RSNA's highest honor — the Gold Medal — will be awarded to three individuals during today's plenary session.
William J. Casarella, MD
A dedicated interventional radiologist, leader and educator, William J. Casarella, MD, is a pioneer in interventional radiology (IR) who helped to develop the life-saving angioplasty and diagnostic angiography techniques that are now used daily in cardiology, vascular surgery and neurosurgery.
Dr. Casarella, now retired, served as a radiology professor and chair of the Department of Radiology at Emory University, Atlanta, from 1981 to 2004, and as executive associate dean for clinical affairs from 1999-2013.
His path to radiology began after Dr. Casarella graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1959 and earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in 1963. After finishing a rotating internship at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Casarella entered the U.S. Army and became a flight surgeon in Korea and the U.S. before completing his residency at Boston City Hospital.
Following his radiology residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, Dr. Casarella held a number of radiology positions at Columbia before becoming chief of the cardiovascular radiology section in 1970 — a position he held for 11 years. During this time, which was before the introduction of CT and MRI, Dr. Casarella used vascular radiology techniques to explore and treat clinical problems including GI bleeding, portal hypertension and malignant tumors.
After he was recruited by Emory University in 1981, Dr. Casarella began building a legacy of achievements that included recruiting top scientists and clinicians to the radiology department and building one of the country's premier radiology residency training programs.
In 1973, Dr. Casarella worked with colleagues to found the Society of Cardiovascular Radiology which evolved into the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR). Dr. Casarella has served as president of the American Board of Radiology, the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) and the Society of Cardiovascular & Interventional Radiology.
Along with publishing more than 100 research articles and numerous book chapters, Dr. Casarella has served as a manuscript reviewer for journals including Radiology and RadioGraphics.
A longtime RSNA member, Dr. Casarella presented the RSNA Annual Oration in Diagnostic Radiology in 1987. Among his numerous honors, Dr. Casarella has received gold medals from SIR, ARRS and the American College of Radiology.
Sarah S. Donaldson, MD
A world-renowned expert in pediatric radiation oncology, Sarah S. Donaldson, MD, is an influential educator, role model and a leader in reinforcing relationships between radiation oncologists and radiologists. Her work with every aspect of childhood cancer has been the hallmark of her long and distinguished career.
Dr. Donaldson is the Catharine and Howard Avery Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University and director of mentoring in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1968, she completed a radiation oncology residency at Stanford University, joined the faculty in 1973 and has remained at Stanford for her entire career.
Dr. Donaldson has contributed greatly to the success of Stanford's Department of Radiation Oncology, serving as associate chair and deputy clinic chief from 1997-2011. She was instrumental in building the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program and served as the inaugural chief of pediatric radiation oncology at the Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital.
Her research has focused on pediatric radiation oncology and the effects of cancer therapy on long-term survivors. She served as Stanford's residency program director in the Department of Radiation Oncology from 2001 to 2009 and is currently Stanford's mentoring director. In 2017, Stanford established the Sarah S. Donaldson Inaugural Mentorship Award in the Department of Radiation Oncology.
At RSNA, Dr. Donaldson has served on the Board of Trustees of the Research and Education Foundation and the Public Information Advisors Network. She was elected the RSNA second vice president in 2003. In 2005, she was elected to the RSNA Board of Directors and served as the liaison for science from 2005-06, for publications and communications from 2007 to 2010, then served as chairman and president-elect before serving as president in 2013.
She was the first female president of the American Board of Radiology as well as the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
Dr. Donaldson has authored or co-authored hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and review articles and has served on the editorial boards of numerous publications.
Among her numerous honors, Dr. Donaldson has received gold medals from the del Regato Foundation, the American Radium Society, the American College of Radiology and ASTRO.
Deborah Levine, MD
A highly respected diagnostic radiologist, researcher and educator, Deborah Levine, MD, is widely recognized for revolutionizing fetal MRI and for her groundbreaking research in high-risk obstetrical and gynecological ultrasound (US). Equally dedicated to academic publishing, Dr. Levine has served for a decade as the senior deputy editor of Radiology, helping to guide the RSNA journal into the digital age.
Dr. Levine has served as the director of obstetric & gynecologic ultrasound (US) and vice chair of academic affairs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Boston, since 2011, and as a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, since 2008. Dr. Levine, who earned her medical degree from University of California, San Francisco, focuses her clinical work on outpatient US and her research on obstetric and gynecologic imaging.
During her residency at University of California San Diego, Dr. Levine began researching the use of US to assess the postmenopausal pelvis and adnexal cysts — topics she investigated throughout her career. In 2010, she published a highly-regarded Radiology report setting guidelines to decrease follow-up of physiologic adnexal cysts. Her early research was supported by a 1995 RSNA Research Seed Grant to assess chorioamniotic separation after amniocentesis.
As a radiology instructor at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Levine began her pioneering work using MRI as an adjunct to US in obstetrics. At Harvard, her laboratory published use of the ultrafast sequence (HASTE) for superior visualization of the fetus.
As vice chair of academic affairs at BIDMC, Dr. Levine oversees the programs that train medical students, radiology residents and fellows, and supervises the mentoring program for junior faculty in the Department of Radiology.
Her service to Radiology began in 2004 when she joined the journal's editorial board, culminating in her current role as senior deputy editor, which she assumed in 2008. Dr. Levine, who also served as editor of the RSNA Daily Bulletin from 2007 to 2010, is the author of more than 200 manuscripts, chapters and reviews as well as five books.
Among her numerous leadership positions, Dr. Levine served as president of the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound in 2016. Dr. Levine received the American Board of Radiology's Lifetime Service Award in 2015.