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Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation to bestow annual awards honoring innovation and research

Leaders in Innovation, young investigator and research awards presented during SIR Annual Scientific Meeting

LOS ANGELES (March 19, 2018)Thomas McNamara, M.D., FSIR, received the Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation Leaders in Innovation Award on March 19, during the Society of Interventional Radiology’s (SIR) Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles.

McNamara is a professor emeritus and clinical faculty in the department of radiological sciences at the UCLA School of Medicine and chief of interventional pain management and vascular therapy at the Northern Inyo Hospital, Bishop, Calif. He pioneered techniques used for the investigation and treatment of peripheral vascular disease, developed thrombolysis treatments for blood clots, and led the development of innovative medical devices. He was among the first interventional radiologists to develop a clinical practice, paving the way for future participation of interventional radiology in overall patient management.

“Thomas McNamara is truly a renaissance interventional radiologist, advancing the speciality in all areas—he has developed treatments and practice models that pushed the boundaries of our specialty and revolutionized patient care,“ said Filip Banovac, M.D., FSIR, SIR Foundation chair and chief of vascular and interventional radiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville.  

The Dr. Gary J. Becker Young Investigator Award recognizes promising young practitioners to encourage the pursuit of academic careers. This year’s recipient is Ammar Sarwar, M.D. Sarwar is an assistant professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and an interventional radiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. His research focuses on the costs and outcomes of healthcare delivery for image-guided procedures at the population level which he investigated while leading an SIR Foundation research consensus panel on “Evaluating the Costs of Interventional Radiology in Healthcare Delivery.” In addition, Sarwar was the recipient of an SIR Foundation and Neiman Health Policy Institute grant evaluating readmissions after interventional radiology procedures.

The following individuals will be recognized for their outstanding achievements in research and innovation with the Dr. Constantin Cope Medical Student Research Award: Mark Finkelstein, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York; Francois Michaud, Université de Montréal; Ryan Kiefer, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Ross Bittman, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; Elliot Stein, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and Avik Som, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

SIR Foundation’s Resident/Fellow Research Awards recognize high-quality research by trainees. This year’s recipients are Tyler Sandow, M.D.; Ochsner Health System, New Orleans; Jamaal Benjamin, M.D., Ph.D.; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia;and Ahmed Gabr, M.D., Northwestern University, Chicago. 

Media contact information

Elise Castelli
SIR Director, Communications and Public Relations
Phone: (703) 460-5572 

Kate Martin
SIR Coordinator, Communications
Phone: (703) 460-5597

About the Society of Interventional Radiology

The Society of Interventional Radiology is a nonprofit, professional medical society representing more than 7,500 practicing interventional radiology physicians, trainees, students, scientists and clinical associates, dedicated to improving patient care through the limitless potential of image-guided therapies. SIR’s members work in a variety of settings and at different professional levels—from medical students and residents to university faculty and private practice physicians. The Society of Interventional Radiology is holding its Annual Scientific Meeting March 17–22 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Visit

About SIR Foundation

SIR Foundation is a scientific foundation dedicated to fostering research and education in interventional radiology for the purposes of advancing scientific knowledge, increasing the number of skilled investigators in interventional radiology and developing innovative therapies that lead to improved patient care and quality of life. Visit