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Osama R. Mawlawi, Ph.D., FAAPM

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Section Chief, Nuclear Medicine Physics Section, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Professor, Department of Imaging Physics, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Dual/Joint/Adjunct Appointment

Faculty, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX

Bio Statement

Dr. Mawlawi is a Tenured Professor of Imaging Physics and the Section Chief of Nuclear Medicine Physics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC). He started his Medical Physics career at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York as a research assistant from 1990-1998. He later joined Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons as an Assistant Professor from 1998-2001 before coming to MDACC in 2001. Dr. Mawlawi has extensive expertise in PET imaging of biomarkers in preclinical applications and in Phase I-III clinical trials. His primary interest focuses on investigating factors affecting absolute quantification of PET/CT images. His ongoing research is aimed at developing novel techniques for PET/CT image acquisition, correction and reformation, as well as modeling the distribution of novel radiotracers. He has authored over 100 peer reviewed articles and book chapters and is the recipient of several grants from industry and professional societies. Dr. Mawlawi is also an active member of several professional societies such as the SNMMI, AAPM, IEEE, RSNA and ACR where he serves in various roles such as task group chair, board member, or review committee and is the past president of the American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine (ABSNM). Dr. Mawlawi also serves on multiple institutional committees such as the IRG, CRC, RSC, and ECFS. He has won numerous awards, most recently the MD Anderson's President's Recognition for Faculty Excellence Award in 2014. Dr. Mawlawi is frequently invited as a presenter at national and international conferences. He is board certified in Nuclear Medicine Physics and instrumentation by the ABSNM and in Diagnostic Radiologic Physics by the ABR.

Research Interests

His research interests are focused on Nuclear Medicine physics with specific focus on PET/CT imaging.

Areas of specialization include: 

  • PET/CT and PET/MR image formation, quantification and accuracy
  • Radionuclide dosimetry 
  • Kinetic modeling

The research in his laboratory is directed at functional imaging using Positron Emission Tomography (PET). A strong interest lies in the factors affecting absolute quantification of PET images such as partial volume, scatter, and patient motion artifacts. Ongoing research is looking at novel techniques of image acquisition, correction and formation. Other interests lie in modeling the distribution of novel radiotracers to image specific biochemical processes such as metabolism, blood flow, receptor binding and expression.

A tutorial in his lab would provide the student with an in-depth experience of functional imaging using PET. Moreover, the student will get hands-on experience with image acquisition, reconstruction, and analysis software tools.

Clinical Interests

  • PET/CT, SPECT/CT, and Nuclear Medicine imaging
  • Quality control, assurance, and improvement of Nuclear Medicine and PET imaging

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1999 Columbia University, New York, NY, PHD, Biomedical Engineering
1990 Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY, MS, Biomedical Engineering
1988 American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, BE, Electrical Engineering

Board Certifications

7/2009 American Board of Radiology Diagnostic Radiological Physics
7/2003 American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine (ABSNM)


Academic Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Imaging Physics, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2005-2011

Administrative Appointments/Responsibilities

Imaging Physics Residency Program Steering Committee, Department of Imaging Physics, Imaging Physics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2008-present
Nuclear Medicine Research Peer Review Committee, Department of Imaging Physics - Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2008-present
Imaging Physics Research committee member, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2008-present
Medical Physics Graduate Program Steering committee, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2007-2013

Other Appointments/Responsibilities

Member, Board of Directors, American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine, Reston, VA, 2009-2011

Institutional Committee Activities

Member, Credentials Committee of the Medical Staff, 2009-2011
Member, Study section review committee for Basic Research Projects; Institutional Research Grants Program, 2008-2011

Honors and Awards

2014 President’s Recognition for Faculty Excellence, MD Anderson Cancer Center
2013 Fellow, American Association of Physicist in Medicine
2011 Re-Award of Tenure, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
2005 Outstanding contributions to JNMT, Society of Nuclear Medicine
2005 Tenure, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1997 Scientific Exhibits Section of the Society of Nuclear Medicine

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Fried DV, Tucker SL, Zhou S, Liao Z, Mawlawi O, Ibbott G, Court LE. Prognostic Value and Reproducibility of Pretreatment CT Texture Features in Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 90(4):834-42, 11/15/2014. e-Pub 9/11/2014. PMID: 25220716.
2. Benveniste AP, Marom EM, Benveniste MF, Mawlawi OR, Miranda RN, Yang W. Metastases to the breast from extramammary malignancies - PET/CT findings. Eur J Radiol 83(7):1106-1112, 7/2014. e-Pub 4/2014. PMID: 24844731.
3. Benveniste AP, Yang W, Benveniste MF, Mawlawi OR, Marom EM. Benign breast lesions detected by positron emission tomography-computed tomography. Eur J Radiol 83(6):919-29, 6/2014. e-Pub 2/2014. PMID: 24657106.
4. Dabaja BS, Hess K, Shihadeh F, Podoloff DA, Medeiros LJ, Mawlawi O, Arzu I, Oki Y, Hagemeister FB, Fayad LE, Reed VK, Kedir A, Wogan CF, Rodriguez A. Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography Findings During Therapy Predict Outcome in Patients With Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Treated With Chemotherapy Alone but Not in Those Who Receive Consolidation Radiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 89(2):384-91, 6/2014. e-Pub 4/2014. PMID: 24721592.
5. Rahim S, Mawlawi O, Taylor S, Millican R, Swanston NM, Brown JE, Rohren EM. Is imaging the extremities with PEM feasible? A novel application for a high-resolution positron emission scanner. Clin Imaging 38(3):307-13, May-Jun, 5/2014. e-Pub 11/2013. PMCID: PMC4086786.
6. Rahim S, Mawlawi O, Fox P, Taylor S, Millican R, Swanston NM, Brown JE, Rohren EM. Correlation of PUV and SUV in the extremities while using PEM as a high-resolution positron emission scanner. Skeletal Radiol 43(4):453-8, 4/2014. e-Pub 1/2014. PMCID: PMC4086781.
7. Erasmus JJ, Mawlawi O, Howard B, Patz EF. PET-CT: Current Applications and New Developments in the Thorax. Semin Respir Crit Care Med 35(1):145-56, 2/2014. e-Pub 1/2014. PMID: 24481767.
8. Riegel AC, Bucci MK, Mawlawi OR, Ahmad M, Luo D, Chandler A, Pan T. Defining internal target volume using positron emission tomography for radiation therapy planning of moving lung tumors. J Appl Clin Med Phys 15(1):4600, 1/2014. PMID: 24423860.
9. Truong MT, Viswanathan C, Carter BW, Mawlawi O, Marom EM. PET/CT in the Thorax: Pitfalls. Radiol Clin North Am 52(1):17-25, 1/2014. e-Pub 9/2013. PMID: 24267708.
10. Carkaci S, Sherman CT, Ozkan E, Adrada BE, Wei W, Rohren EM, Mawlawi OR, Ueno NT, Buchholz TA, Yang WT. (18)F-FDG PET/CT predicts survival in patients with inflammatory breast cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 40(12):1809-16, 12/2013. e-Pub 7/2013. PMID: 23877633.
11. Dabaja BS, Phan J, Mawlawi O, Medeiros LJ, Etzel C, Liang FW, Podoloff D, Oki Y, Hagemeister FB, Chuang H, Fayad LE, Westin JR, Shihadeh F, Allen PK, Wogan CF, Rodriguez MA. Clinical Implications of PET-Negative Residual CT Masses after Chemotherapy for Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Leuk Lymphoma 54(12):2631-8, 12/2013. e-Pub 5/7/2013. PMCID: PMC3827734.
12. Cho J, Ibbott G, Gillin M, Gonzalez-Lepera C, Titt U, Paganetti H, Kerr M, Mawlawi O. Feasibility of proton-activated implantable markers for proton range verification using PET. Phys Med Biol 58(21):7497-512, 11/2013. e-Pub 10/2013. PMCID: PMC3998106.
13. Chang T, Diab RH, Clark JW, Mawlawi OR. Investigating the use of nonattenuation corrected PET images for the attenuation correction of PET data. Med Phys 40(8):082508, 8/2013. PMID: 23927353.
14. Elnayal A, Moran CA, Fox PS, Mawlawi O, Swisher SG, Marom EM. Primary salivary gland-type lung cancer: imaging and clinical predictors of outcome. AJR Am J Roentgenol 201(1):W57-63, 7/2013. PMCID: PMC3767141.
15. Cho J, Ibbott G, Gillin M, Gonzalez-Lepera C, Min CH, Zhu X, El Fakhri G, Paganetti H, Mawlawi O. Determination of elemental tissue composition following proton treatment using positron emission tomography. Phys Med Biol 7:58(11):3815-35, 6/7/2013. e-Pub 5/16/2013. PMCID: PMC3763743.
16. Benveniste MF, Welsh J, Godoy MC, Betancourt SL, Mawlawi OR, Munden RF. New era of radiotherapy: An update in radiation-induced lung disease. Clin Radiol 68(6):e275-90, 6/2013. e-Pub 3/6/2013. PMCID: PMC3941603.
17. Mawlawi O, Court L.E. Four dimensional PET/CT in Radiation Oncology. PET Clinics 8(1):81-94, 1/2013.
18. Chang G, Chang T, Pan T, Clark JW, Mawlawi OR. Joint correction of respiratory motion artifact and partial volume effect in lung/thoracic PET/CT imaging. Med Phys 37(12):6221-6232, 12/2010. PMCID: PMC3820620.
19. Milito MA, Kontoyiannis DP, Lewis RE, Liu P, Mawlawi OR, Truong MT, Marom EM. Influence of host immunosuppression on CT findings in invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Med Mycol 48(6):817-23, 9/2010. PMID: 20109093.
20. Chang G, Chang T, Clark JW, Mawlawi OR. Design and performance of a respiratory amplitude gating device for PET/CT imaging. Med Phys 37(4):1408-12, 4/2010. PMCID: PMC3810262.
21. Riegel AC, Bucci MK, Mawlawi OR, Johnson V, Ahmad M, Sun X, Luo D, Chandler AG, Pan T. Target definition of moving lung tumors in positron emission tomography: correlation of optimal activity concentration thresholds with object size, motion extent, and source-to-background ratio. Med Phys 37(4):1742-52, 4/2010. PMCID: PMC3820629.
22. Devine CE, Mawlawi O. Radiation Safety With Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography. Semin Ultrasound CT MR 31(1):39-45, 2/2010. PMID: 20102694.
23. Costelloe CM, Raymond AK, Fitzgerald NE, Mawlawi OR, Nunez RF, Madewell JE, Harrell RK, Bassett RL, Marom EM. Tumor necrosis in osteosarcoma: inclusion of the point of greatest metabolic activity from F-18 FDG PET/CT in the histopathologic analysis. Skeletal Radiol 39(2):131-40, 2/2010. e-Pub 9/17/2009. PMID: 19760279.
24. Chang G, Chang T, Pan T, Clark JW, Mawlawi OR. Implementation of an automated respiratory amplitude gating technique for PET/CT: clinical evaluation. J Nucl Med 51(1):16-24, 1/2010. e-Pub 12/15/2009. PMCID: PMC3963814.
25. Tonkopi E, Chi PC, Mawlawi O, Riegel AC, Rohren EM, Macapinlac HA, Pan T. Average CT in PET studies of colorectal cancer patients with metastasis in the liver and esophageal cancer patients. J Appl Clin Med Phys 11(1):3073, 2010. e-Pub 2/4/2010. PMCID: PMC3883558.
26. Li H, Mawlawi OR, Zhu RX, Zheng Y. Blind deblurring reconstruction technique with applications in PET imaging. Int J Biomed Imaging:718157, 2009. PMCID: PMC2696026.
27. Chang G, Pan T, Qiao F, Clark JW Jr, Mawlawi OR. Comparison between two super-resolution implementations in PET imaging. Med Phys 36(4):1370-83, 2009. PMCID: PMC3910148.

Last updated: 7/14/2015