RSNA 2022 Outstanding Researcher

Maryellen Giger, PhD

Maryellen Giger

Esteemed researcher Maryellen Giger, PhD, has worked for decades on computer-aided diagnosis, machine learning, and deep learning in medical imaging for cancer, thoracic diseases including COVID-19, neuro-imaging and other disease diagnosis and management.

“Dr. Giger’s outstanding contributions to physics and artificial intelligence as it applies to medical imaging have helped to shape the field,” said RSNA President Bruce G. Haffty, MD. “These professional contributions, along with her exceptional service and commitment to RSNA make her most deserving of this Outstanding Researcher award.”

Dr. Giger is the A.N. Pritzker Distinguished Service Professor of Radiology, the Committee on Medical Physics, and the College at the University of Chicago. She is also the vice-chair of radiology (basic science research) and the prior director of the Graduate Program in Medical Physics/chair of the Committee on Medical Physics.

Her AI research in breast cancer for risk assessment, diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic response has yielded various translated components, and she has used these “virtual biopsies” in  imaging-genomics association studies. She has extended her AI in medical imaging research to include the analysis of COVID-19 on CT and chest radiographs and is the contact principal investigator on the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)-funded Medical Imaging and Data Resource Center (MIDRC;, a collaboration of RSNA, the American College of Radiology and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) that is hosted at the University of Chicago.

Over the course of her career, Dr. Giger has published more than 260 peer-reviewed articles and obtained more than 30 patents. She has mentored over 100 graduate students, residents, medical students and undergraduate students. She was cofounder of Quantitative Insights, now Qlarity Imaging, which produces QuantX, the first FDA-cleared, machine-learning driven CADx (AI-aided) system. A leader in the medical physics community, Dr. Giger is a former president of AAPM and of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). She is a member of the NIH NIBIB Advisory Council and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Imaging.

Widely recognized for her contributions to the field, Dr. Giger has been awarded the AAPM William D. Coolidge Gold Medal, the SPIE Director’s Award, and the SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging. She served as an RSNA third vice president and, in 2010, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). She has also been recognized with the Society of Directors of Academic Medical Physics Programs Lifetime Achievement Award. She received the RSNA Honored Educator Award and is a fellow of AAPM, American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering, Chinese Optical Society, IEEE, International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering and SPIE. In 2013, Giger was named by the International Congress on Medical Physics (ICMP) as one of the 50 medical physicists with the most impact on the field in the last 50 years.

Dr. Giger completed a bachelor’s degree at Illinois Benedictine College, a master’s degree in physics at the University of Exeter in England, and a PhD in medical physics at the University of Chicago.