IASNM’s Chai with Scintillating Stars: Webcast Series #9 (Dr. Katherine Zukotynsky)

True to the theme of our broadcast, today we invite an extremely well-known person in the field of radiology and nuclear medicine, Dr. Katherine Zukotynski. Dr. Dalal, the executive board member of IASNM, took the opportunity to introduce her. Katherine started her career with degree in engineering and dual board certification in radiology and nuclear medicine, both in USA and Canada. She worked as a staff radiologist at Dana Farber, she is now working as associate professor of Medicine and Radiology at McMaster University. Her leadership includes future presidency in ACNM for the year 2023-24, as well as current vice president of ACNM, co-chair of National Cancer Institute for targeted radio nuclide therapy, research advisor council on prostate cancer committee in Canada and several other positions in RSNA. She has many outstanding awards such as Best personal mentor award (ACNM), Distinguished educator award (SNMMI) and many other to name. She has 100 plus publication in peer reviewed journals and co-authored 20 book chapters and a book published in 2017.

Speaking about her journey, she recalled her days in engineering science, when she worked on building machine parts for MRI scanner which fascinated her to join Medical College and pursue medical imaging. She enjoyed reviewing imaging findings with referring clinicians. The idea of using radioactivity to make a difference in someone’s life made medical imaging more fascinating and tied up well with her engineering background. In 2015, she started her PhD concurrently with her job and found it very liberating and a great experience. She completed the PhD by 2020. She expressed her gratitude to her family to support her all through the academic days.

Getting into the thick of nuclear medicine, Dr. Dalal asked about the basic difference in working of ACNM and SNMMI. Katherine explained that ACNM is more geared towards physician, advocacy and governance. ‘It is more about how a student in nuclear medicine progresses in his/her chosen field’. Whereas SNMMI caters to a broader field in nuclear medicine including the physicians, technologist and other contributors.

Probing into enhancing collaborative efforts between ACNM and IASNM in mutually beneficial manner, Katherine added that unifying our strength is the best way to move forward. She believes the real advances in nuclear medicine is now. ‘We witness newer radiopharmaceuticals for imaging and therapy and see the impact on the patients. ACNM is focused to promote NM physicians-side and their knowledge. Education and promotion are the key to advancement of this field.’

Talking about her hobbies, she revealed her interest in art which she finds beautiful and inspiring. She enjoyed downhill skiing. More so she enjoys being with people around and their company.

Katherine expressed her desire in enhancing Nuclear Medicine field by promoting the career of young NM physicians. Dr Dalal suggested research education for juniors and mid-career faculty and more awareness to get actively involved in the college for nuclear medicine. Given this discussion Katherine warmly wished to have a ‘Chai’ with Dr. Dalal, discussing more about promoting research and study design in nuclear medicine. Her interview truly speaks about her dedication to progress education, career and prosperity of nuclear medicine. -Tarnscript by Dr. Kushbhoo Gupta



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