• Department of Imaging

    The Department of Imaging provides dedicated cancer imaging services, including consultation services and cancer therapy with radioactive unsealed sources. The Department trains Harvard Medical School students, Radiology and Joint Program in Nuclear Medicine residents, Cancer Imaging Program fellows, and imaging technologists. We conduct transformative imaging research that enables breakthrough discoveries in cancer through the use of imaging.

    About Us

    Clinical services

    clinicians looking at images  

    The Department of Imaging is a world-class cancer imaging center of excellence, led by a team of cancer imaging specialists who deliver exceptional cancer imaging expertise for patients, providers, and investigators through our focused services, personalized care, and innovation using state-of-the-art technology.

    Dana-Farber-based radiologists use a disease-centric approach, which includes whole-body, and multi-modality interpretations that are very valuable to our clinicians. We adhere to the highest safety and quality standards and operate under cost-effective and efficient practices. Clinical services include:

    • CT
    • MRI
    • Ultrasound
    • Digital radiography
    • Mammography
    • PET/CT
    • Nuclear medicine
    • Therapy with unsealed sources
    • Nurse-to-draw laboratory specimen collection/IV/central line access
    • Consultation services

    Some of these services are also provided throughout the Dana-Farber network, including satellite sites and community-based services in the Greater Boston area with our Mammography Van and the Breast Imaging services at the Whittier Street Health Center.

    Our physics, technical, and medical experts routinely collaborate in a multidisciplinary "Triad" committee to optimize clinical, quality, and safety standards, in addition to developing multimodality approaches and protocols.

    Relationships to other departments

    The Department of Imaging is uniquely integrated with all the departments and disease centers at both the clinical and research levels within Dana-Farber, and has broad connections across the clinical and research communities of Dana-Farber, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center (DF/BC), and other affiliates. Dana-Farber-based radiologists actively participate in interdisciplinary disease-based conferences and tumor boards.

    One example of the successful integration with the oncologic clinics is the creation of a unique daily consultation service that staffs four radiologists on four clinical floors of the Yawkey Cancer Center: These specialists provide general and specialized cancer imaging consultations for patients imaged within or outside the network.

    Another successful enterprise has been the "Adopt-a-Radiologist Campaign," which has led to the integration of radiologists within each of the Dana-Farber disease centers. These relationships have resulted in highly successful clinical collaboration, education, and clinical trial participation, in addition to high academic productivity for both the radiologists and the oncologists.

    Research activities

    The goal of the Department of Imaging is to be a transformative, world-renowned academic imaging department that is the partner of choice for clinicians, basic scientists, and clinical investigators – to enable breakthrough discoveries in cancer through the use of imaging. To this end, the Department of Imaging has created the Center for Biomedical Imaging in Oncology (CBIO), which fully integrates the pre-clinical Lurie Family Imaging Center, (LFIC) and the Clinical Imaging Research (CIR) performed at Dana-Farber.

    The chief of the Department of Imaging also serves as the co-director of the Tumor Imaging Metrics Core (TIMC), a core of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC). This core serves as a centralized service to improve the management of tumor metrics for patients enrolled in oncology imaging trials.

    Dana-Farber-based radiologists collaborate with basic scientists and clinical investigators within Dana-Farber and with several outside institutions, industry partners, and organizations. Several faculty members have secured grant funding from federal, foundation, and/or industry resources. Faculty members actively present and publish the results of their research at national/international meetings and in peer-reviewed publications.

    Imaging has been involved in numerous prospective clinical trials from all disease centers, resulting in high academic productivity for Fellows, residents, medical students, and faculty. A large number of prospective oncologic trials are using various imaging modalities as a primary or secondary endpoint in the trial design.

    Other examples of successful collaboration include the groundbreaking role of functional imaging in the development of novel cancer drugs such the tyrosine kinase inhibitors imatinib and sunitinib, which have resulted in paradigm shifts in the development of novel therapies for cancer. We are continuing to participate in these efforts and are including imaging in immunotherapy, the latest approach in the treatment of cancer.


    The Department is participating in the training of the next generation of Harvard Medical School (HMS) students, BWH Radiology residents, Joint Program in Nuclear Medicine residents, Fellows, and technologists. Dana-Farber has created a successful Cancer Imaging Program (CIP) Fellowship led by faculty members Fiona Fennessy, MD, PhD, and Katherine Krajewski, MD. The program attracts seven Fellows annually. The HMS Radiology Clerkship program is led by faculty member Donald Di Salvo, MD, and is based at Dana-Farber. Dana-Farber also participates in mentorship programs such as CURE, co-directs the HMS Clinical Nuclear Medicine PET/CT post-graduate course, and participates in other HMS imaging courses.

    We also provide several weekly conferences, seminars, and lectures, including:

    • Modality-based teaching
    • Disease-based teaching
    • Biostatistics
    • Clinical and CME-approved conferences
    • One-on-one teaching for trainees and other members of the community


    Dana-Farber’s Department of Imaging is building partnerships and alliances using an overarching framework "without walls" that provides the multidisciplinary clinical and research expertise and resources needed – including a dedicated cancer research cyclotron (Massachusetts Cancer Imaging Facility) at the Institute’s Harbor Campus for our patients, providers, and investigators. Our integrated approach has redefined the specialty of imaging within a cancer center, and is a differentiator that enables optimal personalized clinical care and cancer research cost-effectively and efficiently.

    Looking to the future, we will:

    • Expand our focus on prevention and early diagnosis, tumor characterization, and patient stratification through imaging
    • Expand the use of imaging in the immunotherapy context
    • Explore the need for future hybrid cancer imaging technology and additional clinical imaging services, such as interventional radiology and bone densitometry/body composition
    • Continue to align our mission, vision, and values to strategic imperatives and priorities throughout the Institute and the enterprise, while preserving a patient- and disease-centric approach

    Our Team

    Annick D. Van Den Abbeele, MDAnnick D. Van Den Abbeele, MD, FACR
    Chief, Department of Imaging

    The Department of Imaging is staffed with 14 radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians. The department is also staffed with physicists, technologists, nurses and administrative support personnel, including dedicated individuals to support regulatory oversight and data management requirements. There is also a dedicated imaging biostatistician to support imaging-based clinical and pre-clinical trial design, analysis, and interpretation of imaging-based endpoints.

    Department of Imaging team

    Annick D. Van den Abbeele, MD, FACR
    Chief, Department of Imaging
    Founding Director, Center for Biomedical Imaging in Oncology (CBIO)
    Co-Director, Tumor Imaging Metrics Core, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
    Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Russell Blinder, MD
    Director, Head and Neck/Neuroradiology
    Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Hospital Cancer Center (DF/BWHCC)
    Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Pamela DiPiro, MD
    Clinical Director, Computed Tomography (CT)
    Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Donald Di Salvo, MD
    Director, Harvard Medical School Radiology Clerkship
    Director, Ultrasound
    Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Fiona Fennessy, MD, PhD
    Director, Cancer Imaging Fellowship Program (CIP)
    Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Angela Giardino, MD
    Director, Principal Clinical Experience in Radiology
    Course Director, Fundamentals of Imaging
    Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Mizuki Nishino Hatabu, MD
    Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Stephanie Howard, MD
    Director of Admissions, Brigham and Women's Hospital Radiology Residency Program
    Instructor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Heather Jacene, MD
    Clinical Director, Nuclear Medicine
    Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Jyothi Jagannathan, MD
    Clinical Director, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    Instructor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Katherine Krajewski, MD
    Co-Director, Cancer Imaging Fellowship Program (CIP)
    Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Jack Meyer, MD
    Director, Breast Imaging
    Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Nikhil Ramaiya, MD
    Clinical Director, Department of Imaging
    Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Michael Rosenthal, MD, PhD
    Assistant Director for Radiology, DF/BWCC Pancreas and Biliary Tumor Center
    Instructor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Chris Sakellis, MD
    Instructor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Atul Shinagare, MD
    Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Physicists and scientists

    Quang-De Nguyen, PhD
    Director, Lurie Family Imaging Center
    Research Associate in Radiology, Harvard Medical School
    Senior Scientist

    Lei Qin, PhD
    MRI Physicist
    Instructor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Keisha McCall, PhD
    Nuclear Medicine/PET-CT Physicist
    Instructor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School

    Su-Chun Cheng, ScD
    Senior Research Scientist
    Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology and Department of Imaging


    Our Facilities

    Center for Biomedical Imaging in Oncology (CBIO)

    clinician and patient at mammography equipment  

    Dana-Farber's Center for Biomedical Imaging in Oncology (CBIO) is a centralized cancer imaging research enterprise that was established as a paradigm shift to enable translational cancer research and drug development through:

    • The integration of pre-clinical and clinical imaging
    • Access to pre-clinical/clinical multidisciplinary and multimodality imaging expertise
    • Drug/imaging probe development

    The clinical and pre-clinical arms of CBIO are Clinical Imaging Research (CIR) and the Lurie Family Imaging Center (LFIC), respectively. These work in partnership to facilitate bidirectional translational cancer imaging science. CBIO also works closely with other Dana-Farber centers, departments and those clinical disease centers that are engaged in cancer imaging research, small animal modeling in cancer, experimental therapeutics, and oncologic clinical trials.

    The integrated pre-clinical and clinical research activities and imaging platform of CBIO allow accelerated translational research and offer a critical resource for the design and execution of these studies. CBIO uses a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach that includes scientists, expert technical staff, pre-clinical and clinical investigators, members of the Dana-Farber Imaging and BWH Radiology Departments, as well as the resources present at both institutions.

    CBIO Clinical Imaging Research (CIR)

    CBIO Clinical Imaging Research (CIR), the clinical arm of CBIO, is a multidisciplinary anatomic and functional imaging laboratory that provides:

    • Study design
    • Imaging protocol development
    • Scanner evaluation and qualification by Dana-Farber physicists
    • Quality control/archival of imaging data
    • Diagnostic review of images by Dana-Farber physicians
    • Quantitative image analysis
    • Scientific interpretation of final imaging results

    The CBIO works with individual investigators in developing imaging acquisition protocols, including the timing and frequency of imaging, as well as the analysis of imaging results. Proposed designs of imaging protocols are based on consensus guidelines, approaches used by national consortia and working groups, and/or novel designs developed within CBIO.

    The clinical arm of CBIO is also utilized for multi-centered clinical research studies, performing services such as surveying participating imaging labs, creating protocol-specific imaging manuals, and receiving/reviewing scanner acceptance test results.

    Results of anatomic and metabolic measurements are interpreted by Dana-Farber Radiology faculty in the context of the cancer therapeutics under investigation. CBIO also enables the adoption of quantitative imaging biomarkers by coordinating the use of specific imaging biomarkers and their validation in the pre-clinical and clinical settings. CBIO leverages the resources and expertise present in the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute clinical departments, as well as within the disease centers, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), Dana-Farber/Boston Children's, and other research centers to enable translational research.

    CBIO/Lurie Family Imaging Center (LFIC)

    The CBIO/Lurie Family Imaging Center (LFIC) is the pre-clinical arm of CBIO, a state-of-the-art, pre-clinical imaging facility that provides investigators access to all major pre-clinical imaging and therapeutic modalities, as well as upcoming radiochemistry technologies.

    The interdisciplinary in vivo translational and experimental therapeutics studies conducted at LFIC are focused on cancer, with an emphasis on:

    • Assessment of novel cancer therapeutics
    • Multimodality imaging of cancer
    • Molecular imaging of pharmacodynamic efficacy
    • Development of novel probes
    • Target validation

    Directed by Quang-De Nguyen, PhD, LFIC has full technical and research scientist staffing to facilitate longitudinal pre-clinical studies, including establishment of tumor models, drug treatments, radiotherapy, and assessment of imaging and conventional study endpoints. The imaging resources include optical imaging, 7T MRI, micro PET/SPECT/CT, and ultrasound.

    Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) Tumor Imaging Metrics Core (TIMC)

    imaging diagram used for clinical trials  

    The goal of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) Tumor Imaging Metrics Core (TIMC) is to facilitate access and provide standardized, longitudinal anatomic and functional imaging tumor metrics for patients enrolled in clinical trials.

    TIMC is a multicenter, multidisciplinary and multi-parametric imaging core funded by a DF/HCC National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center grant. TIMC principal investigators are Annick D. Van den Abbeele, MD, FACR, for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), and Gordon J. Harris, PhD, for Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

    Through a collaborative partnership with BWH and MGH, standardized measurements of imaging response (such as RECIST, WHO, SWOG, and SUV [standardized uptake value]) are performed on CT, MRI, and PET/CT, and are provided to investigators through a web-based database.

    Included with TIMC measurements are the following services:

    • Consultation with clinical trial PIs prior to trial initiation to optimize protocol design for imaging acquisition and analysis methods, so that trials are established with appropriate and optimal imaging methods
    • Image study capture from DF/HCC centers
    • Image study archival for the length of the trial
    • Tumor measurements as specified in the protocol
    • Database management of measurement results and image snapshots
    • Web-based results reporting
    • Assistance with the image analysis components of trial audits

    Imaging Fellowships

    Cancer Imaging Fellowship Program (CIP)

    clinician looking at images  

    For radiologists interested in a concentrated, subspecialty Fellowship experience in cancer imaging, we offer a range of training opportunities through our Cancer Imaging Program (CIP) Fellowships. Our CIP differs from other imaging Fellowships in that it aims to provide disease-based, i.e., cancer-based, training rather than modality-, organ-, or body part-based training. We have incorporated the strengths and core values of our clinical and research practice into our program.

    Under the CIP umbrella, we have established several clinical Cancer Imaging Fellowships. These include, but are not limited to:

    • General Diagnostic Cancer Imaging Fellowship
    • Molecular Imaging in PET/CT Fellowship
    • Women's Cancer Imaging Fellowship
    • Translational Fellowship

    The general CIP Fellowship offers multi-modality subspecialty-level cancer imaging training in the tertiary setting, in which Fellows become well versed in:

    • Standards of care in oncology
    • Manifestations of class and drug-specific tumor responses
    • Use of appropriate response criteria
    • Complications of treatment and/or disease, including drug toxicities and oncologic emergencies

    CIP Fellows also gain familiarity with investigational therapies, their rationale, and the role of the radiologist in phase I, phase II, and phase III clinical trials.

    The Molecular Imaging and PET/CT Fellowship provides advanced training in PET/CT and the interplay of functional and anatomical cancer imaging. These Fellows participate in an active radionuclide therapy program.

    The Women's Cancer Imaging Fellowship provides particular emphasis on breast imaging and intervention.

    The Translational Training Fellowship prepares a Fellow for a focused academic career in cancer imaging, where, in addition to advancing their diagnostic interpretive skills, Fellows can:

    • Participate in various courses such as biostatistics, clinical effectiveness, or grant writing
    • Develop and complete research projects, publications and grant proposals centered on:
      • The use of imaging biomarkers
      • Quantification of imaging results
      • Validation of imaging analysis methods

    Radiology Medical Student Education
    Harvard Medical School

    Radiology Clerkship

    The Brigham and Women's Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Radiology Clerkship is a required course for Harvard Medical School students, generally taken in the third year. This is a four-week immersion experience whose principal goal is teaching students how to be good "consumers" of radiology – that is, how to utilize radiology most effectively as a diagnostic problem-solving tool.

    Through various teaching methods, students are shown the strengths and weaknesses of different imaging modalities, as well as the safety implications of patient exposure to radiation and contrast media. Students are also introduced to cost considerations of imaging in a special economics session with the department chairman.

    In addition, case-based radiologic teaching files are used to reinforce basic anatomy and pathophysiology of disease processes, building upon principles from the first two years of medical school. During the four weeks of the Clerkship, students are exposed to the full range of radiologic modalities via individual tutorials and direct observation of studies in the reading rooms at BWH and Dana-Farber.

    Radiology medical student education extends beyond the confines of the Clerkship to include the following:

    • A four-module "Fundamentals of Imaging" course given to the entire BWH cohort of third-year medical students at the start of their third year PCE (principal clinical experience)
    • A radiology elective for fourth-year students
    • An ultrasound elective for fourth-year students
    • A "hands-on" ultrasound experience for second year students during the physical diagnosis course

    Contact Us

    Annick D. Van den Abbeele, MD, FACR

    Chief, Department of Imaging
    Founding Director, Center for Biomedical Imaging in Oncology
    Co-Director, Tumor Imaging Metrics Core

    Greg LeFever, RT(R)(N),CNMT,PET

    Administrative Director

    William Dirtion

    Executive Assistant

    Ellen Rolfsen

    Cancer Imaging Program Fellowship Coordinator

    Mailing address

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    DL 101
    Boston, Massachusetts 02215-5450



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