ACR Pediatric Imaging Research Committee (ACR-PIR)

This page made possible through the auspices of the Society for Pediatric Radiology.

ACR Pediatric Imaging Research Committee: Connect, Create and Matter

Mission and Leadership

The ACR Pediatric Imaging Research (ACR–PIR) Committee's mission is “to revolutionize the care of children by fostering high-impact diagnostic and therapeutic imaging innovation.” The specific aims of the committee are as follows:

  1.  To create a forum for communication and collaboration amongst pediatric imaging researchers from various institutions and subspecialties;
  2.  To delineate a set of research priorities that will help shift the research focus in the field of pediatric imaging from low-impact concerns to truly transformative ones, generating high impact research capable of attracting support from major funding agencies and enabling major advances of our field;
  3. To facilitate communication and build relationships between pediatric imaging researchers and government agencies, including the NIH and NICHD.

The ACR–PIR Committee works under the leadership of Marta Hernanz-Schulman, MD, Chair of the ACR Pediatric Commission. The Committee is chaired by Heike Daldrup-Link, MD, PhD and Stephan Voss, MD and includes over 20 committee members who represent a combination of senior researchers' expertise and junior researchers' enthusiasm.

     To learn more about a committee member, click on his or her name.          

Heike Daldrup-Link, MD, PhD

Stanford School of Medicine

Priority Leader: Nanomedicine for pediatric
molecular imaging applications

Primary Research Interests: A focus on clinically translatable cellular imaging techniques for cancer imaging and stem cell imaging adopted by many investigators in the international community; Published five patents, four books and more than 100 original research articles.

Research Website


Stephan Voss, MD, PhD

Boston Children's Hospital 

Priority Leader: Develop disease-specific imaging biomarkers 


Kimberly Applegate, MD, MS, FACR 

Emory University


Katherine Barsness, MD, MS

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s
Hospital of Chicago 

Priority Co-leader: Develop novel data processing tools such as 3D printing and bioprinting

Anne Marie Cahill, MBBch, BAO

Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania 

Priority Co-leadar: Develop transformative interventions

Ellen Chung, MD, COL, MC, USA

Uniformed Services University of
the Health Sciences 

Member; ACR-PIR Website Consultant

Primary Research Interests: Radiologic and pathologic correlation.

 Seth Crapp,MD

Children's Hospital of Palm West

 Member; ACR-PIR Website Consultant

Andrea Doria, MD, PhD, MSc

Hospital for Sick Children

Priority Leader: Develop imaging registries
for the collection of “big data” 

Primary Research Interests: To test measurement properties (reliability, validity, responsiveness, sensitivity, specificity) of novel MRI and ultrasound techniques for evaluation of musculoskeletal disorders in the paediatric population; To translate innovative experimental MRI and ultrasound techniques into human clinical research.


Kassa Darge, MD, PhD

Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania 

Priority Co-leader: Substantially reduce or eliminate radiation exposure of pediatric imaging procedures


Steven Don, MD

Washington University 


Primary Research Interests: Focus on digital imaging noise properties, image perception/observer performance and dose reduction in CT and digital radiography; Has received NIH, nongovernmental, and corporate funding; research efforts have resulted in one patent and a quality assurance neonatal chest phantom sold by Gammex.

Research Website (Link contains some open-source software for quantitative imaging.)


Ellen Grant, MD

Children's Hospital Boston

Research Website


Geetika Khanna, MD, MS

Washington University 


Rajesh Krishnamurthy, MD

Texas Children's Hospital 

Priority Leader: Eliminate the need for sedation for pediatric imaging procedures

Edward Y. Lee, MD, MPH

Children's Hospital Boston 


Matthew Lungren, MD

Stanford University

Priority Co-leader: Develop
transformative interventions
Primary Research Interests: Advancing interventional radiology techniques for application in pediatric oncology, pediatric vascular anomalies, and novel infectious disease imaging and therapeutic agents; Other interests include global health imaging and outreach as well as medical imaging utilization in health policy.

Sheila G. Moore, MD

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin 

Priority Leader: Reduce costs for pediatric imaging procedures

Laura Olivieri, MD

George Washington University 

Priority Co-leader: Develop novel data processing
tools such as 3D printing and bioprinting 

Primary Research Interestis: Improving imaging techniques, particularly in cardiac MRI and co-investigator in the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Children’s National partnership dedicated to this effort; Creating a novel, three-dimensional display of congenital cardiovascular defects to both enhance education about heart disease and improve the clinical care and interventional outcomes of children and adults with congenital heart disease. 


Ashok Panigrahy, MD

University of Pittsburgh

Priority Co-leader: Advance quantitative image analyses and computational methods for radio(gen)omics
  Christina Sammet, PhD

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh 

Priority Co-leader: Substantially reduce or eliminate radiation exposure of pediatric imaging procedures

Alexander J. Towbin, MD
Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Priority Co-leader: Advance quantitative image analyses and computational methods for radio(gen)omics 

Andrew Trout, MD

Cincinnati Children's Hospital 

Priority Co-leader: Advance quantitative image analyses
and computational methods for radio(gen)omics 

Primary Research Interests: Broad range of research focused independently in advanced body imaging modalities and in nuclear medicine; Bridging the gap between the two areas by combining modalities to generate additional information about tissue characteristics; projects include research on radiogenomic characterization of pediatric tumors and combining MR and PET data to predict tumor response. 


Shreyas Vasanawala, MD, PhD 

Stanford University


Primary Research Interests: For abdominal and pelvic MRI: the application of fast volumetric imaging to adult and pediatric abdominal tumors, solid organ transplants, renal function, and inflammatory bowel disease; For pediatric cardiovascular MRI: MRI of congenital heart disease; For pediatric musculoskeletal MRI: Applications of fast high-resolution volumetric MRI to sports injuries, tumors, and inflammatory arthropathies.

Research Website


Jessica S. Donig

Stanford University 


Michael Kalutkiewicz, MA

Acadmey of Radiology Research


Ex Officio Member / Advisor

 Nancy Fredericks

American College of Radiology

Staff Liaison

The Research Tab provides information about the ACR-PIR research priorities and the survey tool used to develop the priorities.

Research Priorities for Transformative, High-Impact Pediatric Imaging

Single center research studies tend to produce limited impact due to small evaluated patient populations. The ACR-PIR seeks to form inter- and cross-disciplinary research teams that will work together to improve pediatric patient outcomes through multi-center research activities.

1. Substantially reduce or eliminate radiation exposure of pediatric imaging procedures

Research Leaders:
Christina Sammet, PhD
Kassa Darge, MD, PhD
Donald Frush, MD (initiative advisor)

The image gently campaign has revolutionized the field of pediatric radiology. Given many already optimized procedures, some new research directions in this area target only incremental further improvements. We aim for further major reductions in radiation dose: At least 50% dose reduction for radiographic technologies, sub-mSv acquisitions for computed tomography as well as development of radiation-free imaging technologies.

2. Eliminate the need for sedation for pediatric imaging procedures

Research Leader: 
Rajesh Krishnamurthy, MD, PhD

The acquisition time of many pediatric imaging procedures, such as CT and MRI, have been significantly accelerated during the last several years. However, many imaging procedures still require sedation or anesthesia of young children because they take too long. New and creative approaches for ultra-fast image data acquisition are required to eliminate the need for sedation.

3. Develop imaging registries for collection of “big data”

Research Leader:
Andrea Doria, MD, PhD

Medical research makes increasing use of data-intensive technologies, i.e., there are 4.6 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide and there are between 1 to 2 billion people accessing the internet every day. Input from large target populations could allow us to tackle key clinical questions regarding normal child development, patient compliance and therapy outcomes, among many others. In addition, images obtained at pediatric hospitals worldwide could be collected in dedicated image registries, which could be used to obtain normative data about the growing child, monitor and optimize imaging strategies and eliminate redundant or unnecessary imaging tests. Pediatric image registries could be also used to develop standard reporting guidelines that incorporate quantitative and qualitative metrics. These metrics may be used for required external quality and performance reporting as well as internal QA and QI research. Development, participation, and review of imaging protocols should provide a platform for
improving quality and safety standards in pediatric imaging.

4. Develop disease-specific imaging biomarkers

Research Leader:
Stephan Voss, MD, PhD
Many imaging procedures result in radiology reports with a wide list of differential diagnoses, i.e., maging approaches for newly diagnosed tumors. The development of new biomarkers are needed to enable radiologists to provide ONE single and correct diagnosis.

5. Advance quantitative image analyses and computational methods for radio(gen)omics

Research Leaders:
Ashok Panigrahy, MD, PhD
Alexander Towbin, MD
Andrew Trout, MD
Imaging is more than simple morphological information and will increasingly include quantitative data (see RSNA quantitative imaging initiative). These tests shift our diagnostic efforts from an observing, descriptive process (what is) to predictive-imaginative operations (what will be), thereby fundamentally changing how we approach human pathophysiology--from detecting and treating disease to maintaining human health. Advances in bioinformatics can be leveraged to significantly improve the diagnostic yield of diagnostic imaging studies. The development of novel approaches is critical for the generation and integration of quantitative image data sets, genomic and proteomic data, data mining, and artificial intelligence to recommend imaging tests, predict treatment outcomes, and indicate timing for follow-up studies.

6. Develop transformative interventions

Research Leaders:
Matt Lungren, MD
Anne Marie Cahill, MBBch, BAO

Interventional radiology has reduced the need for invasive surgery for both diagnosis and treatment. Novel treatment methodologies need to be developed. They could be based on disease specific biomarkers, stem cells to regenerate injured body parts such as cirrhotic liver, and targeted drug delivery system (such as lipoid-based), among many others.

7. Nanomedicine for Pediatric Molecular Imaging Applications

Research Leader:
Heike Daldrup-Link, MD, PhD
Nanoscale materials can be employed to develop novel platforms for understanding, diagnosing, and successfully treating pediatric diseases. Integrating nanomedicine with novel multi-modality imaging technologies spurs the development of new personalized diagnostic tests and theranostic (combined diagnostic and therapeutic) procedures. Today, nano-imaging technologies, initially developed in basic science labs, are becoming available for the benefit of our pediatric patients.

8. Develop novel data processing tools, such as 3D printing and bioprinting

Research Leaders:
Katherine Barsness, MD
Laura Olivieri, MD

New initiatives for 3D printing and bioprinting are revolutionizing many areas of the live sciences. Imaging will be an integral part of 3D printing and bioprinting efforts. The ACR-PIR can serve as an enabling hub for new ideas and research efforts around these new technologies.

9. Reduce Costs for Pediatric Imaging Procedures
Research Leader:
Sheila Moora, MD
US health care spending far outpaces that of other industrialized countries. We seek creative
approaches for substantial reduction of health care costs without impairment in health care outcomes
and quality of care. Potential projects under this effort include evaluations of first time seizure patients, without focal
findings, who get brain MRI and sedation. How many of those studies have actionable findings, and whether or not it is worth the money and resources to image these children are target research areas. Another important project would be the evaluation of cost benefit ratios of checking urine pregnancy tests in all girls over 10 before imaging, and whether this is a good use of resources.


Research Priority Survey

The ACR-PIR Committee research priorities were developed with broad input from members of the ACR-PIR Committee and Society of Pediatric Radiology. Input was obtained through committee discussions and responses to the survey posted below that was circulated to SPR members.

Link to survey


The "Publications Tab" is a resource demonstrates the depth and breadth of the ACR-PIR Committee members and provides a sample of their high-impact publications.

Committee Member Publications

General Pediatric Research Topics

Daldrup-Link HE. Voss S, Donig, J. ACR committee on pediatric imaging research. Pediatr Radiol. 44(9):1193-1194

Daldrup-link HE. Basic science research in pediatric radiology - how to empower the leading edge of our field. Pediatr Radiol. 2014;44(8):935-9. 


ACR-PIR White Paper

A subset of ACR-PIR Committee members have volunteered to champion a pediatric imaging research priority topic. These "Priority Leaders" are currently working to develop a white paper that will provide insight about the most pressing needs in the field of pediatric imaging.


Please share pediatric imaging research information and materials that you think may be of interest to others interested in this research field.  Send suggestions to

Text Books

  1. Essentials of Pediatric Radiology; DOI:
  2. Pearls and Pitfalls in Pediatric Imaging: Variants and Other Difficult Diagnoses; DOI:
  3. Laboratory Protocols: A Collection of Cell Tracking Protocols for Imaging and Stem Cell Researchers; Free download via the ibook:

Training Programs

Teaching Videos

Course Materials

Mobile Apps

Other Resources

Grant Opportunities

Request for Research Proposals

The Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Discipline Committee is seeking a request for research proposals from any relevant discipline that will advance basic, translational, or clinical science in adolescent and young adult oncology (defined as cancer patients or survivors diagnosed at 15 to 39 years of age). The award is for $50,000 per year for a maximum of 2 years. The submission deadline is June 1, 2015. Click here for more information


Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Award Opportunity

The 2016-2017 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program to take place in Brussels, Belgium is open to postdoctoral researchers interested in spending 12 months at the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). The selected candidate will receive training in the methodology of cancer clinical and translational research using data from EORTC databases. 

This award is open to medical doctors, statisticians, or translational research scientists interested in entering clinical research. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. The deadline for applications is August 3, 2015.  Click here for more information.