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Temple Neuroradiologist Elected to Presidency of Medical Society

Scott H. Faro, MD, Vice Chair of Radiology at Temple University School of Medicine and Director of the Functional Brain Imaging Center and Clinical MRI at Temple University Hospital, has been elected President of the American Society of Functional Neuroradiology (ASFNR). Faro, who currently serves as the organization's Vice President, was a founding member of this fast growing and leading-edge professional medical society.

"It's a privilege to be assuming the position of president of ASFNR," said Faro, one of the world's leading experts in the relatively new field of functional neuroradiology. "Functional neuroradiology offers great promise for diagnosing and improving treatment of serious problems of the brain and spinal cord as well as opening a door to furthering our basic understanding of their marvels. This is an exciting time to be in the field, and I am honored to play a leadership role in realizing its full diagnostic and healing potential."

Neuroradiology is a subspecialty of radiology dedicated to protecting the health of the central nervous system through imaging technology such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Functional neuroradiology includes many innovative techniques - such as blood oxygen level dependence functional magnetic resonance imaging, or BOLD-fMRI, a specialized MRI technique that is now a primary tool for basic studies of the working human brain; magnetic resonance spectroscopy; profusion; diffusion; positron emission tomography (PET); and molecular imaging. Since the early 1990s, BOLD-fMRI has come to dominate the brain-mapping field because of its low invasiveness, lack of radiation exposure, and relatively wide availability.

In addition to its revolutionary clinical application, BOLD-fMRI has greatly advanced the burgeoning field of cognitive neuroscience. (Temple's Functional Brain Imaging Center and Clinical MRI supports both of these clinical and research applications.) BOLD-fMRI may also be useful in the criminal justice field by either replacing or augmenting traditional polygraph tests to determine whether someone is lying or telling the truth. 

In a widely quoted investigation in 2006, Faro and colleagues from Temple University Hospital used BOLD-fMRI to show how specific areas of the brain light up when a person tells a lie or tells the truth. This work became the most publicized presentation at the Radiological Society of North America's annual conference in 2005. The study was cited and quoted in numerous national media outlets, including CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, the Discovery Channel, The Wall Street Journal and other major newspapers.

In addition to BOLD-fMRI,  Faro's research interests include neuron-imaging in epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, and molecular imaging and therapy for brain tumors. (Molecular imaging involves the use of imaging technologies to determine what cells are doing and how they function over periods of time, as opposed to conventional diagnostic imaging procedures - such as X-rays, CT, and MRI - which primarily offer anatomical pictures of the body's organs and tissues.)

Faro, who received his medical degree from Rutgers University, has participated in more than 100 clinical and research studies, made over 100 professional presentations, authored or co-authored more than 200 articles, abstracts, and book chapters, and is senior editor of a highly regarded textbook: Functional MRI: Basic Principles and Clinical Applications. Faro is currently working on his second major textbook which will be entitled Functional Neuroradiology: Physical Principles and Clinical Applications.

Faro's one-year tenure as President of ASFNR will begin in February 2010.

Date Published: Friday, July 24, 2009

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