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Elias R. Melhem, MD

Dean John M. Dennis Chair of Radiology

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:

Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

Administrative Title:

Chair, Department of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine



Education and Training

  • American University of Beirut, BS, 1984
  • University of South Alabama, MD, 1988
  • Residency, University of Iowa, Pediatrics, 1990
  • Residency, Johns Hopkins University, Radiology, 1993
  • Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, Neuroradiology, 1995


A leader in the development and use of new technology in neuroradiology, Dr. Melhem joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2012 as Chair of the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine. Since then, he has greatly strengthened the Department's robust research program. As a widely respected investigator, he has secured nearly $10 million in external research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) throughout his career.

Dr. Melham's research focuses in part on brain function in children with sickle cell disease, while his laboratory also examines vascular reactivity changes to understand how tumors transform from benign to malignant. He also oversees research using advanced MRI techniques to evaluate upper motor neuron disease in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Dr. Melhem has received many honors throughout this career, including the Melvin M. Figley Fellow in Radiology Journalism from the American Roentgen Ray Society. He is a prolific scholar, having written more than 140 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Neuroradiology, Diffusion Tractography, Sickle Cell Disease, MRI Techniques, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Highlighted Publications

  • Oguz K, Golay X, Pizzini FB, Freer CA, Winrow N, Ichord R, Casella J, van Zijl PCM, Melhem ER. Continuous Arterial Spin Labeling Perfusion Imaging in Children with Sickle Cell Disease. Radiology 2003; 227:567-574
  • Strouse JJ, Cox CS, Melhem ER, Lu H, Kraut MA, Razumovsky A, Yohay K, van Zijl PC, Casella JF. Inverse correlation between cerebral blood flow measured by continuous arterial spin-labeling (CASL) MRI and neurocognitive function in children with sickle cell anemia (SCA). Blood 2006; 108:379-381
  • Wang S, Poptani H, Woo JH, Desiderio LM, Elman LB, McCluskey LF, Krejza J, Melhem ER. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Diffusion-Tensor and Chemical Shift MR Imaging at 3.0 T. Radiology 2006; 239:831-838
  • Al-Okaili RN, Krejza J, Woo JH, Wolf RL, O'rourke DM, Judy K, Poptani H, Melhem ER. Intraaxial brain masses: MR imaging-based diagnostic strategy-initial experience. Radiology 2007; 243:539-550

Awards and Affiliations

  • Melvin M. Figley Fellow, American Roentgen Ray Society, Radiology Journalism
  • Examiner, American Board of Radiology
  • Editorial Board, Radiology 
  • Editorial Board, American Journal of Roentgenology.
  • Board of Scientific Counselors, NIH Clinical Center

Previous Positions

Wallace Miller Sr. Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, Professor of Radiology and Neurosurgery and Director of the Division of Neuroradiology, University of Pennsylvania, 2004-2012