Department of Radiology

November 2010

Announcements: Stanford Center for Cancer Systems Biology November Seminar Series

CCSB November Seminar Series_350 copy.jpg

For more information, please contact Anita Samantaray, MPH, CCSB Program Manager, at 650.725.6070.

New Staff Hires and Promotions: Anita Samantaray, MPH

Samantaray_Anita.jpgAnita Samantaray, MPH, recently joined our Department as the program manager of our Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB).

Prior to joining our Department, she was the project manager of Family and Community Medicine in the Stanford University School of Medicine. In addition, Anita has worked at the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA)/Drew Schools of Medicine as manager of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension (Internal Medicine) and as a health sciences specialist at the Palo Alto VA Hospital in the Division of Cardiology (Internal Medicine).

Anita received her master's degree in public health at Loma Linda University after earning her bachelor of science in neurobiology, physiology, & behavior from the University of California, Davis. Outside of work, she is involved with Empower Tanzania, an organization that works in partnership with Tanzanians to develop sustainable models to enhance the quality of life and resilience of rural areas through health improvements, education and economic empowerment.

Anita is a Bay Area native who enjoys being newly married, studying languages, scuba diving, and practicing transcendental meditation.

Awards and Honors: November 22, 2010

Ringertz100120.jpgHans Ringertz, MD, PhD, has received the Special Presidential Award by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) for his "significant contributions to the field of radiology or the radiologic sciences." Dr. Ringertz will receive his award at the 2010 RSNA.

According to 2010 RSNA President Hedvig Hricak, MD, PhD, Drhc, Dr. Ringertz “is the pioneer of pediatric MR imaging, a world leader in radiation safety, and headed one of the most prestigious university radiologic departments in the world. His membership on and presidency of the Nobel committee always ensured biomedical imaging a fair review.” Dr. Ringertz describes receiving the Special Presidential Award "as unreal—it is I who should express my gratitude to American radiology for all the possibilities it has given to me" ("Special Presidential Award."). To read more about his award, please access the RSNA News: "Special Presidential Award."

Dr. Ringertz was professor and chairman of the Department of Radiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm from 1984 to 2006 and is currently serving as professor emeritus. Dr. Ringertz has a long history with the Karolinska Institute where he obtained his medical degree and a doctorate in biophysics 5 years later. Early on, Dr. Ringertz held research positions at the Institute's Department of Physiology and Department of Medical Physics. In 1969, he began a residency in diagnostic radiology. Only 9 years later, he became chair of the Department of Radiology at the Sachs' Pediatric Hospital in Stockholm. He returned to the Karolinska Institute in 1984. Dr. Ringertz has also served as a visiting professor in the Department of Radiology at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University Hospital. He is a member of more than 24 professional organizations and has acted as an invited lecturer or chairman at many scientific and professional meetings and workshops. He has received numerous awards, including honorary memberships in 14 radiological societies such as Honorary Fellow of the American College of Radiology (FACR); Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists, London, England, (FRCR); and Honorary Fellow Faculty for Radiologists of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (FFRRCSI). In 2003, he was chair of the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute. Dr. Ringertz serves as editor or ad hoc referee on the editorial board of a dozen medical publications worldwide. He was president of the European Association of Radiology from 1997 to 1999 and was awarded the Gold Medal of the European Congress of Radiology and the European Association of Radiology.

To view his prior blog posting, please access "Awards and Honors: February 2007."

In the News: F. Graham Sommer, MD

Sommer.jpgHigh Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) research by Dr. F. Graham Sommer and his colleagues was recently featured in the RSNA News: “HIFU Offers Promising Outcomes as Prostate Cancer Treatment.

MR-guided transurethral HIFU promises to preserve the urethra from damage by resection and ablation from sound waves. The technique developed by Dr. Sommer and his team involves using an MR-guided transurethral applicator (TA) in the urethra that emits high-intensity ultrasound in a pattern designed to ablate, or destroy, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) tissue in the lateral portions of the prostate gland. A similar approach should also be possible using focal therapy to ablate regions of the prostate involved with prostate cancer. The color overlay of temperature allows monitoring of the procedure, so that targeted tissue may be ablated without damaging normal adjacent structures.

According to Dr. Sommer, "[o]ur technique also looks very promising for benign prostatic hyperplasia, which could be an even more important application of HIFU than as a treatment for prostate cancer" (“HIFU Offers Promising Outcomes as Prostate Cancer Treatment”).

Awards and Honors: November 19, 2010

Wu_100100.jpgJoseph Wu, MD, PhD, has received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, "the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers" ("Emerging Scientists Win Federal Award"). Dr. Wu was named by President Obama to receive this Award as 1 of 85 scientists who "have shown such tremendous promise so early in their careers" and who will make "discoveries that will continue to move our nation forward in the years ahead" ("President Honors Outstanding Early-Career Scientists").

Ten federal departments and agencies annually nominate the most "meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions" ("President Honors Outstanding Early-Career Scientists"). Nominated by . . .

the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Dr. Wu is 1 of 4 Stanford scientists to receive this award, which includes up to 5 years of funding to pursue innovative research. To read more, please access "Stem Cells to Hypersonic Vehicles: Four Young Scientists Win Presidential Award."

Prior to joining our faculty, Dr. Wu completed his fellowship and residency at the University of Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center. He received his MD from Yale University School of Medicine and his PhD from UCLA Department of Molecular Pharmacology. Dr. Wu's clinical interests include adult congenital heart disease, nuclear cardiology, and echocardiography. His basic research focus is on the biological mechanisms of adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells. He and his team use a combination of gene profiling, tissue engineering, physiological testing, and molecular imaging technologies to better understand stem cell biology in vitro and in vivo. They are interested in monitoring stem cell survival, proliferation, and differentiation for adult stem cells, while for embryonic stem cells, they are currently studying their tumorigenicity, immunogenicity, and differentiation. Further information is available at his lab website:

Dr. Wu has published over 100 articles. He has also received many awards, including the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Biomedical Scientists, the American College of Cardiology Cardiovascular Imaging Award, the Baxter Foundation Faculty Award, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and the NIH Transformative R01 Award.

To read more about Dr. Wu's prior awards, please see "New Faculty Hires and Promotions: Joe Wu, MD, PhD"; "In the News: Joe Wu, MD, PhD"; "Awards and Honors I: October 9, 2009"; "Research by Dr. Wu and Colleagues Induces Fat Cells to Become iPS Cells"; "Awards and Honors: April 17, 2009";; ; ; and

Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Seeing the Person Behind the Images

Debra_250.gifDebra with Gilah, her Havanese, who stayed by her side during her two-month recovery after lung surgery: "My husband put her on the bed in the AM before work and took her off nine hours later when he came home. If he left her on the floor, she would cry the whole time he was gone because it was her 'job' to protect me."

By Julie Ruiz-Wibbelsmann, PhD

"We all know that Donna Cronister is special, but let me tell you why she is my personal angel,” said Debra Frank, Radiology administrative associate for the 3D Lab and Drs. Sandy Napel and David Paik. “When I was mailing a card to Donna in thanks for her help on a project, I tripped near the mail boxes on Palm Drive, and I fell, injuring my knee and arm. I had to have stitches to close the cut on my knee as well as a chest X-ray for the pain in my arm.” Because her general practitioner thought he saw something suspicious on the chest X-ray, Debra was sent to Stanford for a CT scan in November of 2007. “If it wasn’t for our Stanford radiologists, I might not be as healthy as I am today. Almost from my first scan, they thought I could have lung cancer.”

Debra was shocked. She had never smoked and had no family history of lung cancer. Before a lung biopsy could be done, she had to see a pulmonologist and an endocrinologist to rule out other diagnoses. Stanford pulmonologists sent her for many tests including a PET/CT scan, bronchoscopy, and another CT scan. After other possible diagnoses were ruled out, she . . .

. . . scheduled an appointment with Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Richard Whyte for a lung biopsy in July of 2008. “After spending seven days in the hospital, I was about to be released without knowing the results of my pathology report. Dr. Whyte walked in the room to discharge me and found me pretty upset. After nine very long months I still did not know whether I had lung cancer or not. Dr. Whyte was wonderful. He went to Pathology and asked to see my preliminary report. The radiologists who had read my first CT scan in late 2007 were correct; I had nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC).”

“The surgery to remove the cancer was rough,” Debra recounted. “The tumor was in the upper lobe of my right lung. There are three lobes on the right side and only two on the left side. The lobes on the left side are near the heart, which is why surgery on the left lobes generally takes much longer and may require a cardiac surgeon in addition to a thoracic surgeon. My surgery was two and a half hours, and I didn't lose a lot of my right lung. After they took out the upper lobe, the lower lobe in my right lung moved up to fill that space. The recovery was really rough because they had to make a seven-inch incision following the curve of my shoulder blade to reach the upper lobe. It has taken a long time for me to heal and some of my nerves still haven't completely regenerated. However, the constant cough I had for about ten years is gone as is the stabbing back pain I had for about a year before my surgery. My husband and daughter used to be able to locate me in public just by listening for my cough. Now I have to remember to carry my cell phone so they can find me.”

Working in our Department, Debra has seen her own images in the 3D Lab and is amazed at their clarity and at the fact that the radiologists can pick up features as small as 1 mm. Because November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Debra wanted to share her story to remind everyone “that there is a real person connected to all of these images, and it could very well be one of our colleagues.” She also wants to thank everyone in the Department for the great job they do: “currently, only 15% of people diagnosed with lung cancer make it to the five-year mark, yet here I am almost two and a half years later, cancer free.”

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. It is the most common fatal cancer in men (30%) (followed by prostate (9%) and colon & rectal (9%) cancers) and in women (26%), followed by breast (15%) and colon & rectal (9%) cancers. Fifty-three percent of lung cancer in women is not attributed to smoking (from

Because lung cancer is usually diagnosed at a late stage, it is very challenging to treat. However, there has been a recent breakthrough in the early detection of lung cancer using CT. A 2010 study from the National Cancer Institute found that there were 20% less lung cancer deaths in patients who were screened with CT scans than those screened with chest X-rays ( To learn more about this recent discovery highlighted on a news clip from ABC News Channel 7, please access “The NEW Face of Lung Cancer--w/Breaking News Intro,” which also features an interview with Bonnie J. Addario, founder of the Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF). Bonnie is a lung cancer survivor who established the BJALCF on March 6, 2006, after Dana Reeve (the wife of Christopher Reeve) lost her own battle with lung cancer shortly after her diagnosis.

In its first four years of existence, Bonnie's foundation raised over four million dollars with the ultimate goal of increasing the low survival rate of lung cancer by “becoming the largest source of non-profit funding dedicated to turning lung cancer into a manageable chronic disease” ( The lack of funding for lung cancer research has kept the overall survival rate at 15.5%, which is the same as it was forty years ago (from To help further lung cancer research, Bonnie established the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI) in 2008, which is dedicated “to catalyzing and accelerating the discovery, development and delivery of new and more effective treatment options for lung cancer patients” through projects that focus on early detection, genetic testing, drug discovery, and patient-focused outcomes.

The NEW Face of Lung Cancer--w/Breaking News Intro” also tells the story of Jill Costello, a twenty-two year old UC Berkeley student and athlete who passed away from lung cancer on June 24, 2010, just one year after her diagnosis. You can learn more about her life on You Tube at “Jill Costello at Berkeley, September 28, 2009”; “Jill Costello and Cal Crew Fight Cancer”; and “In Memory of Jill Costello.” The first “Jog for Jill” fundraiser was held on Oct. 3, 2010. The BJALCF also holds a “Jog for Those You Love National Walk/Run Series.” To learn more, please access Other fundraising events include the upcoming “Porsche 2011” classic car show on October 16, 2011.

Danielle Hicks, director of patient advocacy and community relations for the Foundation, created a monthly support group in San Carlos called “The Living Room” for those who are living with lung cancer. According to Danielle, the group's name comes from the desire to create “a space where hope is at the core and where patients and their families, caregivers, and friends could come and share their stories, talk through their struggles, and give one another advice and offer support.” Meeting speakers include pulmonologists, oncologists, yoga instructors, nurse practitioners, and published authors.

The Living Room recently featured author Randy Broad who spoke about his book It's an Extraordinary Life--Don't Miss It. To read his introduction, “Waking Up,” please access Waking Up.pdf, in which he summarizes the main purpose of his book: “I must stress that this book is NOT about cancer. It’s about living an extraordinary life and not waiting to have something like cancer to open your door to living it. cover_150.jpg
As such, I’m highlighting cancer as the instigator. It took cancer for me to realize just how short life is, how important really living it is and then [to] possess the ability to share it with the clarity that having this disease provides.”

Meeting every third Tuesday of each month from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Lung Cancer Foundation offices in San Carlos, The Living Room is celebrating its one-year anniversary, and attendees have expressed their gratitude for the group: “Thank you so much for the honesty, sharing your personal stories, advice, and anecdotal suggestions. What a wealth of knowledge our combined group possesses!” For more information regarding The Living Room, please access

Looking back on her experiences, Debra remarked that she has now become familiar with many Stanford medical facilities and has found the Stanford Medicine Imaging Center (SMIC), Palo Alto, on Sherman Avenue to be quite patient centric: “In some ways, it is like a day spa because they have large-screen TVs, an espresso machine, computers for patient use, as well as free parking. In addition, each person gets his or her own changing room with chairs and a locker.” She also reflected on all the equipment that she has become familiar with in the Stanford Department of Radiology after undergoing CT, MRI, PET/CT, and bone scans, as well as ultrasound imaging: “I joke with Dr. Napel that if I had known I would personally have to test out all the equipment I might have had second thoughts about taking my job. I just hope there is nothing else on order!”

“I would like to dedicate this article to Jason Pick who I am pretty sure is now rowing crew with Jill,” Debra added.

Stanford Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Clinic Opens

We have significantly expanded our Stanford Nuclear Medicine Division with the opening of the Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Clinic at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. Housing state-of-the-art imaging equipment, our new Center will "help advance a new generation of diagnostic techniques for earlier detection and improved management of cancer, heart disease and neurological disorders" ("New Imaging Clinic to Help Doctors Identify Diseases at the Molecular Level").

Ribbon cutting ceremony at our new Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Clinic
Left to right: Elizabeth Sheridan (Radiology Marketing Representative); Andrew Quon, MD (Radiologist); Andrei Iagaru MD (Radiologist); Jayesh Patel (Technical Manager Nuclear Medicine); Sanjiv Sam Gambhir MD, PhD (Radiologist; Director of MIPS; Director of the Canary Center; Chief of Nuclear Medicine); Sheila Galuppo (Radiology Marketing Manager)

Awards and Honors: November 12, 2010

HofmannLawrenceRusty_150150.jpgLawrence "Rusty" Hofmann, MD, associate professor and chief of interventional radiology, is the inaugural recipient of the Ohio State School of Medicine Early Career Achievement Award for his significant contributions to the field of medicine before the age of 40. In addition to "distinguished early career achievement," the Award criteria includes "demonstrated leadership capability"; "commitment to the service of others"; "potential for leadership/distinction in the long term"; and "substantial commitment to College of Medicine, OSU Medical Center and its mission" (Early Career Achievement Award ).

Dr. Hofmann received his medical degree from the Ohio State University School of Medicine and completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was elected chief resident. He completed his fellowship in cardiovascular and interventional radiology at Stanford University Medical Center and returned to The Johns Hopkins Hospital to become an assistant professor of radiology and surgery for five years before coming to Stanford in 2006.

Dr. Hofmann's clinical research interests include the minimally invasive treatment for deep venous thrombosis as well as the treatment of pulmonary embolus. Focusing on novel therapies for the treatment of cancer, Dr. Hofmann's basic science research interests are concentrated on the development of molecular image-guided therapies. He is a founding member of the American Journal of Nanomedicine, and he has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Roentgenology, the Journal of Vascular Surgery, and the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. His many medical affiliations include membership in the Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology and the American Roentgen Ray Society.

In his free moments, Dr. Hofmann enjoys spending time with his family watching the Ohio Buckeye football games and taking his three sons fishing on his boat.

To view his prior blog postings, please access "In the News: Drs. Kothary, Kuo, and Hofmann"; "Stanford IR Research Honored at SIR"; "Dr. Lawrence "Rusty" Hofmann Featured in"; "New Interventional Radiology Rooms Open in the Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Center (SCCC)/Advanced Medical Center (AMC)"; and "New Faculty Hires and Promotions: January 2006-February 2007."

Awards and Honors: November 6, 2010


Gary Glover, PhD, director of the Radiological Sciences Laboratory in the Richard M. Lucas Center for Imaging; professor of radiology and, by courtesy, of electrical engineering and of psychology, has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering. University President Robert Bruininks presented the Award to Dr. Glover at a special awards ceremony.

The Outstanding Achievement Award is the second highest honor given by the University of Minnesota and is not bestowed annually but only when there are "graduates who have attained unusual distinction in their professions or in public service, and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership" ("President of ATG Labs Receives Outstanding Achievement Award").

Prior to joining our Department in 1990, Dr. Glover worked at GE’s Corporate Research and Development Center and at GE Medical Systems for more than 20 years. Dr. Glover’s research focuses on the physics and mathematics of CT and MR imaging. Through his research, he has helped develop products that have greatly improved patient care. He has published more than 300 scientific research articles and is named on approximately 50 patents. One of Dr. Glover's research interests was published in an article he coauthored entitled “Control Over Brain Activation and Pain Learned by Using Real-Time Functional MRI" in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS) (2005 102:18626-18631; published online before print December 13, 2005, doi:10.1073/pnas.0505210102).

To access his prior blog postings, please see "Awards and Honors: March 3, 2010";
"The Laughing Subject"; "Pain Research by Drs. Sean Mackey, Chris deCharms, Gary Glover, and Colleagues Featured in Nature"; and "Tsinghua University's 'Oversea Expert,' Dr. Gary Glover."

New Faculty Hires and Promotions: Sharon Pitteri, PhD

Thumbnail image for sharon-pitteri.jpgThe Department of Radiology welcomes Dr. Sharon Pitteri! Dr. Pitteri joins us as an Assistant Professor, Radiology effective November 1, 2010!

Congratulations, Dr. Pitteri!

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