Bio

Bio


Kristina Elizabeth Hawk, MS MD PhD is a Nuclear Medicine Physician and Neuroradiologist. As a physician scientist, integrated MD/PhD training helped build a foundation to explore translational research efforts, using a full and intricate understanding of the research process, and the developed ability to understand, discuss and teach new emerging concepts. Dr. Hawk?s dissertation in Neuroscience focused on the regulation of Nitric Oxide Synthase in the dorsal and ventral striatum, exploring the neurochemical role of nitric oxide producing interneurons, and their ability to coordinate dopaminergic and glutamatergic signaling in areas of the brain relevant to cognition and motivated behavior.

Eager to expand her passion into the field of Medical Radiation Physics, she also completed a separate Masters degree in Medical Radiation Physics. This provided her with in depth training of how therapeutic and diagnostic instruments use both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation in the clinical setting. She then completed her Medical Doctorate and Diagnostic Radiology Residency at the University of Southern California (USC), learning the art of medicine while serving the diverse population at Los Angeles County Hospital.

Dr. Hawk completed clinical fellowship requirements in Nuclear Medicine at USC, and is now Board Certified by the American Board of Nuclear Medicine. She also completed a Neuroradiology fellowship at USC, and is Board Certified the American Board of Radiology. She served as both the Chief Resident and Chief Neuroradiology Fellow.

Dr. Hawk has held multiple local and national leadership positions, including positions in the American College of Radiology (ACR), the American College of Nuclear Medicine (ACNM) and the Society of Nuclear and Molecular Medicine (SNMMI). Dr. Hawk is an editorial board member of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR). She has served as the Vice-Chair for Education for the Nuclear Medicine Resident Organization of the ACNM, and the Educational Liaison for the Resident and Fellow Section of the ACR. Currently, she serves on the national ACR Commission for Women and General Diversity as well as the ACR Commission on Nuclear Medicine. Dr. Hawk also sits on the ACR Council Steering Committee.

Dr. Hawk is committed to continually exploring the beautiful applications of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation to image and treat the human body.

Clinical Focus


  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Neuroradiology

Academic Appointments


Professional Education


  • Board Certification: Diagnostic Radiology, American Board of Radiology (2017)
  • Medical Education:University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine Registrar (2011) CA
  • MS, Rosalind Franklin University, Medical Radiation Physics (2008)
  • PhD, Rosalind Franklin University, Neuroscience (2009)
  • Professional Education:Rosalind Franklin University The Chicago Medical School (2009) IL
  • Internship:Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency (2012) CA
  • Residency:LAC USC Medical Center Radiology Residency (2016) CA
  • Fellowship:LAC USC Medical Center Radiology Residency (2017) CA
  • Fellowship:LAC USC Medical Center Radiology Residency (2016) CA
  • Board Certification: Nuclear Medicine, American Board of Nuclear Medicine (2016)

Publications

All Publications


  • Ferumoxytol Does Not Impact Standardized Uptake Values on PET/MR Scans. Molecular imaging and biology : MIB : the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging Muehe, A. M., Yerneni, K., Theruvath, A. J., Thakor, A. S., Pribnow, A., Avedian, R., Steffner, R., Rosenberg, J., Hawk, K. E., Daldrup-Link, H. E. 2019

    Abstract

    Tumor response assessments on positron emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans require correct quantification of radiotracer uptake in tumors and normal organs. Historically, MRI scans have been enhanced with gadolinium (Gd)-based contrast agents, which are now controversial due to brain deposition. Recently, ferumoxytol nanoparticles have been identified as an alternative to Gd-based contrast agents because they provide strong tissue enhancement on MR images but are not deposited in the brain. However, it is not known if the strong T1- and T2-contrast obtained with iron oxide nanoparticles such as ferumoxytol could affect MR-based attenuation correction of PET data. The purpose of our study was to investigate if ferumoxytol administration prior to a 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose [18F]FDG PET/MR scan would change standardized uptake values (SUV) of normal organs.Thirty pediatric patients (6-18 years) with malignant tumors underwent [18F]FDG-PET/MR scans (dose 3 MBq/kg). Fifteen patients received an intravenous ferumoxytol injection (5 mg Fe/kg) prior to the [18F]FDG-PET/MR scans (group 1). Fifteen additional age- and sex-matched patients received unenhanced [18F]FDG-PET/MR scans (group 2). For attenuation correction of PET data, we used a Dixon-based gradient echo sequence (TR 4.2 ms, TE 1.1, 2.3 ms, FA 5), which accounted for soft tissue, lung, fat, and background air. We used a mixed linear effects model to compare the tissue MRI enhancement, quantified as the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), as well as tissue radiotracer signal, quantified as SUVmean and SUVmax, between group 1 and group 2. Alpha was assumed at 0.05.The MRI enhancement of the blood and solid extra-cerebral organs, quantified as SNR, was significantly higher on ferumoxytol-enhanced MRI scans compared to unenhanced scans (p??0.05).Ferumoxytol administration prior to a [18F]FDG PET/MR scan did not change standardized uptake values (SUV) of solid extra-cerebral organs. This is important, because it allows injection of ferumoxytol contrast prior to a PET/MRI procedure and, thereby, significantly accelerates image acquisition times.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-019-01409-3

    View details for PubMedID 31325083

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