UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health: UW imaging pioneer earns national honor for innovation

Contact: Ian Clark (608) 890-5641 [email protected]

MADISON, Wis. — Charles Mistretta, who developed two outstanding advances in vascular imaging, was recently honored as the recipient of the 2016 Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Medal of Innovations in Healthcare Technology. The award is given for outstanding contributions or innovations in engineering within the fields of medicine, biology and health care technology.

Mistretta, professor of medical physics and radiology at UW-Madison (with an affiliate appointment in biomedical engineering), earned this prestigious award for his development of imaging instrumentation and techniques that have transformed the diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases. He led the research team that in 1971 developed digital subtraction angiography (DSA).

“We congratulate Professor Mistretta for receiving this well-deserved national honor. We also thank him for the remarkable impact he has had on the lives of countless patients and their families.” said Robert N. Golden, Dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “His leadership in developing new technologies for imaging blood vessel disease has revolutionized the approach to diagnosing and treating a variety of serious medical conditions.”

In addition to DSA, Mistretta’s many contributions to the field include TRICKS, a three-dimensional, time-resolved imaging technique used to diagnose blood clots and other vascular problems. Patented in 1996, TRICKS is the “gold standard” in vascular imaging.

Mistretta earned his PhD in high-energy physics from Harvard University in 1968 and joined the UW faculty in 1971. His pioneering research in time-resolved angiography has led to significant improvements in the effectiveness, speed and image quality of magnetic resonance imaging, X-ray computed tomography, and interventional X-ray imaging. Mistretta holds 43 U.S. patents, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

For nearly a century, the IEEE Awards Program has paid tribute to researchers, inventors, innovators, and practitioners whose exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions have made a lasting impact on technology, society, and the engineering profession. Each year the IEEE Awards Board recommends a small number of outstanding individuals for IEEE’s most prestigious honors.