Reuben Mezrich M.D., Ph.D., has been named chair of the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of Diagnostic Radiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dr. Mezrich comes to the University of Maryland from Harvard Medical School, where he was associate professor and director of technology at the Center for Innovative Minimally Invasive Therapy, and an attending radiologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital. He also concurrently served as a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and at the Sloan School of Business.
"My ultimate goal is to elevate the University of Maryland to world class status in academics and radiology research," says Dr. Mezrich. "We are already strong clinically, but by using cutting-edge computer technology, we can push computed axial tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound imaging to a new level."
An innovator in radiology and imaging, Dr. Mezrich spent the first half of his career as an electrical engineer, developing and improving technology in the lab. He holds 25 patents, many of which were obtained before he became a physician.
One of his most memorable inventions is a holographic imaging system which uses a laser pulse and magnetic field to write and erase images on magneto-optic film. Recalling the exhilaration he felt when he realized that his idea worked, Dr. Mezrich said, "I jumped so high, I hit my head on an overhead beam. I felt no pain as I ran up and down the halls with blood streaming over my face, looking for someone to witness the results."
Before CT and MRI came into wide use, Dr. Mezrich invented an ultrasound technique that could produce real time TV images of the human body. That technology is featured in the current issue of Engineering in Medicine and Biology as one of the most important developments in biomedical engineering over the past 50 years.
As an electrical engineer at Johnson and Johnson, Dr. Mezrich developed ultrasound mammography systems to detect breast cancer. While testing this technology, Dr. Mezrich discovered that he enjoyed working with patients even more than working in the lab. And that led to his decision to enter medical school at the age of 38.
"As both a physician and engineer, Dr. Mezrich has a unique understanding of how innovative technology can be used to extend the frontiers of research and improve patient care," says Donald E. Wilson M.D., M.A.C.P., Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and Dean of the School of Medicine. "We are pleased to have a person of his caliber on the faculty."
"I am confident that through Dr. Mezrich's leadership and unique expertise, we will stay ahead of the technological curve and continue to provide state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services to our patients, which is such an important ingredient for excellent care," says Stephen C. Schimpff, M.D., CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center.
From 1996 to 1999, Dr. Mezrich was an attending radiologist and associate professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to serving as chief of emergency radiology, Dr. Mezrich was the interim chair of the department. Prior to that, he was professor of bioengineering at Rutgers University, and an associate professor of bioengineering at Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Medical School. He was also director of magnetic resonance imaging and an attending radiologist at RWJ University Hospital St. Peter's Medical Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Dr. Mezrich received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. Dr. Mezrich received his M.D. from the University of Miami.
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