ASNR Member Spotlight: Dr. Noriko Salamon, First Recipient of the Women in Neuroradiology Leadership Award

Dr. Noriko Salamon, MD, PhD, is a full-time neuroradiologist and professor of Radiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In February of this year, the Japanese Society of Neuroradiology awarded her with an honorary membership in recognition of her contribution in nurturing young neuroradiologists. Dr. Salamon was also the first recipient of the Women in Neuroradiology Leadership Award in 2012.

As we observe Women’s History Month this March, we celebrate Dr. Salamon and all of the women who make the ASNR and neuroradiology a better place.

How did you become interested in Neuroradiology?

During my time in medical school, I found myself drawn to the fields of psychiatry and neuroscience. It was around the time of my graduation that MRI technology was making significant advancements in imaging diagnosis, particularly in the realm of neuroradiology. This prompted me to pursue training in Diagnostic Radiology, which I found to be the most enticing program.

It’s worth noting that as I was the first female resident in radiology in my university hospital in Japan, it was initially challenging for everything. But particularity it was not easy path to venture into neuroradiology due to the strong presence of neurosurgery in diagnostic neuroradiology.

Dr. Noriko Salamon, MD, PhD

However, after a few years of working alongside clinical services as a resident, my passion for the neuro field resurfaced, leading me to choose a career path in neuro interventional radiology. To further hone my skills, I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from the French government, which enabled me to undergo training in France. This experience proved to be life-changing, solidifying my dedication to the field of Neuroradiology.

What motivated you to join ASNR?

I became a member of the ASNR during the 29th Annual Meeting held in Washington, DC, from June 9-14, 1991, while I was still in France. The society of Neuroimaging was not as vast back then, ASNR was one of the fundamental resources to networking with other neuroradiologists. Also,  there were numerous exciting technologies and advancements in imaging being developed during that time.

Why did you apply for the Women In Neuroradiology Leadership Award, and how have the additional skills and experience you gained influenced your career?

In 2011-2012, as I was going through the promotion process from associate professor to professor, I felt the need to evaluate my progress in my mid-career. Having served as a fellowship program director for six years and having practiced as a radiologist in three different countries (Japan, France, and the US), I wanted to assess where I stood professionally. Being selected as the first recipient of the Women In Neuroradiology Leadership Award by the ASNR was a real honor and provided me with a unique opportunity to attend a leadership course at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. This course offered invaluable insights into navigating various professional situations, and it greatly aided the advancement of my career. The following year, I was appointed as the section chief of neuroradiology and vice chair of Academic Affairs.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?

Throughout the past 22 years, I have been wholeheartedly dedicated to teaching and educating others in the field of neuroradiology. On a daily basis, I devote two hours to teaching students, residents, and fellows, in addition to reviewing cases. I also have the privilege of welcoming and mentoring residents, neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons, and neurologists from other countries, assisting them in their career development and serving as a research advisor.

My primary research interest lies in epilepsy, and I have published over 250 peer-reviewed papers. Furthermore, I am honored to be a co-investigator on five NIH-funded grants. In 2023, I published an epilepsy imaging atlas book, further contributing to the field.

Note: Applications are currently being accepted for the Women in Neuroradiology Leadership Award. For complete details, please visit the Foundation website. The application deadline is Wednesday, March 27.