Honorary Membership is presented for significant achievement in the field of radiology. This year the award will be presented to Omolola M. Atalabi, MBBS, Lorenzo E. Derchi, MD, and Guillermo Elizondo-Riojas, MD, PhD.
Omolola M. Atalabi, MBBS
A distinguished leader, researcher and educator who is internationally known for her work in advancing medical imaging in Africa, Omolola Atalabi, MBBS, is one of only a few pediatric radiologists practicing in Africa.
Dr. Atalabi received her medical degree in 1989 and a master’s degree in business administration in 2004, both from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She joined the University of Ibadan College of Medicine as a Lecturer 1 in 2000 and ascended to professor of radiology in 2016. In 2019, Dr. Atalabi was appointed as the first head of the newly created Special Duties Unit of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, by the hospital’s chief medical director, Professor Jesse Otegbayo, to enhance service delivery in the hospital. She is now the head and chair of the joint department of radiology of University of Ibadan College of Medicine and the University College Hospital.
Acclaimed for her passion for pediatrics and her advocacy for the imaging needs of African children, Dr. Atalabi is past president of the African Society of Pediatric Imaging, the World Federation of Pediatric Radiology, and a past president of the Society of Pediatric Imaging in Nigeria and of its Foundation. She is the immediate past president of the Association of Radiologists in Nigeria and past chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association Oyo state branch. She has also been an active member of the American Association for Women in Radiology, the Medical Women Association of Nigeria and the Pediatric Oncology Society of Nigeria. She was a member of the council and past secretary of faculty of radiology of the West African College of Surgeons and an active examiner in radiology of the National post graduate medical College of Nigeria and West African College of Surgeons.
Dr. Atalabi chaired the RSNA Regional Committee for Middle East/Africa and served on the RSNA International Advisory Committee from 2014 to 2018. She has also served on the RSNA Committee on International Radiology Education since 2015 and currently chairs the Global Learning Centers subcommittee.
Among her many professional accomplishments, Dr. Atalabi was awarded the RSNA Derek Harwood-Nash International Fellowship in 2007, which she completed at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the 2010 Hitachi Systems/RSNA Research Seed Grant. She has authored or co-authored 70 publications and three book chapters.
Dr. Atalabi is an honorary member of the Society of Pediatric Radiology (SPR) and a recipient of SPR’s Heidi Patriquin International Fellowship. In 2020, Dr. Atalabi was honored for her distinguished achievements with the 60th Anniversary Alumni Award from the Fiwasaye Girl’s grammar School in Akure, where she attended high school five decades earlier.
Lorenzo E. Derchi, MD
A recognized leader and pioneer in the use of Doppler ultrasound to image the genitourinary system, Lorenzo E. Derchi, MD, is the chair of Emergency Radiology at San Martino Hospital, Genoa, Italy.
Dr. Derchi received his medical degree from the University of Genoa. He joined San Martino Hospital as staff radiologist after becoming board certified. In 1994, he became chair of a radiology unit at the hospital and ascended to professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Genoa. From 2004 to 2011 he served as chair of the Department of Radiology at the hospital before accepting his current appointment as chair of Emergency Radiology.
An esteemed educator, Dr. Derchi instills a passion for radiology in his students. He has published over 200 articles, and several chapters in international and Italian textbooks. He also authored the Genitourinary Ultrasound issue of Ultrasound Clinics. His interests include the genitourinary system with an emphasis on renal and testicular disease. He served eight years on the written examination committee for the European Board of Radiology.
Dr. Derchi has been a leading figure in the European radiology community since early in his career. He served as a member of the board of directors of the Italian Society of Radiology (SIRM) and is a past president of the SIRM US section. In 1992 he was a member of the SIRM Congress organizing committee. A past president of the European Society of Urogenital Radiology and the Italian Society of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, Dr. Derchi helped shape the growth of the subspecialty societies.
Over the past decade, Dr. Derchi has helped guide and expand the European Society of Radiology (ESR) as a member of the ESR Executive Council from 2011 to 2016, then as president and board chair. As program planning committee chair for the European Congress of Radiology (ECR), Dr. Derchi oversaw the five-year anniversary celebration of EuroSafe Imaging at ECR 2019. The safety campaign raises awareness about radiation protection in medical imaging. Previously, he co-chaired the ECR Categorical Course on Ultrasound and ECR hands-on workshops on musculoskeletal US and chaired the ECR Categorical Course in Urogenital Radiology.
Widely recognized for his achievements in the specialty, Dr. Derchi is an honorary member of the National Radiological Societies of Algeria, France, Iran, Israel, Romania, Turkey and of the Romanian Society of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology.
Guillermo Elizondo-Riojas, MD, PhD
Guillermo Elizondo-Riojas, MD, PhD, is a leading pioneer and researcher in the development and use of contrast materials in MRI. As a renowned educator and speaker, he has helped grow and expand RSNA’s educational programs into Latin America.
Dr. Elizondo-Riojas received his medical degree from the University of Nuevo Leon (UANL), Monterrey, Mexico, where he also completed an internship and his radiology residency. During his final year in medical school he began using the first MRI machine in Latin America to study depression, Duchenne disease, liver abscesses and other common pathologies. Other research projects included the first patient injection of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) particles as specific contrast agent for the detection of liver metastases.
Dr. Elizondo-Riojas completed a fellowship at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1984 and a postdoctoral research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 1990. He returned to UANL as an assistant professor and also completed a doctorate in science with specialty in morphology.
Dr. Elizondo-Riojas is past president of the Mexican Board of Radiology and of his state society, the Sociedad Regiomontana de Radiología. He is currently a member of the editorial board of Diagnostic Imaging Latin America and Revista Mexicana de Radiología.
Dr. Elizondo-Riojas has published more than 150 articles with over 5,000 citations. He achieved many significant “firsts” in his research, including the first description of liver cirrhosis appearance on MRI with SPIO, the first human trial on an intravascular device for the creation of an arteriovenous fistula for hemodialysis and the first human trial on absorbable inferior vena cava filters.
Recognized by the Government of Mexico through its Teacher Improvement Program for the past 15 years, Dr. Elizondo-Riojas is currently teaching and researching radiologic applications of artificial intelligence, biomarkers in oncological imaging clinical applications of 3D printing.
Dr. Elizondo-Riojas has attended every RSNA annual meeting since 1982. As an enthusiastic and highly engaged RSNA member, he serves on the RSNA Committee for International Radiology Education (CIRE) and as chair of the CIRE Derek Harwood-Nash International Fellowship Subcommittee. He is a member of 33 medical and 10 professional societies, including RSNA, American College of Radiology, Association of University Radiologists and European Society of Radiology.
An esteemed educator, Dr. Elizondo-Riojas was a course director of RSNA’s first regional course held in Cancun, Mexico, in 2016. This course, “Emergency Radiology: Interactive Course with Cases,” was designed to meet the needs of radiologists in the region. The inaugural course led to the development of RSNA’s Spotlight Courses, which are tailored to meet specific needs of radiologists in locations around the world.