The Weill Cornell Medicine/New York Presbyterian Hospital Department of Radiology has a robust research program that spans the entire continuum including fundamental research (basic and applied sciences), translational research, clinical research, and health services research. While we encourage and support our faculty in the pursuit of whatever research interests they so desire, the Department has focused our investments in infrastructure and faculty recruitments based on a strategic plan that is reviewed and updated on an annual basis. Our research strategic plan is based on a three-dimensional matrix among 1) four classes of scientific objectives, 2) five target disease states, and 3) four foci of imaging science expertise.
The four classes of scientific objectives are:
- Imaging Research to Improve Understanding of Normal and Abnormal (Disease-state Specific) Biology and Physiology
- Developing, Optimizing, and Validating Imaging Risk Assessment Tools (Imaging Biomarkers, including correlation of imaging phenotypes with tissue biomarkers)
- Developing, Optimizing, and Validating Image Guided Interventions to Prevent and Treat Disease
- Measuring and Improving Outcomes Related to the Provision of Imaging Tests and Procedures
The five specific disease state targets are:
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- Neurological Diseases
- Oncologic Diseases
- Metabolic Disorders
- Inflammation-mediated Disease States
The four discrete areas of imaging science expertise are:
- Developing, Optimizing, and Validating New Imaging Agents, Enhancers, and Combination Agents (Theranostics)
- Developing, Optimizing, and Validating New Imaging Platforms and Systems (including the incorporation of new agents within such systems)
- Imaging Informatics
- Imaging Health Services Research
Our fundamental research programs include, but are not limited to, the Molecular Imaging Innovations Institute (MI3) with its 8,000 nsf laboratory in the new Belfer Research Building and additional radiochemistry laboratories adjacent to the Medical College’s Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center (CBIC).
We also have a world-class program in imaging-related computer and information sciences associated with the Department’s Image Data Evaluation and Analytics Laboratory. IDEAL also supports the Medical College’s clinical trials infrastructure through the Office of Imaging Protocol Development and Review (OIPDR) and a dedicated Research PACS.
Additionally, our program in Biomedical Engineering, with a strong focus in MRI technology development, has been and continues to be innovative with a documented history of translation from applied science to commercialization. In fact, our pre-clinical and clinical research faculty members throughout the Department have created intellectual property resulting in patents, most of which have been commercialized either through start-ups or by way of licensure.
Our pre-clinical and clinical faculties collaborate to effectively translate the output of our basic and applied science programs to the clinic. Our translational science activities have resulted in numerous first in human studies of imaging agents, platforms, and imaging analysis algorithms. This research also includes studies to optimize and validate innovative imaging paradigms.
The Department also is engaged in clinical trials as evidenced by the compendium of currently open studies listed under “Clinical Trials.” In addition, to those trials listed with Departmental faculty PIs, our faculty members also are active co-investigators on numerous clinical trials originating in other departments throughout the Medical College.
Finally, we have programs in health services research in conjunction with Weill Cornell Medicine's Department of Healthcare Policy and Research including, but not limited to, technology assessment, decision analysis, computerized decision support, cost-effectiveness research, and health care policy and regulatory reform. In addition to supporting research faculty within the Department of Radiology, we also have recruited and support research faculty members in the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research to facilitate our strategic plan as enumerated above.
Many of the Department of Radiology’s Institutes, Centers, and Research Programs span the continuum from bench top to bedside. By way of only one such example, our Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging (ICI), conducts research that includes development of innovative image acquisition technologies and computer analysis algorithms, with translation of those technologies and algorithms to the clinic, and subsequent study of their impact on risk stratification and medical decision-making in practice.
In all, our research enterprise includes about 25 PhD pre-clinical researchers (not including additional medical physicists who primarily provide clinical services) supported by about 35 dedicated research personnel such as imaging and laboratory technologists, research coordinators and aides, and grants managers. Our faculty members have conjoint or secondary appointments in various departments through the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City, the main Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York, and the newly established Cornel NYC Tech campus in New York City. At any given time, the Department has between 15 – 25 post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and visiting undergraduate students engaged in research activities. Our NIH ranking has dramatically improved over the past six years from 43rd in 2006 (by Blue Ridge analysis) to 22nd in 2012 (by Academy of Radiology Research analysis).
Inquiries regarding research opportunities within the Department should be directed to the Vice Chairman for Research, Dr. Gary S. Dorfman.