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James T. Dobbins III

Professor Emeritus in Radiology
Radiology

Research Interests


The research in my laboratory focused on three main areas:  (1) advanced imaging applications to improve diagnostic accuracy in clinical imaging, (2) the scientific assessment of image quality, and (3) developing lower cost imaging for the developing world.

Projects in the area of advanced imaging applications have included applications of dual-energy and digital tomosynthesis for improving detection of cancer in chest and breast imaging.  We were the leading laboratory in the world in the application of tomosynthesis to thoracic imaging applications, and were the first to demonstrate that tomosynthesis can triple the detection sensitivity of pulmonary nodules over conventional chest radiography.  We had four NIH R01 grants funded to develop, optimize, and perform clinical studies of dual-energy and tomosynthesis imaging; commercial products in both these modalities are now available around the world as a result of our laboratory’s efforts.

My lab’s work in the science of image quality analysis has included substantial effort in the theory and experimental measurement of modulation transfer function, noise power spectrum, and detective quantum efficiency in undersampled digital systems.  We received the Sylvia Sorkin Greenfield award in 1996 for the best publication of the year in the journal Medical Physics as a result of this work.

Other projects included the development of a new noise reduction technique called Correlated-Polarity Noise Reduction for improvement of image quality and reduction of dose in CT imaging, and the development of a lower-cost CT scanner for the developing world.

Selected Grants


Training in Medical Imaging

Inst. Training Prgm or CMEMentor · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2003 - 2020

3D Digital Breast Phantoms For Multimodality Research

ResearchInvestigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2010 - 2014

Cross-disciplinary Training in Medical Physics

Inst. Training Prgm or CMEPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2007 - 2013

Tomosynthesis for Improved Pulmonary Nodule Detection

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1999 - 2007

Dual-Energy Screening For Nodular Disease

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1998 - 2000

Training in Medical Imaging

Inst. Training Prgm or CMEMentor · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2003 - 2020

3D Digital Breast Phantoms For Multimodality Research

ResearchInvestigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2010 - 2014

Cross-disciplinary Training in Medical Physics

Inst. Training Prgm or CMEPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2007 - 2013

Tomosynthesis for Improved Pulmonary Nodule Detection

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1999 - 2007

Dual-Energy Screening For Nodular Disease

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1998 - 2000

Dual Energy Screening For Nodular Disease

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1992 - 1999

Dual-Energy Screening For Nodular Disease

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1992 - 1996

Dual Energy Screening For Nodular Disease

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1993 - 1995

Dual-Energy Screening For Modular Disease

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1992 - 1995

Digital Chest Radiography With A Digital Beam Attenuator

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 1987 - 1989

Fellowships, Gifts, and Supported Research


Digital radiography research agreement with General Electric · 2000 - 2006 P.I. · General Electric To develop and evaluate dual-energy radiography and digital tomosynthesis methods with a focus on scientific issues relevant to clinical implementation of these techniques.
GE Healthcare VolumeRAD lung nodule detection study · 2009 - 2010 P.I. · GE Healthcare To conduct a multi-center clinical trial of chest tomosynthesis for improved pulmonary nodule detection.
X-ray A-48B Vortex study (last phase of VolumeRAD nodule detection study) · 2010 - 2013 P.I. · GE Healthcare To conclude the analysis of a multi-center clinical trial of chest tomosynthesis for improved pulmonary nodule detection, and to write a scientific manuscript on the study results.