School of Medicine

Radiology academy honors Sabee Molloi

July 9, 2014 — Sabee Y. Molloi, a professor of radiological sciences at UC Irvine School of Medicine, has been named a Distinguished Investigator of the Academy of Radiology Research. The honor recognizes imaging researchers for their significant contributions in the field of medical imaging.

Molloi, director of the UC Irvine Imaging Physics Laboratory with joint faculty appointments in biomedical engineering and electrical engineering, focuses on developing novel diagnostic imaging techniques for breast cancer and cardiac disease.

At UC Irvine, his research group has developed a dual-energy mammography technique that takes images of a breast at different energy levels to measure tissue density, which is important because women with dense breast tissue are four to five times more likely to develop tumors.

He also is partnering with Carlos Iribarren, a research scientist from Kaiser Permanente, to assess whether breast arterial calcification detected by mammography can be used to gauge cardiovascular disease risk. For this effort, the two have received a $6.8-million grant from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute to study mammography-identified calcium buildup in breast arteries in more than 5,000 African American, Latino, Asian and white women at three Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Northern California.

The researchers will test whether these calcifications correlate with several cardiovascular disease risk factors. A technique to accurately measure breast arterial calcium mass was developed in Molloi’s laboratory.

Molloi will be inducted into the Academy’s Council of Distinguished Investigators at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting in December.