Aaron So PhD

Aaron So PhD

 Before my PhD I completed a Bachelor’s degree (Hons) at McMaster University in the Medical and Health Physics program. My research interest is in cardiac CT imaging, specifically quantitative CT myocardial perfusion imaging. Cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of mortality in the world and quantitative perfusion measurement allows a better understanding of the underlying hemodynamic causes and/or consequences of myocardial ischemia.

I really enjoyed my experience as a graduate student at Western.. My scientific supervisor, Dr. Ting Lee, is a world leader in developing quantitative CT Perfusion methodology for measuring tissue perfusion. His mentorship provided me with invaluable knowledge for pursuing research in CT myocardial perfusion imaging. Dr. Lee also allowed me complete freedom to design and execute my research, while keeping me on track and suggesting alternative solutions when problem arose. I feel this training has prepared me well to be an independent researcher in the future.

During my PhD training, I was humbled to receive two Research Trainee Prizes in successive years (2006 and 2007) from the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) for the development of quantitative CT myocardial perfusion imaging for the assessment of coronary artery disease. This year, I received a Research Fellow Grant ($50,000) from the RSNA Research & Education Foundation for the development of a dynamic dual energy CT scanning technique which would improve the accuracy of quantitative CT myocardial perfusion measurement. This international recognition has given me tremendous encouragement to continue in this research direction.

I was lucky to pursue my graduate training in one of the best biomedical imaging programs in Canada. Many facilities at Robarts and the affiliated hospitals across the city that are available for academic and clinical research are state-of-the-art, and the scientific advisors in the program are world leaders in their respective research fields. The multidisciplinary research environment allowed me to work closely not only with scientists, but also with cardiologists and radiologists. This is an enormous advantage in helping to translate preclinical CT imaging research to clinical applications. Since my PhD graduation, I started my medical physicist training in Diagnostic Imaging at St. Joseph’s Healthcare London. The duties of a Medical Physicist at a hospital include developing and optimizing new imaging protocols for clinical  investigations, and serving as the X-ray radiation protection consultant of the hospital. Besides this clinical training, I am also working as a research associate in the same lab at Robarts to continue my research on cardiac CT perfusion imaging.

My long term goal is to become a CT imaging scientist in a radiology department of an academic hospital with an equal division of my time between clinical service and academic imaging research.