The Department of Radiology at Penn Medicine has maintained a top NIH research funding position among American radiology departments for over 25 years. Our overall strength derives from our multidisciplinary focus, the close integration between basic science researchers and clinician-investigators, and blending of disease-oriented and basic science and technology programs.
Radiology research includes basic development of novel instruments and approaches for medical imaging, to translational research designed to move new methods from the bench to the bedside, to clinical trials to using validated methods to answer clinical and biologic questions. Efforts encompass a wide range of modalities - MRI, PET, CT, ultrasound, and optical imaging – and scientific disciplines - instrumentation physics, chemistry for imaging probe development, and the computer science and applied mathematics for image analysis and informatics. Work also includes a range of physiologic systems and disease process that include cancer, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal physiology, neuropsychiatric physiology and disorders, and pulmonary medicine.
Our department’s resources support imaging-related research through core facilities and research training. Active research labs and centers are listed under one of the following broad categories of research:
- Biomedical Informatics – Studies of the science of information related to medical imaging, including image analysis and the integration of data from medical imaging into scientific research and clinical practice.
- Molecular Imaging and Image-Guided Therapy – Studies of imaging designed for the visualization, characterization, and measurement of biological processes at the molecular and cellular levels as well as therapy guided by either anatomic imaging, molecular imaging, or both.
- Image Generation and Quantitative Imaging – Studies developing and validating novel approaches to acquire and generate medical images as well as methods for deriving quantitative metric form medical images.
There are active imaging research training programs for both clinical and basic science trainees that collaborate with the departments of Biochemistry/Biophysics, Bioengineering, Cancer Biology, Computer Science, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Physics. There are two NIH-sponsored training grants at Penn Radiology. At any given time there are approximately 25 postdoctoral fellows and various graduate students working in the department.