The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) presented its highest honor, the SIR Gold Medal, to Fred T. Lee Jr., MD; Albert A. Nemcek, Jr., MD, FSIR; and Bien Soo Tan, MD; during its Annual Scientific Meeting in Salt Lake City.

March 25, 2024 — The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) presented its highest honor, the SIR Gold Medal, to Fred T. Lee Jr., MDAlbert A. Nemcek, Jr., MD, FSIR; and Bien Soo Tan, MD; during its Annual Scientific Meeting in Salt Lake City. These awards acknowledge distinguished and extraordinary service to SIR or to the specialty of interventional radiology. Following the awards ceremony, Ezequiel “Zeke” Silva III, MD, FSIR, delivered the 2024 Charles T. Dotter Lecture, “Innovation in IR Public Policy: Then and Now.”

“As SIR celebrates its 50th anniversary, we are proud to honor these visionary physicians whose innovations, collaborations, leadership and mentorship continue to drive the specialty,” said SIR 2023–2024 President Alda L. Tam, MD, MBA, FSIR.

Meet the Gold Medal recipients

Fred T. Lee Jr., MD, is a professor of radiology, biomedical engineering, and urology and the Robert A. Turrell Professor of Imaging Science at the University of Wisconsin Department of Radiology. Lee has a special interest in cancer imaging and intervention with an emphasis on percutaneous tumor ablation. As an early pioneer in the field, he established the tumor ablation laboratory at Wisconsin in 1995, one of the first of its type in the world. His work has resulted in nearly 300 scientific publications, 22 book chapters, more than 70 major awards, 25 patents and inventions, and substantial federal and industrial grant support. The UW Clinical Tumor Ablation Program draws patients from all over the world to Madison. He is an inventor of two of the world’s most widely applied tumor ablation devices, which have been used to cure, prolong life, or relieve symptoms in over 80,000 cancer patients. The FDA has designated two devices he invented or helped develop as “breakthrough devices.” Lee is a founder of two venture-backed medical device companies: NeuWave Medical Inc., a University of Wisconsin spin-off company that was sold to Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson) in 2016, and Elucent Medical, Inc., a commercial-stage company improving surgery for breast and lung cancers. Lee is currently leading the translation of histotripsy for clinical use and is a board member and senior medical advisor for HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed company developing the Edison platform for delivery of histotripsy.    

Albert A. Nemcek, Jr., MD, FSIR, is an interventional radiologist and co-chair of the Quality for Radiology Program at Northwestern Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine. Nemcek attended Stanford University as an undergraduate, majoring in biological sciences and graduating with distinction. He started a medical career and headed to southern California to attend the UCSD School of Medicine. Following graduation, he pursued a diagnostic radiology residency in San Diego. Nemcek pursued a fellowship in the then relatively new field of interventional radiology from Northwestern, where he stayed as an attending and where he has spent the remainder of his career. In 2014, he obtained a master’s degree in healthcare quality and patient safety from Northwestern. Nemcek has been named a Top Doctor by Chicago Magazine on multiple occasions and has been honored by the establishment in 2011 of the Albert A. Nemcek Jr. Endowed Professorship in Interventional Radiology at Northwestern.

Nemcek’s love for teaching has led to frequent lectures at regional, national, and international meetings. He also became active in SIR, participating on multiple committees, including the Annual Meeting Committee, and serving for 5 years as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

Bien Soo Tan, MBBS, FSIR, is a senior consultant in the Department of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), and a clinical professor at the Duke-NUS Medical School.

Tan’s initial training in interventional radiology was in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at SGH, followed by a fellowship at Guy’s Hospital in London. On his return to SGH, he helped to develop the interventional radiology services there, establishing the center as the largest in Southeast Asia. It is now a standalone Department of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. The department has also trained more than 50 fellows from Asia and beyond.  

Tan has served in various leadership positions at his institution and professional organizations. He was the academic chair of the Radiological Sciences Academic Clinical Program at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Center from 2014 to 2020, the chair of the Division of Radiological Sciences at SGH from 2017 to 2020, and the head of the SGH Department of Diagnostic Radiology from 2002 to 2010. He is a past-president of the Asia Pacific Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology (APSCVIR), and a past-president of the College of Radiologists, Singapore. He is currently on the team of editors of the Journal of CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology. Tan is a fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE). He is active in research and has authored several publications in key interventional radiology clinical trials. Tan has been recognized for his contributions with several awards, among which are the 2013 CIRSE Distinguished Fellow Award and the 2022 APSCVIR Gold Medal.

Meet the 2023 Dr. Charles T. Dotter Lecturer

Ezequiel “Zeke” Silva III, MD, FSIR, is the chair of the AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC), and immediate past co-chair of the AMA Digital Medicine Payment Advisory Group (DMPAG). He is also the vice-chief of staff and medical director of radiology at the Methodist Hospital Texsan and serves as an adjunct professor at the UT Health-San Antonio, Long School of Medicine. He previously served as the chair of SIR’s Economics Committee and as editor of SIR’s Interventional Radiology Coding Update. He is the immediate past co-chair of the ACR Commission on Economics. Additionally, he was a board member of the Radiology Coding Certification Board for 5 years and also is a past president of the Texas Radiological Society. He serves the Texas Medical Association (TMA) as chair-elect for the Council on Legislation and previously served on the TMA Council on Socioeconomics. He represents the TMA as a delegate to the AMA House of Delegates and serves as president of the Bexar County Medical Society in San Antonio.

A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, he completed his medical education and residency at Baylor College of Medicine before pursuing a fellowship in vascular and interventional radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. In terms of academic contributions, Silva boasts an impressive body of work. He has authored 77 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, along with over 60 non-peer-reviewed publications. His expertise has been acknowledged through more than 70 CME-approved scientific lectures and exhibits. He has multiple visiting professorships including the University of Texas MD Andersen Cancer Center, Emory University School of Medicine, UCSD Medical School and the University of Vermont Medical Center. Notably, in 2016, his paper on alternative payment models received the "Best of 2016" award from the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Silva's academic achievements have been primarily focused on payment policy and quality initiatives in interventional and diagnostic radiology and across the broader healthcare landscape. In 2010, he chaired the ACR Task Force on Teleradiology Practice, with a particular emphasis on establishing technical and practice standards for the digital practice of radiology. This effort resulted in the publication of the "ACR White Paper on Teleradiology Practice," for which he served as the lead author. In San Antonio, he is a board member for the South Texas Radiology Group, a member of the Methodist Health Care System Unified Medical Board and Chair of the Unified Committee on Professional Excellence. He was recognized as a 2021 “Health Care Hero” by the San Antonio Business Journal for his local efforts during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Silva's clinical interests encompass digital applications in healthcare, with a particular focus on digital therapeutics and artificial intelligence.

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