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New Techniques for Imaging Cells at the Molecular Level
Scientist Jonathon Kruskal discusses the rapid evolution of image-guided therapies. Are the days of biopsying breast and ovarian tumors behind us?
by Barry Mazor
RSNA, the Radiological Society of North America, recently held a one-day seminar on image-guided therapies, an indication that the traditional role of the radiologist is changing-and fast. More telling: a new job title has evolved, that of "Interventional Radiologist," to describe the larger role radiologists play in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and treatment.
Jonathon Kruskal, Ph.D., M.D., gave two excellent talks at the RSNA seminar: "Radiology's Role in Gene Therapy: Image and Delivery" and "New Research from Radiology: Radio Frequency, Chemotherapy Prove Effective Duo In Destroying Tumors." Dr. Kruskal's basic science research focuses on the use of optical microscopy for studying liver tumor microcirculation and angiogenesis, and for identification of diagnostic and therapeutic targets in vivo. Advanced Imaging decided to check in with him on these developments.
PREPARATION FOR THE NEW PICTURE
Advanced Imaging: With radiologists addressing the grand challenge of gene therapy by delivering genes and imaging their subsequent functionality, it seems natural that we'll see more molecular biologists joining the radiology profession. What new preparation and mindset will that take for the biologists-and is the right combined training out there to prepare them for it?
Dr. Jonathon Kruskal: With radiology residency positions being increasingly competitive to obtain, we are seeing more candidates with molecular biology backgrounds applying for these positions. We are seeing a switch in certain groups of molecular biologists who are focusing on identifications of putative cellular targets that may be of diagnostic or therapeutic importance. This is a slight deviation from the more traditional inquiry into basic molecular events, but does represent a huge opportunity for basic science research coming out of radiology departments, where we can take advantage of this data for developing new imaging techniques.