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  Leading Radiologist and Imaging Specialist Joins Children's National Medical Center
June 22, 2010

Washington, DC — Children’s National Medical Center announced the appointment of Nabile Safdar, MD, as principal investigator of the Bioengineering Initiative at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. A musculoskeletal radiologist and imaging informaticist, Dr. Safdar joins the Institute’s interdisciplinary bioengineering team to harness the full power of science and technology through a dynamically supported and fully integrated research and clinical program dedicated to accelerating advances in children’s surgical care.

“Before a surgeon ever operates, they review all available data to make sure they know where they’re going and what they’ll be seeing,” Dr. Safdar said. “Today, most of our views of the body, to draw an analogy, resemble a basic road map. We want to use advanced visualization, simulation and modeling techniques to make a quantum leap forward in how we view a patient’s body before surgery. We want to give surgeons a three-dimensional street-level view that’s more precise and enables the best outcomes for every patient.”

Dr. Safdar’s Institute research will focus on improving pre- and post-surgical evaluation through biomedical imaging and computational sciences, and improving the training of radiologists and surgeons in these advanced methods, including the use of computer assisted surgery.

Kurt Newman, MD, senior vice president for the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Center for Surgical Care, said, “Dr. Safdar is an exciting addition to our growing team of collaborative, cross-disciplinary surgery leaders. Biomedical imaging and mathematical modeling hold great potential to revolutionize the way surgery is practiced. Through the Institute, we are bringing together great and open minds and giving them the resources they need to accelerate the pace of discovery and clinical application of surgical research to benefit children everywhere.”

“This is a great opportunity, almost unprecedented in medicine, to work side by side in the clinic and research lab with surgeons, radiologists and bioengineers to improve how we visualize a patient’s body before, during and after procedures to make surgery smarter, more predictable, more precise and more effective,” Dr. Safdar said.

Dr. Safdar comes to Children’s National Medical Center and the Sheikh Zayed Institute from the University of Maryland Medical Center, where he was an Assistant Professor for Musculoskeletal Radiology and Pediatric Radiology, as well as a faculty member for the Center’s Imaging Informatics Fellowship and acting co-director of its MRI Fellowship. Dr. Safdar received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. He completed a diagnostic radiology residency at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore, where he served as chief resident, before completing a fellowship in musculoskeletal and imaging informatics at the same institution. Dr. Safdar’s recent publications have focused on research ethics and imaging informatics, working to ensure that imaging research studies are included in institutions’ quality improvement projects.

Through the Institute, Dr. Safdar will be provided a rare opportunity to balance clinical and research work. He also joins the Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology, the largest of its kind in the Washington-Baltimore region. Led by Raymond Sze, MD, the Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology provides the complete spectrum of diagnostic imaging services, including fetal imaging and neurological radiology.

Made possible by a $150 million gift from the Government of Abu Dhabi, the Institute combines unparalleled innovation and team science to revolutionize four key areas: pain medicine, immunology, bioengineering, and personalized medicine. While other institutions are pursuing new developments in these areas, the Institute is the first to bring these areas together in an effort to best inform research and clinical practice, with a focus on pediatric surgery.

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Contact: Emily Dammeyer/Paula Darte: 202-476-4500.

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About Children’s National Medical Center

Children’s National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC, is a leader in the development of innovative new treatments for childhood illness and injury. Children’s has been serving the nation’s children for more than 135 years. Children’s National is consistently ranked among the best pediatric hospitals by U.S.News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. For more information, visit www.ChildrensNational.org. The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, based at Children’s National, brings together surgeons and researchers to improve children’s lives before, during, and after surgery. Learn more at http://innovationinstitute.childrensnational.org.