Council of Early Career Investigators in Imaging (CECI²)2024-01-05T14:10:27-05:00

Introduction to CECI²

The Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research created the Council of Early Career Investigators

in Imaging (CECI²) in 2014 to recognize the achievements of researchers who are in the early phases of their careers and engage them in our advocacy for research funding.

Med Tech 2023

Med Tech allows CECI² to display hands-on, interactive, and informative examples of their research efforts to policymakers, representatives from NIH, Academy leadership, and attendees from the Research Roundtable.

Class of 2023-24 Resources

CECI2 Directory

Class of 2020-21 Resources

Class of 2022 Resources

CECI2 Alumni Resources

CECI Washington

Why nominate an early career researcher from your institution?

Academy leaders offer their perspective on the value of CECI².

CECI Washington

2023-24 CECI² Class by Degree

CECI 2023 Class by degrees

2023-24 CECI² Class by Society

The 2022-23 CECI² Experience 

"It is a rare platform to bring experienced investigators from across the country together with early career investigators in an intimate enough setting to really foster communication and collaboration. Talking with investigators, early-career to senior, from such a diverse group of departments was incredibly valuable. I came away with a better understanding of what physicists can do to support radiologists in the clinic and in research and made some career-long connections.”—
Megan Jacobsen, PhD, Class of 2022-23, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center

“The Academy is an extremely energized organization working relentlessly for the betterment of biomedical and imaging research. Research which would in turn help countless patients as well as the healthcare industry in general. This unique mission, combined with their dedicated council programming, motivated me to do more advocacy work of my own, with the goal of moving the needle for imaging research funding.”
Janardhana Ponnatapura, MD, CECI² Class of 2022-23, Wake Forest University


To advance the daily efforts of this program, the Academy announced the important addition of two new leadership positions within the Council as well as a CECI² Advisory Council in 2021.

Academy's CECI² Advisory Council

This Committee offers important perspectives and advice throughout the planning and execution of future CECI² class’s programing, as well as helping the Academy capitalize on our growing alumni network. The committee includes the two current Co-Chairs of this council as well as the below past council Co-Chairs.

Rebecca Rakow-Penner, MD, PhD

Rebecca Rakow-Penner, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, CECI² Class of 2014

Jadranka Stojanovska, MD

Jadranka Stojanovska, MD
Associate Professor, Radiology, New York University, CECI² Class of 2014

Samuel Galgano, MD

Samuel Galgano, MD
Assistant Professor, Abdominal Imaging Section and Division of Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics, CECI² Class of 2018

Alexander Goehler, MD

Alexander Goehler, MD
Executive Director, Precision Medicine Imaging and AI, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Cambridge MA, CECI² Class of 2018


The Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research created the Council of Early Career Investigators in Imaging (CECI²) in 2014 to recognize the achievements of researchers who are in the early phases of their careers and engage them in our advocacy for research funding.

Since its establishment, the CECI² program has continued to develop and become increasingly impactful, having now reached over 180 young investigators. With a mix of both MD and PhD’s alike, early career investigators have been nominated or sponsored by Academy member departments and societies. As the program matures, our goal with its expansion is to increase opportunities to engage even more investigators from within our robust membership.


Nominated by the Chair or Vice Chair for Research, Executive Director of Academy Member Society or Industry Partner of the Academy, the main criteria for consideration are their potential in securing an NIH RO1 in the future (based on RSNA grants, K awards and other society awards), their status as an “early career investigator” (ESI), as per the NIH’s definition, and by illustrating clearly their interest in the mission of the Academy.

Process: Updated Two Level Program Details

On August 15, 2023 Academy members are invited to nominate ONE early career investigator to represent their department/society/company to this Council’s Class of 2023-24.


Level 1 will engage participants in a digital setting through a variety of webinars, discussions, and workshops focused on topics such as advocacy, NIH funding, mock study section participation, grant applications, resubmissions, career development, and other issues important to early career researchers. Leaders and innovators from across the Academy’s unique membership will facilitate and lead these virtual discussions in a small group environment. The Academy estimates that Level 1 programming will last six to eight months.

Virtual sessions from the 2020-21 program included;

  • “The Importance of Advocacy: An Academy Introduction” with Academy staff including Executive Director Renee Cruea and Senior Director of Government Affairs and Strategic Initiatives Michael Heintz
  • “Grant Funding Myth Busters” with Dr. Elizabeth Krupinski, Academy Distinguished Investigators Co-Chair
  • A discussion focused on “Career Trajectory” with Dr. Hedvig Hricak, Academy CIBR Chair
  • “Working with Constituents to Advance Biomedical Research” with Aisling McDonough, Legislative Assistant on Health Issues for Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
  • “A Chat with NIBIB’s Founding Father” with Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, founding Director of NIBIB

Level 2 will include invited participants from Level 1, and offer the opportunity to be sponsored by their society or academic department for the Annual Medical Imaging Technology Showcase, Congressional Events, and NIH Meetings, including but not limited to:

  • Visit to the NIH Campus, to include meetings with NIH Program Officers and Program Staff
  • Academy’s Annual Capitol Hill Fly-in Day, to include meetings with the investigator’s Members of Congress
  • Annual Medical Imaging Technology Showcase on Capitol Hill, to include a unique research display from each investigator

In order to be considered for Level 2, investigators will need to meet a number of benchmarks associated with their Level 1 participation. These criteria will ensure that investigators sponsored to attend the in-person opportunities were highly engaged and motivated throughout the virtual programming. For 2022, more information on Level 2 will be forthcoming, as all in-person programming is dependent upon COVID-19.


Current CECI2 co-chairs:
Dr. Anton Becker, New York University, Dr. Aisling Chaney, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University, St. Louis

Who do I contact with questions?
Please address questions to Renee Cruea, Executive Director at or Casey Cappelletti, Director of Communications & Special Programs,

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