Skip to main content


Achala VagalMission/Vision

The department of Radiology is committed to  research as a critical component of the academic enterprise. Our research mission is to collaborate in high quality clinical research that requires cutting edge imaging, and to conduct high quality medical imaging research that advances the practice of radiology. We will accomplish this through excellence in collaboration, interpretive skills, technology and education.

Core Organizational Competencies  

  • Fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships through medical imaging
  • Conducting high quality imaging with integrity to research protocols
  • Providing subspecialty expert imaging interpretations
  • training future generations of clinical and imaging scientists

Organizational Values

The UCMD Department of Radiology is enthused with passion for excellence, integrity and teamwork in research. We are dedicated to providing world-class medical imaging for scientific underpinnings translating to improved health of our patients and community and to bring best practices from research to improve clinical care.

Achala Vagal, MD, MS - Vice Chair of Research

Dr. Vagal is the Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Radiology and Associate Professor of Radiology in the Section of Neuroradiology with expertise in advanced neuroimaging of cerebrovascular diseases. She is actively involved in multidisciplinary collaborations with the Cerebrovascular and Stroke Center of the University of Cincinnati Gardner's Neuroscience Institute. Her roles include being the radiology leader of the Cincinnati clinical site's Clinical Trial Working Group for the NIH/NINDS Network of Excellence in Neuroscience Trials (NEXT) and NIH Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials (NETT) Network. She is the recipient of American Roentgen Ray Society Radiology Research (ARRS) Scholarship award, the CCTST CT2 Research Scholar award and CTSA/CCTST KL2 research scholar mentored career development award for studying multimodal neuroimaging in stroke on related work. Her KL2 concentration area was implementation and management of central imaging core labs. She has extensive experience in project management of imaging core labs for stroke imaging, including the central imaging core lab in the NIH-funded multicenter CLEAR-ER and CLEAR-FDR trials and is the Director of Imaging Core Lab housed at University of Cincinnati for the industry sponsored, Phase 3 PRISMS acute stroke trial.

Kim Cecil, PhD, MS - Interim Scientific Director for Research

Kim Cecil, PhD serves as Interim Scientific Director for Research at UC Radiology. While her primary appointment is at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, she lends her knowledge and experience as a translation focused scientist to our growing research program. She feels that academic radiologists have unique and valuable knowledge to share via meeting presentations, peer-reviewed publications, and investigator initiated research projects. Her efforts at UC are targeted with helping faculty, fellows and medical students more easily participate in research. Dr. Cecil is a Kentucky Wesleyan College James Graham Brown scholar who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree holding majors in Chemistry and Mathematics. Pursuing an interest in Chemistry, she completed Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees from Vanderbilt University. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in Radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998, Dr. Cecil joined the Imaging Research Center at CCHMC, where she serves as a magnetic resonance spectroscopist and imaging scientist, and is now Professor of Radiology and Pediatrics. Dr. Cecil’s own research efforts focus on new applications of imaging methods aimed towards understanding the mechanisms of injury incurred by diseases and environmental neurotoxicant exposures. Her work is funded by the National Institutes of Health where she currently leads as principal investigator on two R01-level cohort studies and serves as a co-investigator on five other R01 projects. Her work was highlighted in a 2017 episode of the television program, NOVA, which focused on the Flint Michigan water crisis from lead exposure.

Imaging Core Lab

The UC Imaging Core Lab, led by Achala Vagal, MD, MS, provides a full range of imaging biomarkers as well as protocol design and centralized independent reading. The lab is composed of a highly experienced team including specialized radiologists, physicists, dedicated post-processing technologists, and program and project staff. The lab maintains compliance with all regulatory requirements and conducts studies with data integrity and complete audit trails.

Services and Expertise:

  • Clinical Trial and Protocol Design and Implementation
  • Project Management, Data Management, and Quality Control
  • Imaging Quality Assurance
  • Centralized Imaging Interpretation for multi-institutional trials maximizing accuracy and precision of image analysis
  • Rapid image processing, analysis and data delivery

The department also offers up to three Medical Student Research Grants per year for medical students wishing to pursue research interests in Radiology.

Directory Search

Contact Us

Department of

234 Goodman Street
PO Box 670761
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0761

Phone: 513-584-4396
Fax: 513-584-0431