He then completed his breast imaging fellowship at Duke University. The food scene excites Dr. Litton the most about Chicago. He is new to the city, so recommendations are welcome! He also is a baseball fan and enjoys playing recreational softball.
- New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Bradley Allen08.24.2019
Former Chief Resident Brad Allen has returned to NU as an Assistant Professor of Radiology as of August 1, 2019. Dr. Allen recently completed a fellowship at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. A native of Illinois, he is a graduate of the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and also completed his Diagnostic Radiology residency at NU. Dr. Allen is a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. He enjoys running and playing both guitar and saxophone in his free time. His appointment is in the Cardiothoracic Imaging division, and we can't wait to see all of the research work he will bring to our department!
- New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Samir Abboud08.23.2019
We are so pleased to welcome aboard Assistant Professor Samir Abboud! He joined our faculty as of August 1, 2019 as full-time faculty and the first member of our newly-formed Emergency Radiology Division. Dr. Abboud attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine and then completed his Diagnostic Radiology residency and a MSK Imaging fellowship program here at Northwestern. He is also an avid sailor and has competed in multiple long-distance races, in addition to regularly racing on Wednesdays and weekends. Perhaps the best news yet is that Dr. Abboud is willing to teach anyone who would like to join him! We look forward to the inroads Dr. Abboud will make in his Division and as faculty at NU!
- New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Mohammed Elbaz07.15.2019
This month, Dr. Mohammed Elbaz joined our faculty as an Assistant Professor of Radiology, specializing in cardiovascular imaging. Dr. Elbaz came to Northwestern as a clinical research associate under Dr. Michael Markl in 2018. He had previously obtained his PhD in Biomedical Imaging and Image Analysis from Leiden University in the Netherlands, as well as one year of post-doc training there. He went on to spent another year in the Computer Science Department at the University of Calgary in Canada before accepting his position here.
His experience spans computer science, medical imaging, and applied fluid dynamics. At Northwestern, his research focuses on developing advanced computational image and flow analysis techniques for cardiovascular MRI. Through his interdisciplinary training, he is working toward better patient-specific, personalized diagnostics and clinical outcome prediction in adult and congenital cardiovascular diseases.
We are excited to bring Dr. Elbaz on board as research faculty because of his accomplishments and experience. Please join us in welcoming him!
- New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Susan Palasis and Dr. Jillian Krauss07.11.2019
We are excited to announce two new faculty members on our Lurie team. Please welcome Dr. Susan Palasis and Dr. Jillian Krauss!
Dr. Susan Palasis is the new Division Head of Pediatric Neuroradiology and Vice Chair of Clinical Operations at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She is an Associate Professor of Radiology at Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University and also the Medical Director at the Facility for Education & Research in Neuroscience (FERN) Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center at Emory University. Dr. Palasis previously worked at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and was an Adjunct Professor at Emory University School of Medicine. Her neuroradiology fellowship training was at Duke University and at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She has conducted research and published on advanced neuroimaging techniques in the evaluation of pediatric neurologic disease. She is a frequent invited speaker on a broad variety of topics pertaining to pediatric neuroimaging in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Palasis is a Senior Member of the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) and serves on numerous scientific society committees. She is a Past President of the ASPNR and served as Program Chair for the 1st Annual ASPNR Scientific Meeting held in New Orleans in 2019.
Dr. Jillian Krauss grew up outside of Columbus, Ohio, was an undergraduate at The Ohio State University, attended medical school at the University of Toledo, and then journeyed north to Royal Oak, Michigan to complete her Diagnostic Radiology Residency at William Beaumont Hospital. She just completed her pediatric radiology fellowship training at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and is joining the Lurie faculty this summer. During her off time, she enjoys exploring Chicago with her husband and dog, traveling, biking, reading, and trying out new restaurants.