ASRT Foundation Selects Award Recipients for International Collaborative Clinical Research Grant

Nov. 10, 2020

Brian Johnson, Ph.D., R.T.(MR)(N), CNMT, and Christine Heales, Ph.D., DCR(R), MSc (Medical Imaging), PgC (MRI), PgC (Academic Practice), PgC (MRI Reporting), have been selected as recipients of the ASRT Foundation's International Collaborative Clinical Research Grant. The first-ever award pairs a U.S.-based researcher with an international co-investigator to conduct a research study.

Their study will consider the ability of a lesser known magnetic resonance imaging technique, intravoxel incoherent motion, or IVIM, to assess multiple sclerosis lesions without the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents. The study could benefit the multiple sclerosis community as MS patients require multiple follow-up scans. In addition, the procedure under investigation could result in increased patient safety. IVIM is a technique that can be acquired on most current clinical MRI scanners, enhancing the ability for clinical adoption.

Dr. Johnson is a magnetic resonance national clinical service specialist at Philips, co-creator of ImagingU, an online MRI education resource, and a research associate at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He received his undergraduate degree in radiologic sciences from Thomas Jefferson University and earned a doctorate in kinesiology with a concurrent master of science in bioengineering from Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Johnson has more than 15 years of combined clinical and research experience utilizing advanced MR applications and ultra-high field MRI systems.

Dr. Heales specializes in MR at the University of Exeter, a public research university in Exeter, Devon, South West England, United Kingdom. In addition to teaching and supporting research within the Exeter medical imaging program, Dr. Heales is a reviewer for the journal Radiography, an approval and accreditation assessor for the Society and College of Radiographers, as well as an external examiner in postgraduate CT and MRI for City University of London. She has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Exeter.

The ASRT Foundation International Collaborative Clinical Research Grant supports medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals aspiring to partner with an international colleague to conduct a clinically focused scientific research project in radiologic technology. Anticipated total grant funds for the U.S. and U.K researcher will not exceed $50,000. An initiative spearheaded by former ASRT President Melissa Jackowski, Ed.D., R.T.(R)(M), FASRT, the three-year program is designed to foster international collaboration in the medical imaging and radiation therapy research communities.