SSR Researcher Spotlight

SSR Researcher Spotlight

Lauren Ladd, MD
SSR Member since 2014


Professional Background

  • Undergraduate: Butler University - Go Dawgs

  • Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine

  • Residency: Indiana University School of Medicine

  • MSK Fellowship: University of Wisconsin

  • Current Practice: Indiana University School of Medicine / IU Health

  • Professional Title: Associate Professor of Clinical Radiology

  • In Practice: 10

  • Years as SSR member: 10

  • SSR Activities
    • Strategic Advancement Committee Member
    • Health & Wellness Committee Member
    • Strategic Planning Committee Member

 My Research

  • Academic medicine has always been a passion and a goal of mine.  Thanks to many amazing mentors and colleagues, I have been fortunate to live this passion, including contributing to several research projects in varying areas of the musculoskeletal system, as well as in nonclinical areas.
  • My clinical research has ranged from the study of osteopetrosis with prodigious endocrinology colleagues, to hip and other joint injection topics both in fellowship and in practice, to metal artifact reduction techniques in the imaging of hip prostheses, and now shoulder anatomy in surgical planning.
  • Additional non-clinical areas of research and service that I participate avidly in, which are as important to the field as clinical research, are the topics of diversity and inclusion in radiology.



Autosomal dominant osteopetrosis type 2 (ADO2)

  • Subjective imaging findings of osteopetrosis have been described for many years, but objective metrics of severity have been lacking.
  • My collaborating endocrinologists were in need of objective metrics to assess the clinical outcomes of a new experimental drug that has had success in animal studies of mice with ADO2.
  • From creative use of multiple imaging tools, we were able to determine quantitative CT (QCT) of the lumbar spine, with its greater level of anatomic detail and calibration from the simultaneously imaged phantom, showed superiority in differentiating level of severity in ADO2 and may be useful for future studies of treatment response.
  • Although a rare disease, being able to contribute to one part of a puzzle that will help patients with this debilitating disease was particularly meaningful.



Gadolinium safety in MR Arthrograms

  • While there is a very small quantity of gadolinium used in MR arthrograms, progressive attention to gadolinium deposition in the brain and its overall safety sparked the question: is intra-articular gadolinium (an off-label use) truly safe?
  • Working with brilliant neuroradiology colleagues, we were able to successfully prove that there is no detectable gadolinium in the brain after arthrography.
  • Proving the safety of this contrast was important for both our patient’s health and for the practice of MSK radiology where MR arthrography can often be a helpful tool to help guide patient management.

SSR Young Investigator Award:
Quantitative and Qualitative Comparison of 3T vs 1.5T WARP Imaging of Hip Prostheses

  • Although several years ago now, this project kicked off my research endeavors as a faculty radiologist, in thanks to my mentors and fellow section members.
  • This study evaluated proprietary software through one MR vendor as a method of better imaging metal hip prostheses at both 1.5T and 3T magnet strengths, proving that 1.5T imaging is still better for metal artifact reduction but that these advanced imaging techniques may still be useful if only a 3T MR scanner is available.


Starting with a focus on the disparity of women in radiology, I have worked and continue to work to promote the improvement of and study of representational diversity within radiology.


Our field is behind most other specialties in representational diversity. It is well established that businesses and medical teams who are of more diverse identities and backgrounds have better outcomes, innovation, customer/patient-orientation, and improved cultural competence of all team members. Thus, we owe it to our patients and colleagues to work to improve these disparities.


About Me

Who am I outside of work?
  • I am a mom and wife with two awesome kids (7 and 5 years old).
  • We love to travel and be active, including hiking, skiing, lake life, and more!
  • I also love to exercise and bake – which complement each other well.

 My “Two Cents”

  1. Teamwork makes the dream work – Collaboration and working with a great team are keys to starting and moving projects forward, so developing relationships with your radiology and referring colleagues is a valuable part your career in research.
  2. Pursue what you are interested in so that it feels less like work and more like purpose. And most importantly, make sure your priorities align with and include all of your values – including both inside and outside of work.