Four Keck Medical School of USC students have received grants from the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Samantha Delapena, Megha Nayyar, Chung Yao Yu and James Yoon were among the 25 medical students nationally to receive $3,000 grants from the RSNA.

Delapena is conducting research on the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound, as an alternative to three-phase contrast enhanced CT, to evaluate the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer. Nayyar is conducting a review of the literature on the surveillance of renal masses, focusing on the role of imaging in decision-making and ongoing surveillance of such masses in an effort to create cost-effective guidelines for surveillance of renal masses. Yu’s research focuses on the effectiveness of creating multiple three-dimensional images, using different types of tracers, in the detection of prostate cancer recurrence. Yoon is studying the use of a type of bone scan to assess treatment response to bone metastases of prostate cancer.

The RSNA’s Research and Education Foundation were established to address a lack of funding options for radiologic research. Since its inception in 1984, it has become the primary source of early career radiology research grant funding and has awarded over $40 million in grants, many of which have led to NIH funding.

Bushan Desai, MD, assistant professor of research in the Department of Radiology at the Keck School, noted that it is rare for one university to have four students receive RSNA research grants in one year.

“This milestone is an excellent barometer of the increasing vibrancy of our department’s research portfolio,” said Desai. “It is a tangible measure of our quality as an institution.”

— Hope Hamashige