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Hedvig Hricak, MD, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York

Titles and Affiliations

Chair, Department of Radiology
Molecular Pharmacology Program, Sloan Kettering Institute
Professor, Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Professor, Radiology, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University

Research area

Advancing the clinical management of breast cancer worldwide through radiology research and training.


Radiologists play a crucial role not just in detecting breast cancer and monitoring cancer response to therapy, but also in breast cancer care—from image-guided breast cancer surgery to treatment interventions. However, radiologists working in settings without access to the latest technology may not be familiar with current advances in screening and treatments. Dr. Hricak leads a research training program that has educated breast imaging radiologists from 20 countries, enabling these specialists to conduct research and deliver the best imaging care in their communities.

Progress Thus Far

Dr. Hricak and her colleagues in the department of radiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center continue to expand their clinical research training program, which is now in its 18th year. Thus far, they have trained 55 radiologists from around the world in the use of advanced technologies for breast imaging. Recently, Dr. Hricak and her team completed collaborative work with members of the Medical Imaging and Nuclear Medicine Lancet Oncology Commission showing that the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer requires access to imaging to ensure accurate management decisions and optimal outcomes. Their global assessment of imaging and nuclear medicine resources identified substantial shortages in equipment and workforce, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries. Based upon this work, this year, Dr. Hricak will extend the training program to Africa, in line with President Biden’s initiative to extend Cancer Moonshot 2.0 to Africa.

What’s next

In the next year, the team will continue to provide training to advance clinical research in breast cancer imaging—using tools such as artificial intelligence, radiomics, and radiogenomics to extract diagnostic, prognostic, or biological information about breast cancer from breast images. They will also give trainees a foundation in interventional oncology for the use of radiation therapy to treat primary and metastatic breast cancer. The training in interventional oncology will also include clinical research studies looking at MSK-IMPACT™ (Integrated Mutation Profiling of Actionable Cancer Targets) next generation sequencing in relation to patient outcomes in response to image-guided metastatic breast cancer therapies. Finally, the trainees will receive education in theranostics, which combines the fields of imaging, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Ultimately, this work will aid in the detection and treatment of breast cancer worldwide.


Hedvig Hricak is Chair of the Department of Radiology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a member of the Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program, Sloan Kettering Institute, and Professor, Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The hallmark of her research career has been the validation of new imaging technologies and their translation into clinical practice, with a special emphasis on oncology. She is particularly renowned for pioneering the application of MRI to prostate and gynecological cancers. Her extensive publication record includes more than 380 peer-reviewed original research articles and over 135 monographs and book chapters. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and a “foreign” member of the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Russian Academy of Science. She has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute, the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board of the NAS. She has long been committed to promoting education and international collaboration in imaging. With support from BCRF and NCI, she established a global program for training in breast cancer imaging and research. She is also PI of the NIH/NCI R25T program “Molecular Imaging: Training for Oncology,” as well as MSKCC co-PI of the training section of the CCNY-MKSCC Partnership grant for underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral trainees. Her numerous honors and awards include an honorary doctorate from the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich.

BCRF Investigator Since


Donor Recognition

The Lifetime Award

Areas of Focus

Treatment Tumor Biology