Kevin Berbaum: The 2021 SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging

The SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging recognizes outstanding accomplishments in medical imaging
12 January 2021
Kevin Berbaum 2021 SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging
Kevin Berbaum (right) and Elizabeth Krupinski in the lab at University of Iowa.

Kevin Berbaum, now a professor emeritus of Radiology at the University of Iowa, dedicated more than 30 years of his career to the study of satisfaction of search (SOS), the phenomenon where the detection of one lesion impairs detection of others in an image. He studied this extensively, focusing on chest radiographs, chest CTs, abdominal contrast patients, and multi-trauma patients, and his insights into the nature of SOS have defined the field. He also made significant contributions to receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis by characterizing "proper" ROC curves and creating — with Donald Dorfman and Charlie Metz — the Dorfman-Berbaum-Metz algorithm for analyzing multi-reader observer performance studies, one of the most utilized methods for carrying out such analysis since its 1992 creation.

A two-time recipient of the Association of University Radiologists' Stauffer Award, for Best Clinical Article in Investigative Radiology and Best Basic Science Article in Academic Radiology, in 1987 and 1999 respectively, Berbaum was also honored with the Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research's Distinguished Investigator Award in 2012. He has been a member of the Medical Image Perception Society since 1983, and member of the Academic Radiology Editorial Board since 1992. In addition, he was one of the founding members of the Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment track at the SPIE Medical Imaging Conference, presenting his research there for decades.

"I had the privilege of working with Kevin on a variety of funded projects for at least 25 years," says Professor Elizabeth Krupinski, vice chair for research in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Emory University. "We studied SOS, visual search techniques, the impact of clinical history, and, for the last 12 years or so, the impact of fatigue on the diagnostic decision process. My collaborations with him have always been especially fruitful and a huge learning experience. He is a terrific mentor, and I greatly appreciated working with him when I was a junior faculty member just figuring out how to make it as an independent investigator. Kevin's dedication, insights, and contributions to the establishment and growth of medical image perception as a field — and the inspiration and mentorship he has given to so many of us over the years — have taken medical imaging to the next level and to new areas beyond radiology."

Meet the other 2021 SPIE Society Award winners.

Read more about Kevin Berbaum and the SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging.

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