Research Summary

Soonmee Cha, MD, is a Professor In Residence of Radiology and Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program Director, and she is Radiology's Vice-Chair of Education. Dr. Cha has focused on the importance of validating the usefulness of MRI as a tool for brain tumor diagnosis, monitoring and identifying therapy endpoints. She obtained her medical degree from Georgetown University, School of Medicine, Washington in 1991. She completed her Diagnostic Radiology residency from North Shore University Hospital, Cornell University Medical College in New York, followed by a fellowship in Neuroradiology from New York University Medical Center in 1998.

Dr. Cha is committed to a career dedicated to patient-oriented research in the field of brain tumor imaging. She believes that non-invasive imaging technology will make important contributions to the health of patients through improving the specificity and precision of diagnosis and treatment monitoring, which will have significant impact on therapeutic decisions.

The main focus of Dr. Cha’s research is to identify reliable surrogate markers of prognosis and therapeutic efficacy by quantitative MR imaging methods in patients with brain tumors. She believes that by using MR imaging techniques such perfusion MR imaging, diffusion-weighted imaging, and 3-dimensional proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging, detection of changes in tumor angiogenesis, cellularity, invasion, tumor hypoxia, and metabolic burden can be accurately measured and will provide more specific information about patient’s early response to therapy in the context of tumor growth.

Dr. Cha has been awarded several NIH grants, serving as Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator on many NIH projects. She has published 87 articles, and she has written 77 peer-reviewed articles and 4 book chapters.


Brain tumor imaging

Professional Interests:
Brain tumor, brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, gliomas, primary cerebral lymphoma, angiogenesis, hypoxia, invasion, perfusion MR imaging, diffusion-weighted imaging, molecular imaging, biomarkers, microarray, genomics, neural stem cell

Education and Training:
• Medical School: Georgetown University, College of Arts and Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia
• Internship: Georgetown University Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church
• Residency: North Shore University Hospital, Cornell University Medical College, Manhasset, New York - Diagnostic Radiology
• Fellowship: New York University Medical Center, New York - Neuroradiology

Research Funding

  • August 1, 2003 - April 30, 2009 - Brain Tumor Imaging: Quantitative MRI and 1H MRS , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: K23NS045013


Georgetown University, Washington, DC, B.S., 1983-1987, Chemistry
Georgetown University, Washington, DC, M.D., 1987-1991, Medicine
Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, Internship, 1991-1992, Transitional Internship
North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY, Residency, 1992-1996, Diagnostic Radiology
New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, Fellowship, 1996-1998, Neuroradiology

Honors & Awards

  • April 2000
    ASNR Outstanding Presentation Award in General Neuroradiology at the 38th Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.
  • 1995
    Certificate of Merit Award, Scientific exhibit at RSNA
  • 1994
    Certificate of Merit Award, Scientific exhibit at RSNA

Selected Publications

  1. Isikbay M, Carrodeguas E, Tatem A, Cha S. Challenges of Preparing for Diagnostic Radiology Call. Radiology. 2023 Sep; 308(3):e230421.  View on PubMed
  2. Cha SM, Kim YK, Shin HD, Park JY, Lee SH. Importance of Whole-Body Scintigraphy or Positron Emission Tomography for Early Detection of Femoral Lesions in Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Bisphosphonates. Clin Orthop Surg. 2023 Aug; 15(4):659-667.  View on PubMed
  3. LaHue SC, Guterman EL, Mikhail M, Li Y, Cha S, Richie MB. Clinical and Radiographic Characteristics of Nocardia vs Non-Nocardia Brain Abscesses. Neurol Clin Pract. 2023 Apr; 13(2):e200134.  View on PubMed
  4. Calabrese E, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Rudie JD, Rauschecker AM, Baid U, Bakas S, Cha S, Mongan JT, Hess CP. The University of California San Francisco Preoperative Diffuse Glioma MRI Dataset. Radiol Artif Intell. 2022 Nov; 4(6):e220058.  View on PubMed
  5. Zhang Y, Lucas CG, Young JS, Morshed RA, McCoy L, Oberheim Bush NA, Taylor JW, Daras M, Butowski NA, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Cha S, Wrensch M, Wiencke JK, Lee JC, Pekmezci M, Phillips JJ, Perry A, Bollen AW, Aghi MK, Theodosopoulos P, Chang EF, Hervey-Jumper SL, Berger MS, Clarke JL, Chang SM, Molinaro AM, Solomon DA. Prospective genomically guided identification of "early/evolving" and "undersampled" IDH-wildtype glioblastoma leads to improved clinical outcomes. Neuro Oncol. 2022 10 03; 24(10):1749-1762.  View on PubMed
  6. Rudie JD, Calabrese E, Saluja R, Weiss D, Colby JB, Cha S, Hess CP, Rauschecker AM, Sugrue LP, Villanueva-Meyer JE. Longitudinal Assessment of Posttreatment Diffuse Glioma Tissue Volumes with Three-dimensional Convolutional Neural Networks. Radiol Artif Intell. 2022 Sep; 4(5):e210243.  View on PubMed
  7. Calabrese E, Rudie JD, Rauschecker AM, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Clarke JL, Solomon DA, Cha S. Combining radiomics and deep convolutional neural network features from preoperative MRI for predicting clinically relevant genetic biomarkers in glioblastoma. Neurooncol Adv. 2022 Jan-Dec; 4(1):vdac060.  View on PubMed
  8. Carrete LR, Young JS, Cha S. Advanced Imaging Techniques for Newly Diagnosed and Recurrent Gliomas. Front Neurosci. 2022; 16:787755.  View on PubMed
  9. Richie MB, Guterman EL, Shah MP, Cha S. Susceptibility-Weighted Imaging of Intravascular Lymphoma of the Central Nervous System. JAMA Neurol. 2022 01 01; 79(1):86-87.  View on PubMed
  10. Lucas CG, Gupta R, Wu J, Shah K, Ravindranathan A, Barreto J, Gener M, Ginn KF, Prall OWJ, Xu H, Kee D, Ko HS, Yaqoob N, Zia N, Florez A, Cha S, Perry A, Clarke JL, Chang SM, Berger MS, Solomon DA. EWSR1-BEND2 fusion defines an epigenetically distinct subtype of astroblastoma. Acta Neuropathol. 2022 01; 143(1):109-113.  View on PubMed
  11. Morshed RA, Lee AT, Wang EJ, Young JS, Cha S, Hervey-Jumper SL, Berger MS. Functional outcomes after resection of middle frontal gyrus diffuse gliomas. J Neurosurg. 2021 Nov 19; 1-8.  View on PubMed
  12. Li Y, Sloan E, Bollen A, Solomon D, Theodosopoulos P, Cha S. Systemic and Craniospinal Rosai Dorfman Disease with Intraparenchymal, Intramedullary and Leptomeningeal Disease. Int J Hematol Oncol Stem Cell Res. 2021 Oct 01; 15(4):260-264.  View on PubMed
  13. Lee WY, Shin HD, Kim KC, Cha SM, Jeon YS. Relationship between incidence of postoperative radial nerve palsy and surgical experience in the treatment of humeral shaft fractures through a posterior triceps splitting approach: A retrospective study. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2021 Aug; 55(4):338-343.  View on PubMed
  14. Calabrese E, Rudie JD, Rauschecker AM, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Cha S. Feasibility of Simulated Postcontrast MRI of Glioblastomas and Lower-Grade Gliomas by Using Three-dimensional Fully Convolutional Neural Networks. Radiol Artif Intell. 2021 Sep; 3(5):e200276.  View on PubMed
  15. Lee WY, Shin HD, Kim KC, Cha SM, Jeon YS, Kim DH. Open Reduction and Stable Internal Fixation Using a 3.5-mm Locking Hook Plate for Isolated Fractures of the Greater Tuberosity of the Humerus: A 2-Year Follow-up Study Using an Innovative Fixation Method. Clin Orthop Surg. 2021 Sep; 13(3):293-300.  View on PubMed
  16. Cluceru J, Nelson SJ, Wen Q, Phillips JJ, Shai A, Molinaro AM, Alcaide-Leon P, Olson MP, Nair D, LaFontaine M, Chunduru P, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Cha S, Chang SM, Berger MS, Lupo JM. Recurrent tumor and treatment-induced effects have different MR signatures in contrast enhancing and non-enhancing lesions of high-grade gliomas. Neuro Oncol. 2020 10 14; 22(10):1516-1526.  View on PubMed
  17. Choi ES, Cha SM, Shin HD. Autogenous Bone Graft With Kirschner Wire Fixation Could Be a Reliable Treatment Option for Scaphoid Nonunion in Adolescents. J Pediatr Orthop. 2020 Sep; 40(8):e708-e711.  View on PubMed
  18. Calabrese E, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Cha S. A fully automated artificial intelligence method for non-invasive, imaging-based identification of genetic alterations in glioblastomas. Sci Rep. 2020 07 16; 10(1):11852.  View on PubMed
  19. Cha SM, Shin HD. Features of the Ulnar Nerve Predicting Postoperative Prognosis in Idiopathic Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: Three Distinct Features of the Ulnar Nerve. Ann Plast Surg. 2020 07; 85(1):50-55.  View on PubMed
  20. Cha SM, Shin HD, Choi ES. Long-term outcomes of distal humeral epiphyseal separations treated via closed reduction and pinning under arthrogram. Injury. 2020 Feb; 51(2):207-211.  View on PubMed

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