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Dr. Ernest WoodThe Department of Radiology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill has a rich history concerning Neuroradiology.The first Chair of Radiology was Dr. Ernest Wood, who was also the first full-time Neuroradiologist in the United States. Dr. Wood was a native of North Carolina and went to medical school at Duke University. Preceding his time at UNC, he was Chair of Radiology at the Neurological Institute in Columbia University. Dr. Wood was a founding member of the American Society of Neuroradiology and wrote several seminal textbooks together with Dr. Juan Taveras, who is considered the father of American Neuroradiology.

Dr. Wood relocated to Chapel Hill in 1952, the year when UNC’s medical school grew in duration from two to four years, North Carolina Memorial Hospital was built, and the Department of Radiology was established.  Dr. Wood expanded the Department’s general radiology care, initiated a Nuclear Medicine program and launched one of the state’s first screening mammography programs. Clinical research was initiated to assess the utility of magnification radiography, thermography and radionuclide scintigraphy. In 1965, Dr. Wood left to accept the directorship of the Department of Radiology at the Neurological Institute of New York.

Dr. James ScatliffDr. James Scatliff from Yale University was recruited as the Department’s second Chair. During his years training in Pediatric Radiology at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Dr. Scatliff’s dedicated training time in congenital spinal anomalies led to core knowledge of and interest in neuroradiology throughout his career in academic radiology. During Dr. Scatliff’s 15 years as Chair, he recruited multiple Neuroradiology faculty who were key to the fast-growing clinical and research footprint of the division and the Department of Radiology at NC Memorial Hospital. Walter Reed Hospital’s former Chief of Neurology and trained neuroradiologist Dr. Robert Whaley became the first clinical faculty member of UNC’s Division of Neuroradiology.

Joseph KT Lee, MD, FACR In the same year Joseph KT Lee, MD, FACR, was named UNC Radiology’s third Chair in late 1991, he recruited present-day, world-renowned neuroradiologist and Matthew A. Mauro, MD, Distinguished Professor in Radiology Mauricio Castillo, MD, FACR. Dr. Castillo arrived at UNC in 1992, at a point when there was no official Division of Neuroradiology. As a foremost priority, in his year of appointment, Dr. Castillo teamed with Dr. Whaley, applied for, and achieved an accredited Neuroradiology fellowship (1992), recruiting the first Neuroradiology fellow that year.

The dedication of Drs. Castillo and Whaley to achieving an ACGME-accredited fellowship paid off in recruiting a multitude of impressive Neuroradiology fellows and faculty whose time with UNC Neuroradiology leveraged distinguished careers in academic radiology.

Trained in head and neck neuroradiology, Dr. Suresh Mukherji (7 years UNC faculty) subsequently became Chief of Neuroradiology at University of Michigan, and thereafter at the Department of Radiology Chair at Michigan State University. UNC’s first interventional neuroradiologist Dr. Sten Solander brought onsite interventional neuroradiology expertise to UNC Radiology, and former UNC Neuroradiology fellow J. Keith Smith, MD, PhD, returned to UNC in 1996. Dr. Keith Smith Dr. Smith has since served in multiple leadership roles, including Diagnostic Radiology Program Director, Director of Clinical Faculty Development, Interim Chair and present-day Executive Vice Chair.

Over the years, UNC’s Division of Neuroradiology has diversified, both in gender and ethnicity. The division’s third Neuroradiology recruit, Dr. Valerie Jewells (2001) is an American College of Radiology Fellow and serves as UNC Radiology’s Co-Director of Clinical Faculty Development and Director of Quality and Safety.

Former resident and fellow Dr. Ben Huang joined the team in 2007 and serves as the division’s Fellowship Program Director. Drs. Huang and Jewells are the division’s long-standing neuroradiology faculty who contribute their expertise at UNC School of Medicine’s Head/Neck multi-disciplinary tumor board. In 2012, former resident and fellow Yueh (Ray) Lee, MD, PhD, joined UNC Neuroradiology and has since become an established translational neuroscientist at UNC. The UNC Neuroradiology’s present-day Division Chief is one of its most recent faculty recruits – Carlos Zamora, MD, PhD (2015). Drs. Zamora and Castillo met at a conference in their home country Guatemala. Soon thereafter, Dr. Zamora joined UNC Neuroradiology upon completing his fellowship. Trained in Taipei, Sheng-Che (Alex) Hung, MD, (2018) joined UNC Neuroradiology first as a researcher. He now serves now as the division’s pediatric neuroradiologist. The division’s most recent recruit, Kassie McCullagh, MD, (2021) joined the team after completing her fellowship at Stanford University.

Mauricio In the almost 30 years that Dr. Castillo has established himself within the institution and field, UNC’s Division of Neuroradiology has grown from two attendings to nine, and from one to four fellows per academic year. The division has proudly trained 77 Neuroradiology fellows since it gained ACGME accreditation in 1992.

In 1996, Dr. Francis Pepper, a radiologist practicing in Winston-Salem, NC who trained at UNC, provided funds to establish the Ernest Wood Distinguished Professorship and the Annual Wood Memorial Lecture. The Wood Lecture is in its 24th year (2021) and is the longest continuously running named lectureship in the Department of Radiology.