Maryellen Giger: The 2022 SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging

The SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging recognizes outstanding accomplishments in medical imaging
11 January 2022
Maryellen Giger, winner of the 2022 SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging.
Maryellen Giger, winner of the 2022 SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging.

Maryellen Giger is a long-standing leader in the fields of digital-image formation, computer-aided diagnosis, quantitative imaging, radiomics, and radiogenomics. She is one of a handful of scientists who shaped the field of computer-aided diagnostics in medical imaging in the mid-1980s: the work of these scientists at the University of Chicago has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry now known as artificial intelligence in medical imaging. The A.N. Pritzker Distinguished Service Professor of Radiology at the University of Chicago, Giger is also the principal investigator and lead of the National Institute of Biomedical and Bioengineering's Medical Imaging and Data Resource Center (MIDRC), a new effort bringing together the latest medical-imaging professional organizations — including the Radiological Society of North America, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, and the American College of Radiology — in order to harness the powers of artificial intelligence and medical imaging to fight COVID-19. She is a cofounder, equity holder, and scientific advisor of Quantitative Insights, Inc. (QI) which produces QuantX, the first FDA-cleared, machine-learning-driven system to aid in cancer diagnosis.

An SPIE member since 1995 and SPIE Fellow since 2014, Giger — who began attending SPIE Medical Imaging conferences as a student in the 1980s — is the inaugural editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Imaging and was one of the founding chairs of the Computer-Aided Diagnosis Conference at SPIE Medical Imaging. She has served on multiple SPIE committees and was a member of the SPIE Board of Directors from 2012-2014. In 2018, Giger held the role of SPIE President.

"I suspect that when most people consider the impact Dr. Maryellen Giger has had in medical imaging, they consider her contributions in research and her stewardship of numerous organizations," says University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences Professor Matthew A. Kupinski. "However, it cannot be stressed enough that a scientist's overall impact is ultimately measured by both their ability to perform excellent work and by the impact they have on the next generation of scientists. The impact Dr. Giger has had in this latter category through the mentoring of students, post-doctoral researchers, and young faculty is immense. Dr. Giger was my primary advisor when I obtained my PhD, and I was always impressed by her availability to her students. I felt completely at ease discussing topics with her; she gave me a freedom that allowed me to foster my own ideas and directions, with the help of her expert guidance. I also cannot stress enough how important it was for me, as a male scientist, to have strong female leadership at an early stage in my career: Dr. Giger demonstrated the ability to raise four children while maintaining a successful career in academia. Having a strong female mentor has had a positive impact on how I raise my daughters and attempt to be a parent to three children while working in academia. Dr. Giger's energy for science, support, and learning is unbounded and contagious to those around her."

Meet the other 2022 SPIE Society Award winners.

Read more about Maryellen Giger and the SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging.

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