Society of Interventional Radiology present highest honours

The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) presented its highest honor, the SIR Gold Medal, to Karim Valji, M.D., FSIR; John A. Kaufman, M.D., M.S., FSIR; and Renate L. Soulen, M.D., FSIR, during its Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles. These awards acknowledge distinguished and extraordinary service to SIR or to the discipline of interventional radiology.

“The 2018 Gold Medalists through their practice, research, mentorship and leadership have propelled interventional radiology to new heights and revolutionized patient care through the power minimally invasive, image-guided medicine,” said SIR 2017–18 President Suresh Vedantham, M.D., FSIR, professor of radiology and surgery at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University in St. Louis.

Karim Valji, M.D., FSIR 
Valji is a professor of radiology and chief of interventional radiology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

He obtained a B.A. from Harvard College and medical degree from Harvard Medical School; pursued a residency in internal medicine at the University of California San Francisco, followed by a residency in diagnostic radiology and fellowship in interventional radiology at the University of California San Diego. Along with his mentor Joseph J. Bookstein, M.D., FSIR, Valji developed one of the now standard methods for catheter-directed thrombolysis of arterial and venous occlusions.

Valji is an author of about 200 scientific papers, abstracts and book chapters and has given over 250 invited lectures worldwide. Perhaps best known as the writer of three textbooks on interventional radiology, The Practice of Interventional Radiology, now in its third edition, is known to many radiology residents and interventional radiology fellows as the “Valji book.” Named a Fellow of SIR in 1994, Valji was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology and served on SIR’s Executive Council.

John A. Kaufman, M.D., M.S., FSIR
Kaufman is the inaugural chair of the Department of Interventional Radiology, director of the Dotter Interventional Institute and the Frederick S. Keller Professor of Interventional Radiology at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. He also has appointments as professor of diagnostic radiology, surgery and medicine at OHSU.

Kaufman’s research focus has been on vena cava filters and aortic stentgrafts. Kaufman has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications, including five textbooks. A past-president of SIR and former chair of the SIR Foundation, he currently serves as president of VIVA (Vascular and Interventional Advances) and is a trustee of the American Board of Radiology.

Renate L. Soulen, M.D., FSIR
Soulen obtained her medical degree from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, now Drexel University College of Medicine, in 1957 and completed a residency in radiology at Thomas Jefferson University Medical College in 1963. Soulen spent the first 22 years of her career as a cardiovascular interventional radiologist at Temple University, including being section chief from 1969 to 1985.

In addition to being a founding member of the Philadelphia Angio Club and an advocate for women in medicine, Soulen was one of the founding fellows of SIR, one of only three women, and served as chair for the society’s third annual meeting in 1978. In 1989, Soulen became a professor of radiology at Wayne State University and director of magnetic resonance imaging at the Detroit Medical Center where she practiced until she retired in 2005.