Essential to the practice of Interventional Radiology is the availability of research facilities to ensure the clinical techniques have asound experimental basis. The John S. Dunn Research Foundation Center for Radiological Sciences is such a facility. The Center serves as the pre-clinical research facility for Interventional Radiology as well as providing imaging and lab support for other investigators. The Center provides physicians and scientists a setting in which to develop new techniques and to modify existing techniques to make them more effective when translated into the clinical setting. Often times this means developing an animal model, imaging agent, or device that is suitable for the proposed project. All of which is made possible by the generous support of the John S. Dunn Foundation.
In 1970, the Department of Diagnostic Radiology established a research laboratory for the purpose of improving patient care through innovative research and education. The facilities were dedicated as the John S. Dunn Research Foundation Center for Radiological Sciences in 1981. Since its inception, the Center has evolved into one of the world’s premier translational (bench-to-bedside) research facilities in the field of Interventional Radiology.
The mission of the Center is to improve the management of cancer patients through the development and teaching of imaging-guided minimally invasive techniques for treatment and diagnosis.
To accomplish our mission, we utilize the funding provided by the John S. Dunn Foundation, to employ the staff and maintain the Center for Radiological Sciences which in turn allows us to provide laboratory space and support for physicians and scientists as well as an incubator program for young researchers who otherwise would not have laboratory space or personnel to support their research. Specifically, we provide:
- A setting in which to develop new techniques and to modify existing techniques to make them more effective for clinical use
- A setting to develop, test and refine devices, drugs, and imaging agents to improve the treatment and quality of life of patients
- Training and educational programs
Current Research Programs
- Development of imaging-guided delivery techniques that enhance the therapeutic index of chemo, immuno, biologic and gene therapies
- Development of agents and techniques for improved arterial embolization and chemoembolization
- Development of techniques and agents for image-guided thermal and chemical ablation of tumors
- Formulation of transcatheter devices and techniques for diagnosis, palliation and treatment
- Development and validation of CT perfusion imaging techniques to analyze tumor blood perfusion and vascular permeability for dynamic estimation of angiogenic activity and response to therapy
- Identification and evaluation of ligands that bind selectively to tumor vasculature for the purposes of targeted delivery of imaging and therapeutic agents
- Development of ways to non-invasively image tumor apoptosis and necrosis
- Study of tumorigenicity and metastasis using green fluorescent protein (GFP)-transfected tumor cell lines
John S. Dunn Foundation
Michael Wallace, M.D.
Sidney Wallace, M.D.
Equally important, the Center conducts training programs designed to teach procedural and investigative (experimental design) skills to physicians and scientists. Since 1980, over 400 physicians from numerous countries have participated in the Center’s training programs, which have included the Clinical Fellow Research Training Program, Hands-On Training in Interventional Radiology, the Post-graduate Research Training Program, and the Observer Program. One of the goals of Dr. Erik Cressman, the Director of the Center for Radiological Sciences, is the further expansion of our educational/training programs. With the formal establishment of a separate, new residency (Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, DR/IR) there will be new opportunities to incorporate research training into the curriculum for a new generation of physicians.
Clinical Fellowship Training Program
For one year, interested fellows spend time in the John S. Dunn Research Foundation Center for Radiological Sciences participating in one or more research projects selected and designed by the trainee under the guidance of research and clinical faculty.
Postgraduate Research Program
Post-graduate Research Training Program provides research (experimental design/conduct) training for postdoctoral students who spend 6-24 months in the laboratory participating in pre-clinical research projects.
These research oriented programs provide hands-on training for the participants in conducting research projects as they work with their IR faculty mentor(s) and Center staff. As knowledge and skills are gained these trainees take on increasing levels of responsibility within a given project, ultimately taking responsibility for planning and conducting the research under the guidance of their mentor(s). Participants in both programs are expected to present their research results at major scientific meetings. These training programs have been expanded to include graduate and medical students as well as summer interns.