Cardiac MRI Physicians
Sanjeet Hegde, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director of Advanced Cardiac Imaging Program
Beth Printz, M.D., Ph.D., Lead for Advanced Cardiac Imaging Quality Improvement
Hari Narayan, M.D., Lead for Cardio-Oncology Advanced Imaging Research
Eleanor Lehnert Schuchardt, M.D., Lead for Fetal Cardiac MRI Program
Amanda Potersnak, Advanced Imaging Coordinator
Amanda Potersnak previously served as the Interventional Cardiac MRI Lead for the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Intervention at the National Institutes of Health developing structural heart interventions. She has spent the past 23 years dedicated to Interventional Neuro, Fetal, Advanced Vascular and Cardiac MRI. Amanda was the Lead of Cardiac MRI for Children’s Medical Center Dallas and developed the first Interventional CMR Lab in the southern United States. Working closely with CMR and interventional cardiology teams, she has been able to develop an ICMR environment that performs diagnostic right and left heart catheterizations with dynamic lymphangiography on pediatric complex congenital heart patients and is considered the leading expert for interventional cardiac MRI.
Joni Blood, Cardiac MRI Research Technologist
Joni Blood is a certified and registered with ARRT in Radiography, Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance. She specializes in pediatric, cardiac, interventional, fetal and research imaging. Joni is interested in novel technologies related to cardiovascular imaging, fetal imaging and patient services improvement.
Robyn Augustyn, 3D Technologist
Robyn Augustyn, BSRT (RT)(CT) is a 3D imaging technologist that joined Rady Children’s in 2020. She has been working in the field for over 20 years; starting in CT scan, becoming a Lead CT technologist, then her interest in technology and innovation lead her to become one of the first 3D technologists. Robyn assists the Cardiologists in analysis of cardiac MRIs and performs 3D computer models from CT and MRI data of the body for surgical and intervention planning, specializing in congenital heart defects.
Angela Hermann, MRI Nurse
Francisco Contijoch, Ph.D.
Francisco Contijoch is currently an Assistant Professor in the Bioengineering and Radiology Departments of the University of California San Diego. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and was then a University of California President’s Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Cardiology Division at UC San Diego. His main research areas are cardiovascular imaging and cardiac physiology. Specifically, he has developed data acquisition, image reconstruction and analysis strategies for clinical imaging modalities to improve diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of disease.
Dr. Contijoch’s work develops and applies novel imaging techniques to answer important questions related to cardiovascular disease. To improve evaluation of patients with arrhythmias and other cardiovascular disorders, they have developed advanced CMR techniques. In addition, they have implemented advanced physiology frameworks to improve our understanding of pathophysiology by combining clinically-available measures with new imaging metrics. In addition to MRI methods, they have developed ECG-gated CT based methods to evaluate cardiac function and improved non-invasive assessment of coronary artery disease.
The Advanced Cardiac Imaging program works closely with the Helen and Will Webster Foundation 3D Innovation Lab to leverage the expertise of the research scientists to create 3D models and prints based on the medical images obtained. This allows for precise planning of complex heart surgeries and is also a powerful education tool for patients and families. The team also works very closely with Bioengineering at UCSD and has NIH grants with Cardiac Mechanics Research Group, Contijoch lab, and Materials Science and Engineering.
Justin Ryan, Ph.D., Director of 3D Innovations Lab
Justin is bringing the art of 3D anatomical modeling — a highly technical and rapidly evolving field that holds incredible potential for transforming care — to Rady Children’s. A computer imaging and animation master-turned-biomedical engineer, Dr. Ryan joins us as director of the new 3D Innovations Lab (3DI Lab). The first of its kind in Southern California, the 3DI Lab will create 3D models and prints based on medical images, such as CT scans and MRIs, to support precise surgical planning and improve outcomes specifically for pediatric patients. In addition, the lab will train current and future physicians and scientists, develop educational resources for patients and families, and fuel further innovation in the 3D modeling space. An accomplished leader in his field, Dr. Ryan previously ran the Cardiac 3D Print Lab at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where he created more than 500 unique cardiac models. The 3DI Lab and its services are a hospital-wide initiative — the lab’s unique interdisciplinary structure will open the benefits of 3D modeling to patients facing everything from spinal conditions to neurological disease to plastic surgery.
Parham Gholami is a research engineer at the 3D Innovations Lab at Rady Children’s. As an enthusiast of working for the public good, Parham has leveraged his experience in video game development and web technology to create easily approachable software that empowers doctors, surgeons, and patients. He is always in search of technology capable of improving the standard of care and enhancing the patient experience.