Abin Sajan, MD, Receives SIR Foundation 2023 Radiology Resident Research Grant

Abin Sajan, MD, radiology resident

Second-year radiology resident Abin Sajan, MD, has been awarded the Radiology Resident Research Grant from the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) Foundation. Sajan will receive $20,000 for the implementation of his project, "Multicenter 3D Printed Modules for Improving IR Resident Education."

The one-year grant is awarded annually to a radiology resident in the U.S. or Canada, to fund a research project in an area identified by the SIR Foundation as important to the advancement of interventional radiology and patient care. 

“We are excited for Dr. Abin Sajan and grateful to the SIR Foundation for funding this exciting project," says Venkatesh (Kavi) Krishnasamy, MD, associate professor of radiology and director of interventional radiology and oncology research. “Dr. Sajan is an exceptional interventional radiology resident and has demonstrated great promise as a clinician-scientist.”  Krishnasamy will serve as Sajan’s mentor for the project.

Sajan's project addresses the need for better simulation training in interventional radiology by designing a low-cost alternative for hands-on endovascular training. The centerpiece of his proposal is a 3D printed, transparent vascular model, to be utilized for training in both procedural planning and technical skills suited for beginner, intermediate, and advanced operators.

"Simulation training in radiology is less developed than other fields like vascular surgery, interventional cardiology, general surgery, and neurosurgery, mainly due to the high costs of simulation technology and lack of associated research," says Sajan, whose project is one of the first studies to evaluate the use of 3D printing technology in IR.  

Currently, simulation in medical education is limited to a handful of manufacturers whose software is expensive and has limited flexibility for interventional radiology, which offers many different procedures in different body systems. Other specialties with similar obstacles have recently turned to tools like 3D models to assist with resident education.

The success of the program will be evaluated by quarterly evaluations with tier-based tasks to show its effectiveness and long-term retention. "We hypothesize that our proposed training program is similar in effectiveness to more expensive simulation-based technology on the market and that this pilot study will highlight feasibility of 3D printed vascular models for simulation training in radiology," says Sajan.

Residents in the Interventional Radiology Integrated Residencies at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the University of Chicago Medical Center will participate in the study.