Welcome to the Department of Radiology at Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. Located in Boston’s South End, the Chobanian & Avedisian SOM is located on the Boston University Medical Campus, a modern medical complex that includes Boston Medical Center—the medical school’s main teaching hospital—as well as the BU School of Public Health and the BU Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. Boston Medical Center serves a diverse adult and pediatric patient population and provides primary and specialty care in all medical and surgical specialties. The medical center’s motto is “Exceptional Care without Exception.”
With a long, proud history whose roots reach back more than 150 years, the Department of Radiology is a full-service academic medical imaging department that annually performs over 350,000 screening, diagnostic, and interventional procedures for Boston Medical Center, its affiliated health centers, and the community. The goal of the department is to provide every patient with timely access to the most sophisticated medical imaging technology in a compassionate and caring setting and to add value to patient care through professional and timely consultation with referring providers and other healthcare team members.
The department consists of 10 divisions and includes 40 full-time board-certified diagnostic and interventional radiologists, 3 medical physicists, over 125 technologists, 15 nurses and nurse navigators, and 25 support staff. The department also has more than 13 affiliated faculty members at the Boston Veterans Administration Healthcare System. The department is led by Dr. Jorge A. Soto, who has served as chair of the department since 2016.
In addition to patient care, the department offers training and education to medical students, residents, and fellows in both diagnostic and interventional radiology. Faculty are engaged in clinical and basic science research as well as health policy, quality improvement, and patient safety.
The Department of Radiology provides a full array of diagnostic and interventional services, including: advanced cardiac imaging, abdominal imaging, breast imaging, carotid artery stenting, thoracic imaging, computed tomography (CT), general diagnostic imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), molecular imaging and nuclear medicine, musculoskeletal imaging, neuroradiology, oncologic imaging, pediatric imaging, PET/CT imaging, ultrasound, and vascular and interventional services.
Recent clinical highlights include the addition of two dual-energy/multi-energy CT scanners that are capable of material decomposition and allow our faculty to interpret diseases and pathology of myriad organ systems with greater precision and accuracy. The breadth of experience among our faculty is reflected in a wide range of clinical activities, including intensive collaborative clinical work with our colleagues in the emergency medicine department and surgical and medical divisions. Our collaborative efforts with the emergency medicine department using trauma imaging protocols are internationally known. Our experts in computed tomography, breast imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, molecular imaging, radiography, and fluoroscopy are committed to training the next generation of radiologists while delivering cutting-edge clinical care. These include novel approaches in prostate imaging and biopsy guidance using navigator technology, machine-learning research, low-dose CT protocols, novel pulse sequences on MRI, new contrast agents, cutting-edge image-guided surgical procedures, research related to healthcare disparities and imaging access/utilization, and delivery of novel therapeutics in both the interventional radiology and molecular imaging divisions.
The department currently offers a highly competitive, four-year Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)–accredited Diagnostic Radiology Residency, including one designated early specialization in interventional radiology (ESIR) position, and a five-year ACGME–accredited Integrated Interventional Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology (IR/DR) Residency. These programs provide residents with a broad range and depth of experience and academic exposure to develop superior interpretive skills in diagnostic radiology and strong technical skills in image-guided interventions. Known for its “resident-driven” focus, its hands-on learning, and innovative teaching, the residency graduates highly accomplished and independent radiologists who are sought after for both private practice and academic positions across the globe. Most graduates do pursue fellowship training after completing the residency, some of whom choose to remain at Boston Medical Center. Many of the graduates go on to become leaders in clinical practice, quality improvement, research, advocacy, and education. In addition, the department offers one-year fellowships in interventional radiology, neuroradiology, musculoskeletal imaging, abdominal imaging, and breast imaging. Although the main goal of the residency program is clinical excellence, the residency and fellowship programs provide comprehensive exposure to research, education, and global health.
Recent educational highlights include incorporation of several innovative supplementary experiences such as:
- The Research and Innovation for Scholars and Entrepreneurs (RISE) Program, a structured curriculum that provides trainees with the essential skills to succeed in academic radiology through interactive didactic sessions and protected academic time to pursue research during residency;
- Formal international radiology elective in Japan, ensuring that our trainees are prepared to provide high-quality imaging across different healthcare delivery systems; and
- Longitudinal wellness and coaching program, which is fully integrated into the residency training program.
Upon completion of training, all trainees are eligible for board certification through the American Board of Radiology.
Finally, the Department of Radiology also plays an important role in educating students throughout the four-year Chobanian & Avedisian SOM and Physician Assistant curricula. Led by our vice-chair of education, Dr. Harprit Bedi, trainees and faculty teach key imaging concepts across all years of training and provide longitudinal mentoring for those students who decide to pursue radiology as a career. Residents have the opportunity to teach in basic science courses, under the guidance of Dr. Kitt Shaffer, and to mentor students working on research projects with various staff members in radiology. The emphasis is on innovative interactive teaching formats with flipped classrooms and use of audience response systems as well as interactive websites.
In the third-year clerkship, led by Dr. Harprit Bedi, students engage in case discussions and complete OSCE-based imaging exercises and multiple interactive teaching sessions. A special Education elective with Dr. Ashley Davidoff is offered monthly to fourth-year students who have particular interest in helping to develop new educational experiences for students and trainees, including contributing cases to the BMC Radiology Teaching database.
The radiology department also participates in several outreach programs for local and national medical enrichment programs for high school students, with assistance from radiology residents and Education elective Chobanian & Avedisian SOM students. Radiologic-anatomy correlation is provided for students in the BU Physician Assistant training program by Drs. Shaffer and Bedi, and Dr. Higgins has developed an IR elective for PA students. Dr. Shaffer also offers interactive case-based radiology-anatomy correlation sessions in the BU 4th-year Clinical Anatomy elective, in the BU 2nd-year Introduction to Clinical Medicine, in the BU 4th-year Surgery Bootcamp elective, and for Internal Medicine residents on appropriate use of radiology services. Radiology residents and fellows with interest in gaining experience with interactive digital teaching methodology are encouraged to participate in all of these programs.
Research is an integral part of the Department of Radiology, reflecting a major commitment to advancing knowledge and improving patient care and outcomes. Research interests span all areas, including basic science clinical and translational projects, artificial intelligence and machine learning, healthcare disparities, health policy and advocacy, quality improvement, education, and even global health. Collaborations with faculty at the Charles River Campus and across institutions also exist. The ultimate goal of all of these research endeavors is to advance imaging care in a manner that improves patient outcomes and the health of the community that we serve.
Integral to our research program is the Center for Translational Neurotrauma Imaging at Boston University, codirected by Radiology investigators Stephan Anderson, MD, and Lee Goldstein, MD, PhD, which houses both clinical (3.0T) and preclinical (9.4T) MRI installations as well as ultrasound technology and seek to improve brain imaging techniques and open doors to developing diagnostics and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, in an ongoing series of publications led by Dr. Osamu Sakai, the neuroradiology division has been applying cutting-edge texture analysis and artificial intelligence/machine-learning techniques to better characterize disease and predict treatment outcomes, enabling individualized patient care. Investigators in neuroradiology, including Drs. Asim Mian and Chad Farris, are also applying myriad imaging approaches to better understand and diagnose traumatic brain imaging (TBI), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and Alzheimer’s disease.
Finally, Dr. Clare Poynton received the 2022 General Electric Radiology Research Academic Fellowship (GERRAF) award, which supports her research determining the role of machine learning algorithms in predicting response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in treatment-naive breast cancer patients. Dr. Christina LeBedis received the 2022 RSNA Emerging Issues-Health Disparities award, which supports her research on addressing disparities in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) surveillance using implementation strategies that have been developed to rapidly and effectively address urgent issues threatening the health and well-being of disparate populations. This is a collaborative research project with Dr. Arpan Monhanty in the Department of Gastroenterology at Boston Medical Center.
In addition, Dr. Jordana Phillips is actively investigating the role of contrast-enhanced mammography in the early detection of breast cancer and in the management of patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent breast cancer.
Our research program is supported by grants from:
- American College of Radiology (Fishman)
- Ascelia (Anderson/Chang)
- Association of University Radiology (Fishman)
- Bayer (Chang)
- Brainomix (Abdalkader)
- ClinChoice/Subtle (Sakai)
- INSTYLLA (Ganguli)
- INSTYLLA/HALT (Ganguli)
- IQVIA (Soto)
- Medtronic (Nguyen)
- NIH/ELGAN3/BMC Pediatrics (Jara)
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation (Couey/Sakai)
- Philips Healthcare (Anderson)
- Philips Healthcare (Castro-Aragon)
- Philips Healthcare (Murakami)
- Philips Healthcare (Sakai)
- Prevent Cancer Foundation (Phillips)
- RECOR (Guez)
- Society of Vascular & Interventional Neurology (Nguyen)
- TMIST (Fishman)
Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
- Alzheimer’s Association (Hua)
- Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Competitive Capital Program (Anderson/Goldstein)
- MTEC/NAVY/DOD (Goldstein)
- NIH/Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Guermazi)
- NIH/Johns Hopkins University (Guermazi)
- NIH/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Goldstein)
- NIH/Massachusetts General Hospital (Goldstein)
- NIH/NIA (Goldstein)
- NIH/NIA (Goldstein)
- NIH/NIA (Goldstein/Au)
- NIH/NIA (Goldstein/Hinman)
- NIH/NIA (Goldstein/Xia)
- NIH/NINDS/Rebion (Goldstein)