Interventional radiologists receive honours from SIR Foundation

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Ziv J Haskal, Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology editor-in-chief, will receive the Leaders in Innovation Award. The foundation will also bestow Young Investigator, Research and Philanthropy Awards during the Society of Interventional Radiology’s (SIR) Annual Scientific Meeting (22–27 March, San Diego, USA).

Ziv J Haskal, an interventional radiologist and editor-in-chief of the Society of Interventional Radiology’s (SIR’s) flagship publication, the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (JVIR), will receive the Leaders in Innovation Award.

Haskal, professor with the department of radiology and medical imaging at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, USA, will be recognised for his pioneering body of work, which includes research into the development of the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt or TIPS, dialysis access and embolization procedures.

“Ziv Haskal is one of the most creative, innovative interventionalists of our generation who combines the best out-of-the-box thinking with formidable intelligence and insight,” said John A Kaufman, chair of the SIR Foundation board of directors. “He doesn’t see the horizon, he sees over it,” added Kaufman, professor and Frederick S Keller Chair of Interventional Radiology at the Dotter Interventional Institute in Portland, USA.

Haskal’s early research in TIPS led to the creation of the TIPS endograft, a device used by the majority of doctors worldwide, resulting in markedly improved patient outcomes and reduced symptoms and need for reintervention. His work in the use of access stent grafts proved them to be the first therapy superior to angioplasty, and his research was subsequently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Gary J Becker Young Investigator Award

Instituted in 1990 to recognise excellence in academic research for SIR members early in their careers, the Gary J. Becker Young Investigator Award, named in honour of the founding editor of JVIR, spotlights the importance of the young investigator in developing interventional solutions for the future.

This year’s award will be presented to Muneeb Ahmed, director of Interventional Services in Radiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and assistant professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School (BIDMC), Boston, for his manuscript, “c-Met Receptor Inhibition Can Suppress Radiofrequency (RF) Ablation-induced Stimulation of Distant Subcutaneous Tumor Growth.” Ahmed’s current research centres on how secondary systemic effects of tumour ablation affect distant tumour growth. Ahmed, who is also director of BIDMC’s Vascular and Interventional Radiology Fellowship, has co-authored more than 40 original research studies and 16 invited reviews

Frederick S Keller, Philanthropist of the Year Award

This year’s recipient of the Frederick S Keller Philanthropist of the Year Award, which honours an individual, family, corporation, patient or volunteer who demonstrates outstanding commitment to SIR Foundation, is William C Culp. A clinician, educator and researcher, Culp is professor of Radiology, Surgery and Neurology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, USA. Culp learned firsthand, as he moved from clinical practice to research and teaching, that one of the most significant challenges for anyone beginning a career in academia was getting outside funding for research. His experience led him to establish, and fund, SIR Foundation’s Academic Transition Grant, which provides resources and training for interventional radiologists over the age of 40 who have recently begun academic careers. To date, the grant has been awarded to six individuals, several of whom have gone on to receive additional funding from other sources and see their research published.

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