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Updated 5:00 PM March 16, 2007




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Dr. Saroja Adusumilli

The University lost one of its promising young faculty members March 3, colleagues say, when Dr. Saroja Adusumilli, a clinical assistant professor of radiology in the Medical School, died from injuries sustained during an automobile accident.

A member of the faculty since September 2002, she was a well-respected authority on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and a member of the Department of Radiology's abdominal imaging group.

The accident occurred while she was returning from giving four talks at a university-sponsored continuing medical education conference in Arizona. There, she gave guidance on specific medical-imaging techniques to more than 125 physicians from around the country.

"She was something special," says Dr. Richard Cohan, professor and associate department chair in radiology. "Although not many patients meet or think about the person who's responsible for interpreting their medical images, Saroja took that responsibility incredibly seriously, and cared about her patients.

"Every image was a person to her—a mother, a father, a son—and she tried hard to figure out what was wrong and how to help," says Dr. Hero Hussain, director of MRI.

An alumna of the U-M radiology residency program, Dr. Adusumilli was elected chief resident by her peers in 2000—her final year in the program—an honor reserved for those with leadership potential and clinical skill.

After joining the faculty, she became a valuable mentor to the current residents and fellows. At the time of her death, she was the associate director of the department's residency program. She also authored several research papers.

"Her selfless dedication to patient care and teaching made her a role model for faculty and trainees alike," says Dr. N. Reed Dunnick, the Fred Jenner Hodges Professor and Chair of Radiology.

Her colleague Dr. Elaine Caoli adds, "Saroja was a wonderful human being. Her dedication to the radiology residency, to the radiology department, to patients, to her colleagues was tremendous, beyond compare. She was an excellent radiologist, an outstanding teacher and most importantly a genuinely caring and compassionate person who always placed the interests of her colleagues, residents, and patients ahead of her own."

Dr. Adusumilli received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and completed a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania after her residency at U-M.

A memorial service will be held 10-11 a.m. March 21 at Ford Auditorium, University Hospital second floor to honor her life and work. Those wishing to make contributions to a memorial fund in her honor may send checks payable to: Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Health System, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, UH B1F510, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0030.

The Record accepts obituaries from University departments, family members and funeral homes acting on behalf of the family. All obituaries must be for active or retired faculty and staff members.

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