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Dr. Christopher Hensley, Penn Radiology Resident standing in front of Penn PET Explorer machine Chris Hensley, MD, PhD was awarded a 2021 RSNA Research Resident/Fellow Grant for his project: “Elucidating Organelle Compartmentation of Breast Cancer Glutamine Metabolism to Understand Whole Tumor PET Data”

The Penn Radiology Residency Research Track is designed for candidates who wish to make research an integral part of their residency training and career. Funded in part by a National Institutes of Health training grant, the research track integrates research training into a four-year radiology training program. Its aim is to train a generation of clinician scientists to populate leadership positions in academic radiology.

Research Track Structure

The first three years of the research track are spent in clinical radiology, almost identical to the traditional, diagnostic radiology clinical track, including the opportunity to apply for and participate in other elective clinical tracks (BAIR, HLQ, TEACH, Global Health).Penn Radiology Residency Research Track Timeline graphic

To maximize research time, residents will be assigned minimal clinical duties during the research year, thus ensuring a minimum of 10 months of protected research time. Since the research time is integrated into R4 year, there is no extra training time beyond a standard radiology residency program. 

The fourth year is spent working on a research project with in a broad range of categories:

  • Basic science and animal models
  • Translational research
  • Informatics and AI
  • Quality Improvement
  • Imaging development
  • Translation Interventional Radiology

Residents have the autonomy to choose their projects according to their research interest. There are many labs either within the department or across the university that residents collaborate with, such as Alan Chu, MD, PhD joining the Robust Methods for Magnetic Resonance group at Penn.

See work by current and former residents

Research Opportunities and Learning

Monthly small group meetings expose residents to cutting edge science around campus as well as the nuts and bolts of clinical science work.

Penn Accelerator Lab logoCross-disciplinary collaboration with other schools at the University of Pennsylvania with several projects accepted to Penn Medical Device Accelerator and Healthcare Innovation Accelerator Program.

Excellent grantsmanship guidance (as evidenced by our high rate of acceptance rate for the RSNA R&E Foundation Resident/Fellow Research Grant)

Research track residents are strongly encouraged to stay at Penn Medicine for their fellowship to facilitate completion of projects started during their fourth year. To honor that commitment, all research residents are guaranteed a spot in their fellowship of choice, including the two-year Interventional Radiology Independent Residency.


Penn IR Doctor Terence Gade and former resident Brian Park testing AR technology Brian Park, MD, MS (right) and his mentor Terrence Gade, MD, PhD demonstrate the use of the augmented reality system being applied to interventional radiology applications.

World Class Radiology Researchers

Penn Radiology has placed among the top five NIH-funded radiology departments for over 25 years.


PennRadiology former residents Terence Gade and Mark Sellmyer

NIH Award Winners

Current faculty members and former alums of the program, Terence Gade MD, PhD, and Mark Sellymer MD, PhD, were our first trainees to win the prestigious NIH Director's Early Independence Award (2015 and 2017). The award was established in 2011.

*The Academy's NIH Funding to Diagnostic Radiology Data Collection 2017 rankings:
†The Radiology Review 2021 rankings

Research Track Leadership

David A. Mankoff, MD, PhD

David Mankoff, MD, PhD

Research Track Program Director (T32 PI)
Vice Chair for Research, Radiology
Matthew J. Wilson Professor of Research Radiology
RSNA 2020 Outstanding Researcher Award Winner


Terence P. Gade, MD, PhD

Terence P. Gade, MD, PhD

Research Track Co-Program Director (T32 co-PI)
Assistant Professor of Radiology in Cancer Biology
Co-Director, Penn Image-Guided Interventions Laboratory


Penn Radiology Department Chair Mitchell D. Schnall, MD, PhD, FACR

Mitchell D. Schnall, MD, PhD, FACR

Research Track Co-Program Director (T32 co-PI)
Chairman, Department of Radiology
Eugene P. Pendergrass Professor of Radiology


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In This Section

  • Research Track Residents

    Penn Radiology Residents who pursue the research track have varying levels of research interests and academic backgrounds.

  • Alumni Projects

    Penn Radiology research track residents work on a variety of projects with a wide range of departments both in clinical and basic science.

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