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BRAIN initiative at the NIH

The BRAIN Initiative will be holding two virtual workshops in February 18-19 and March 9-11 to review and assess current projects and future opportunities to develop and disseminate technologies for non-invasive imaging of human brain function. Several Gordon Center Faculty members will be contributing to the workshop through presentations, moderation, and panel discussions.

Artificial Intelligence Accelerates MRI Parameter Mapping

In Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Georges El Fakhri, PhD, director of the Gordon Center for Medical Imaging in the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Fang Liu, PhD, a researcher in the center, and colleagues describe their newest effort, a method that rapidly creates realistic MRI parameter maps by incorporating adversarial training into a previously created deep learning framework.

Director Georges El Fakhri inducted as Fellow of the IAMBE

Georges El Fakhri

Georges El Fakhri, PhD, DABR, director of the Gordon Center for Medical Imaging, was inducted as Fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (IAMBE) for outstanding contributions to molecular imaging technology and its clinical applications. IAMBE fellows are recognized by the Academy for their outstanding contributions to the profession of medical and biomedical […]

Dr. Raiyan Zaman awarded 2020 WIMIN Rising Star Award

Dr. Zaman was chosen as an award winner for the 2020 Rising Star Award from the WIMIN interest group at the World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC). The award recognizes the contributions of exceptional early career women scientists who are demonstrating outstanding potential for contributions to the field of molecular imaging. Dr. Zaman delivered a talk at the […]

HST 565 Fall 2020 has started

Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology course “medical imaging sciences and applications” for Fall 2020 starts September 1st. See the course page for details This course covers the biophysical, biomedical, mathematical and instrumentation basics of positron emission tomography (PET), x-ray and computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), single photon emission tomography (SPECT), optical imaging and […]

Gordon Center researchers honored with Top Poster Nominations at SNMMI annual meeting

Drs. Moses Wilks and Dennis Wu were nominated for Top Poster Awards at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2020 annual meeting. Dr. Wilks’s poster was a finalist in the “Oncology: Basic, Translational & Therapy Track” and presented “Nanoparticle-Based PET Imaging of T-cell Trafficking in Immuno-Competent Murine Tumor Models”. Below is a […]

Raiyan Zaman receives Anne Klibanski Visiting Scholars Award

The MGH Center for Faculty Development presented Dr. Raiyan T. Zaman of the MGH Gordon Center with the Anne Klibanski Visiting Scholars Award. This award provides an opportunity to serve as “virtual” Visiting Professor to give Grand Rounds at a national or international institution, organized by the Center for Faculty Development. The award is presented to women […]

CT Tech on the Front Line of Coronavirus Fight

Julia Kaiser in CT
Julia Kaiser, CNMT RT(N)(CT)

Julia Kaiser is a Senior Research Technologist and a certified PET/CT tech at the Gordon Center. She volunteered at MGH to screen COVID-19 with CAT scans. We shared our phone conversation with her below.

What inspired you to volunteer?

During a town hall, I heard that people were needed in the X-ray department to help with the increased demand for chest x-rays primarily on COVID-19 patients being performed with portable x-ray.

Since I am certified in both Nuclear Medicine and CT, I volunteered and was approved to back fill in the CT department in the evening shift from 3:30-Midnight. 

What’s the first impression you recall from your redeployment?

After working from home for several weeks, I was struck by how much the hospital looked and felt different.  The lobby was quite empty in comparison to a normal mid-afternoon.  Secondly, there were security personnel checking ID’s and COVID Passes to ensure all employees were symptom free before entering.  Then you walk through a maze of tables to disinfect your hands and receive your surgical mask, which must be worn the entire time you are in the hospital. 

Julia at CT scan
Julia at the MGH CT Scan department

Can you describe what you did?

I worked in a two-person team: each CT scanner was operated using a 2 Tech model, where one was the ‘Clean Tech’ and one was the ‘Dirty Tech’ since exams required precautions. For each scan, the Clean Tech performed the image acquisition from the control room.  The Dirty Tech donned all personal protective equipment (PPE) and then interacted with the patient: positioning them on the scanner, stepping out of the room for the image acquisition (in the hallway not the control room) minimizing contact with surfaces while wearing potentially contaminated PPE.  When the scan was complete they would re-enter to the scan room to assist the patient back to their stretcher or other mode of transport to return to their rooms. After the patient had left they would carefully remove their PPE (with the exception of the N95 mask), put on clean gloves and then disinfect the scanner.  This included any surfaces which came in contact with the patient or the patient’s belongings.  And last but certainly not least, washing their hands before returning to the clean control room. It was an honor to work alongside the clinical CT Techs and assist during this unusual time.

What takeaway would you like to share?

After effects of wearing an N-95 mask for hours

During my shift, I saw the full spectrum of COVID patients, from those just beginning to be sick, to those getting ready to be discharged.  I also saw some who were the sickest, on ventilators and even one on ECMO, a machine which basically pumps and oxygenates the blood when the heart and lungs are not able to.  This experience made me realize just how serious this disease is, and that taking precautions to prevent being exposed is vitally important to everyone, not just the most vulnerable.  Seeing the lung CT images in these patients was also extremely eye-opening, despite not being qualified to clinically read the images.  Just looking at the percentage of the affected tissue in the lungs in both the very sick and the recovering patients made me concerned for the long-term effects this virus will have on our society as a whole. With COVID-19 being a world-wide problem, I can already see the vast potential for using CT imaging in both diagnostic practice and research studies in the future.  Having even a little bit of experience in imaging the effects of this virus will likely be helpful in assisting researchers to design and perform imaging studies to better understand this disease.

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