UH Cancer Center research program manager wins densitometry award

April 30, 2023

Leila Kazemi
Leila Kazemi

On April 4, UH Cancer Center Clinical Research Program Manager Leila Kazemi, MS(C), CMRI, CBDT, CCRP, was awarded the 2024 Dr. Sydney Bonnick ISCD Award for Excellence in Densitometry by the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD). This honor is a testament to Kazemi's remarkable contributions to the field of densitometry.

"I am truly grateful and humbled to receive the 2024 Dr. Sydney Bonnick ISCD Award for Excellent in Densitometry," said Kazemi. "Densitometry is a field that I am deeply enthusiastic about, and to be acknowledged for consistently exceeding expectations in my passion is incredibly rewarding. I strive to uphold the highest standards of quality and knowledge in everything I do, and it is gratifying to see those efforts recognized."

Densitometry is a procedure that measures the amount of bone minerals and density by passing X-rays with two different energy levels through the body. Kazemi began working in the field in 2010 as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technologist and clinical instructor at the UH Cancer Center. Dedicated to continuous learning, she began exploring additional modalities in radiology, such as DXA (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), a medical imaging technique used to measure bone density and body composition.

Finding her passion

With the guidance of UH Cancer Center’s John Shepherd, PhD, chief scientific officer and director of the Body Composition Laboratory Shared Resource, Kazemi's interest in densitometry grew. She became a clinical research coordinator for one of Shepherd’s mature research (R01) studies. In the past decade working with Shepherd Research Lab (SRL), she has also served as the project manager for the DXA component for numerous international studies, including IMPAACT and HANDLS, as well as national studies, including BeMyKids and Multiethnic Cohort Adiposity Phenotype Study.

"Ms. Kazemi's collaborative work with organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) showcases her commitment to global health and her ability to exceed expectations in her field,” said Shepherd. “Her ability to manage and coordinate complex projects, as seen in her roles at the University of California San Francisco and the University of Hawaiʻi, further underscores her exceptional leadership and organizational skills."

Presently serving as an SRL program manager, she is concurrently undertaking a journey toward a doctoral degree in business administration, specializing in healthcare management and leadership. Her ambition to extend her influence within national and global health motivates this academic pursuit.

“I hope to leverage novel insights to enhance the healthcare system, particularly by including U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islanders data, specifically individuals from Hawaiʻi, into the fabric of our national data infrastructure,” said Kazemi.

The Dr. Sydney Bonnick ISCD Award for Excellence in Densitometry awardees are recognized for their contributions to the field of skeletal health assessment. These remarkable individuals were nominated by fellow ISCD members for their leadership, expertise, and outstanding service to ISCD and their mission. Kazemi will also be honored at the Annual Business Meeting on February 21, 2025, in Boston, MA.