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  • Robert C. Brasch, MD

  • Robert C. Brasch, MD, is considered one of the giants in radiologic contrast media research. Having founded the research laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Brasch has been devoted to research in radiology and contrast media since 1976. The major thrust of his early work was related to an exploration of the role that the immune system plays in contrast media reactions. His work in that area is regarded as the gold standard.

    Very early in his research career, he realized the importance of radiation dose to pediatric patients in CT and carefully tested the exposure, depending on the type of equipment and procedure, using specially designed pediatric phantoms. Dr. Brasch has twice received the John Caffey award for research in pediatric imaging. He also was awarded the Harry Fisher medal for contrast media research.

    In recent years Dr. Brasch and his associates have turned their attention to the developing field of MR imaging contrast media. His laboratory did some of the first contrast enhanced MR imaging, including early experimental imaging with gadolinium chelates in the early 1980s. Recently his attention has focused on an exploration of imaging methodologies that might be used to characterize tumor vascularity at the arteriolar and capillary levels. He was one of the first individuals to receive NIH support for MR imaging contrast media research.

    Dr. Brasch has authored more than 260 scientific articles and has written 72 book chapters. He has trained over 40 fellows in contrast media research from around the world. One of his fellows noted: "During my stay in San Francisco, I was deeply impressed and fascinated by the way Robert Brasch could guide, counsel and help the different fellows working with him. He was able to provide a warm atmosphere in his laboratory, which encouraged every fellow to give the best he could to the research work. His human qualities are extraordinary and he is a wonderful example to follow."

    Dr. Brasch has been active for three decades in research and is valued for his effective way of introducing young radiologists from all over the world to experimental radiologic research.