Each year, the College awards individuals whose work and dedication advances and strengthens the specialty. Spanning continents and subspecialties, this year’s recipients include individuals from across the community of imaging intervention, and therapy. Commendations will be awarded at the ACR Annual Meeting, taking place in April.
The Gold Medal is awarded by the BOC to an individual for distinguished and extraordinary service to the ACR or to radiology. View the list of past recipients.
CHRISTOPHER G. ULLRICH, MD, FACR (POSTHUMOUSLY)
Christopher G. Ullrich, MD, FACR, began his career at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York, where he earned his medical degree. He completed his residency at SUNY in diagnostic radiology and went on to complete a two-year fellowship in neuroradiology at Johns Hopkins University. Ullrich subsequently relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he practiced for 38 years.
Ullrich’s contributions have been multiple at the state, national, and international levels. He earned recognition as a national figure in neuroradiology and radiology advocacy. In 1993, he was actively involved in developing state-level radiology political action committees (PACs) centered in regional radiology practices. When the ACR formed a federal PAC known as RADPAC®, he worked with others to encourage practices to contribute.
During the span of his career, Ullrich was very active with the ACR, the North Carolina Radiology Society (NCRS), the Cervical Spine Research Society, and the Southeastern Neuroradiology Society, where he received many awards and medals for his work and publications. He has served on numerous ACR committees, including being an elected member of the ACR CSC for six years, chairing the ACR Utilization Management Committee and the ACR State Government Relations Committee. Additionally, he served as a representative of radiology to the American Health Insurance Plans, acting again as an advocate to improve patient care. He was a major advocate for mammography starting at age 40, arguing on behalf of women to maintain yearly studies. In 2016, he received the William T. Thorwarth Jr., MD, Economics Award “for 20 years of ACR efforts in economics and advocacy” — particularly as it applied to private payer relationships.
As a writer and author, Ullrich contributed immensely to the neuroradiology literature. Notably, he was a pioneer of the “video display” of the CT scanner to determine normal values for lumbar spine, AP diameters, pedicle measurement, cross-sectional assessment, determination of lumbar stenosis, and other factors.
Ullrich also received multiple other awards and recognition, including the NCRS Silver Medal Award. As a volunteer, he participated in more than 90 positions at the state and national levels. He was appointed by the governor to the North Carolina State Health Coordinating Council, where he served for nine years, becoming chair in 2014. In 2016, he was inducted into the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine, an honor presented by the governor of North Carolina as a gesture of friendship and goodwill to people with a proven record of service to the state. Ullrich also served on the board of Hospice and Palliative Care of Charlotte.
“I think Dr. Ullrich is one of a select few who has had a very meaningful and unique impact on our profession on both a state level, as well as on the national stage, positively influencing our organization and its members and benefitting our patients,” says Arl Van Moore, Jr., MD, FACR, past chair of the ACR BOC and past ACR president. “His efforts have benefitted our ability to provide better medical and imaging care to all our patients and to the positive benefit of our communities.” Ullrich passed away on Aug. 8, 2021, and will be fondly remembered by all who knew and worked with him.
KATARZYNA J. MACURA, MD, PHD, FACR, FSABI, FAAWR
Katarzyna J. Macura, MD, PhD, FACR, FSABI, FAAWR, is a professor of radiology, urology, and oncology in the School of Medicine of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She is assistant director of the imaging translational program of the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. She served as president of the Maryland Radiological Society from 2013 to 2015 and on the ACR BOC, culminating in her term as vice president of the ACR from 2019 to 2020.
Macura has been involved in advocacy and program-building to support the career development of women in radiology for over 25 years. She served as president of the American Association for Women in Radiology (AAWR) in 2005, promoting opportunities for professional empowerment for women radiologists by providing education, networking, and mentorship. During her term, the AAWR received the 2005 Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Women in Medicine Leadership Development Award. The AAWR granted its highest honor, the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award, to Macura in 2016.
Macura served as the inaugural chair of the ACR Commission for Women and Diversity from 2013 to 2019 and oversaw the foundational work of the Commission, which is summarized in the 2019 Diversity Report. The Commission adopted its first Strategic Plan in 2014 — defining the Commission’s vision, mission, and goals. Under Macura’s leadership, the Commission undertook initiatives in five major domains: advocacy, visibility, mentoring, education, and research. Since its inception, the Commission has worked to increase awareness and recognition of the value created by diversity and to make the radiological professions welcoming and inclusive while improving career and leadership opportunities for women and minorities who are underrepresented in medicine.
Macura’s clinical expertise is in genitourinary radiology, oncologic imaging, MRI, and image-guided diagnostic and interventional procedures. She established a clinical and research prostate imaging program at Johns Hopkins, with a focus on MRI, and is a member of the Johns Hopkins Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Prostate Cancer. Her research is centered on functional multiparametric MRI, as well as on clinical translation of investigational devices for MR-guided diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in oncologic patients. Macura is developing diagnostic models to predict the risk of cancer development and progression by integrating and correlating MRI parameters with other biomarkers using radiomics and AI deep learning for better risk assessment and improved selection of treatment strategies.
Macura engaged with the ACR’s research programs early in her academic career by participating in the ACR Imaging Network (ACRIN) Genitourinary, Abdominal, and Informatics Committees, and as a co-investigator in the prospective multicenter trial evaluating MR imaging for the detection and localization of prostate cancer. She was involved in the ACR Digital Imaging and Communication (DICOM) Standards Committee and the Commission on Clinical Research and Information Technology.
In addition to participating in the ACR Prostate Imaging Reporting Data System (PI- RADS®) Steering Committee, and the Advanced Prostate Imaging and Targeted Therapy Committee, Macura is involved in several of the ACR’s educational offerings. She directs the Prostate MRI course at the ACR Education Center and has co- authored several ACR educational activities, such as a virtual micro-course and an online tutorial for prostate MRI. She has twice been recognized with the RSNA Honored Educator Award. She received the Outstanding Faculty Teacher of the Year award in 2005 and in 2021 from Hopkins Radiology residents, and the “Diamond” Jim Brady Urology Residents Teaching Award in 2016. She received the Resident Mentoring Award in 2018 and the Faculty Educator of the Year Award from Hopkins cross-sectional body imaging fellows in 2021. She is a fellow of the ACR, the Society for Advanced Body Imaging, and the AAWR. She has to her credit more than 150 publications and over 200 national and international presentations.
While Macura is an accomplished radiologist, researcher, and educator, she says she is most proud of her advocacy work on behalf of women and other underrepresented minorities in radiology. According to Macura, “The ACR Commission for Women and Diversity played a pivotal role, as the first-of-its-kind among radiology societies, in placing diversity and inclusion at the center of the ACR’s mission to provide excellent and equitable patient care.”
ANNE C. ROBERTS, MD, FACR
Anne C. Roberts, MD, FACR, has been described by colleagues as a visionary leader, a generous and active mentor, an outstanding physician, and an extraordinary ambassador for the ACR. Roberts, a professor of radiology at the University of California (UC) San Diego, is well-known for her work in the field of radiology, particularly in IR, both nationally and internationally.
Roberts’ interest in the field of radiology began when she was in her second year as a medical student at UC San Diego. When a group of radiologists came to her anatomy class to give lectures about their roles in analyzing the human body, their enthusiasm and passion for what they did made a lasting impression on her. After spending a year as an intern in OB-GYN , she decided to make radiology her specialty. During her radiology residency, she discovered IR and she never looked back.
Following her fellowship, she returned to UCSD. Just two years later, Roberts was appointed chief of radiology at the Thornton Hospital of UC San Diego. She began to have roles in leadership and responsibility in several organizations. She was elected president of the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) in 1996. Her many years of service to the SIR earned her the Society’s Gold Medal in 2015.
There have been many notable milestones in Roberts’ long and successful career, but she believes her involvement in IR becoming its own specialty is one of her proudest accomplishments. She feels the impact IR has had on the field of radiology cannot be overstated. Her involvement in IR becoming its own specialty dates back to the first proposal to the American Board of Medical Specialties in 2008. Over the next four years, she presented at and attended numerous meetings advocating for an IR primary certificate. Finally, in 2012, she worked with the ACR leadership to officially support the primary certificate for IR.
The ACR was an important resource for Roberts throughout her career. She credits two mentors, Arthur C. Waltman, MD, and George R. Leopold, MD, for fostering her involvement with the ACR. Waltman, a former professor of Roberts, was an IR who was very active in the ACR and helped her get involved with committees and projects in the ACR. Leopold, a former ACR gold medalist and chair at UC San Diego, held a number of positions in the ACR and felt strongly that radiologists should get involved with organized radiology. According to Roberts, the ACR led to her involvement in numerous other organizations such as the SIR and the ABR. Roberts continues to participate in professional radiology societies.
Roberts has been involved with the ACR since 1995 and has held numerous roles within the organization, leading to her tenure on the BOC. These roles have included secretary/treasurer from 2011 to 2016 and vice president from 2016 to 2017. Currently, Roberts remains involved with the ACR by holding a position on the College’s Interventional Practice Guidelines Committee. “It is a huge honor to receive the ACR Gold Medal,” says Roberts. “There are many people who are deserving; many people who have done really great things. To be chosen is an enormous honor.”
The Honorary Fellowship award recognizes the contributions to radiology by individuals who are ineligible for ACR Fellowship. View the list of past recipients.
ANCA-LIGIA GROSU, MD
Anca-Ligia Grosu, MD, is medical director and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology in the Medical Center – University of Freiburg, Germany. At the University of Freiburg, she has been vice dean of the faculty of medicine, member of the senate, and is currently member of the university council. She participates in the advisory board of German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe) on national initiatives for the treatment of cancer.
Grosu has been a member of the prestigious German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina since 2018 and serves as deputy senator of its radiology section. For her scientific work on the integration of biological imaging into radiation therapy planning, Grosu was awarded the Alfred Breit Award of the German Society of Radiation Oncology in 2020.
Her path to becoming a world-renowned radiation oncologist is truly international in scope. After finishing medical school in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, she moved to Germany to complete her residency at the Technical University of Munich — first in radiology, then in radiation oncology, with a focus on imaging for radiation-treatment planning and monitoring.
Building on this work, she completed a fellowship in radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School before ultimately returning to Germany as chair of the Freiburg department of radiation oncology. Despite her studies and subsequent career having taken her around the world, Grosu maintains close ties with the radiation oncology department at the Institute of Oncology in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where her interest in medicine first began.
Due to major developments in recent decades, technological progress in radiation oncology has facilitated precise dose application. As a result, radiation therapy has emerged as an important pillar in the treatment of cancer patients, enabling curative results in many cases, while limiting adjacent organ injury. In this context of optimized precision treatment, advanced imaging plays an essential role, making it the focus of Grosu’s research.
Her innovative approach has contributed to the implementation of high-precision radiation therapy in clinical practice, and the optimization of radiotherapy planning with advanced biological imaging. These advances and others have facilitated the application of increasingly precise radiation doses, resulting in a commensurate improvement in outcomes for cancer patients.
Looking toward the future, Grosu believes that in time, radiation oncology treatment will become more personalized. Tumor and normal tissue biology will one day likely dictate the precise radiation dose distribution for each patient, along with the best-suited systemic treatment to complement the irradiation. To achieve this goal, Grosu foresees a role for the integration of complex biological imaging methods in radiation planning.
Grosu is conducting major international clinical trials on the treatment of brain tumors, head and neck tumors, lung cancer, and prostate cancer, evaluating the role of multiparametric MRI and PET for target volume delineation for radiation treatment planning. The goal of Grosu’s team is the extraction of specific bio-imaging markers for both tumor and healthy tissue using AI, which will lead to more individualized radiation treatment.
In the academic realm, Grosu cites having made the radiation oncology department at the University of Freiburg one of the leading institutions in the field among her proudest achievements.
JANET ELIZABETH SIAREY HUSBAND, DBE, FRCR, FMEDSC
For Janet Elizabeth Siarey Husband, DBE, FRCR, FMedSci, receiving ACR honorary fellowship is the perfect bookend to a global career. “Meeting colleagues in the U.S. early on introduced me to radiologists across the world. It was a club of intellect, ideas, and friendships that has lasted throughout my career. So this honor is the most wonderful final accolade I could wish for as my career winds down.”
Husband began her medical training at Guy’s Hospital in London, where she initially pursued general medicine. After adjusting her focus to radiology, she began research on the prototype of the world’s first CT body scanner at Northwick Park Hospital. She was a pioneer of whole-body CT and the first person to perform a CT-guided biopsy in the UK. She also championed the use of MRI in oncology.
In the early years of radiology, she recalls being one of very few women in the field. “It was very much a man’s world in medicine then,” she says. “As a woman, you had to get used to fighting one’s corner.”
She has contributed more than 300 publications, including 82 book chapters, more than 200 articles, and 6 books, including the Imaging in Oncology textbook, which became a standard text in oncologic imaging. She also served as co-editor-in-chief of the journal Cancer Imaging.
Training the next generation of physicians has been a great honor in Husband’s career. “I’m most proud of all those junior colleagues who came through our department and have gone on to make huge contributions to radiology,” she says. “That’s been a very special part of my career. Having lit the flame for others, that I’m most proud of.”
As her career progressed, she rose to the rank of professor of diagnostic radiology at the University of London Institute of Cancer Research, where she is now professor emeritus. The majority of her career was spent at Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Cancer Research, where she also served as the medical director of the hospital. She also founded the International Cancer Imaging Society and served as president of both the British Institute of Radiology and the Royal College of Radiologists. Among her many honors was the 2007 award of Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her services to medicine.
“Looking back over 50 years, the extraordinary advances that have taken place over my career have seldom been matched in the whole history of medicine,” says Husband. “Looking ahead at the next 50 years, goodness! Where will radiology be? Technological advancement is really key to a radiologists’ life and the way they work. What an exciting specialty to be in.”
Looking back on her career, Husband notes, “My advice always has been: Follow your star. If you’re exploring a new opportunity, it’s got to be fun, it’s got to be exciting. And even if you can’t see where it’s going, go for it. The rest will work itself out.”