Soonmee Cha MD

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Associate Professor of Radiology and Neurological Surgery

Principal Investigator, Brain Tumor Center







Dr. Cha's research focus is on improving neuroradiologic diagnosis of brain tumors and developing new imaging techniques that can serve as surrogate markers of tumor biology, response to therapy, and prognosis. Her particular interests are in perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (pMRI). Recent advances in neuroimaging permit acquisition of physiological maps that complement anatomical information provided by traditional techniques. Ultrafast MRI methods provide high spatial-resolution images of the self-diffusion of water, axonal organization, and blood oxygenation. Maps of cerebral microcirculation and quantitative assessments of capillary blood volume, reflective of tumor angiogenesis and alterations in the blood-brain barrier, which can be constructed from dynamic contrast-enhanced pMRI, are particularly useful in evaluating brain tumors.

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1987: BS, Georgetown University
1991: MD, Georgetown University School of Medicine
1991-1992: Internship, Georgetown University; Transitional Residency, Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA
1992-1996: Residency in Diagnostic Radiology, North Shore University Hospital, Cornell University Medical College, Manhasset, NY
1996-1998: Fellowship in Neuroradiology, NYU Medical Center, New York, NY
1997-1998: Clinical Instructor of Neuroradiology, New York University (NYU) Medical Center, New York, NY
1998-1999: Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiology, NYU School of Medicine
1999-2001: Assistant Professor of Radiology, NYU School of Medicine

Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

American College of Radiology
Radiological Society of North America
American Society of Neuroradiology

Selected Recent Publications



Merritt BA, Henry TS, Cha S, Ordovas KG, Kallianos KG, Elicker BM, Hope MD, Naeger DM. Tailoring Radiology Resident Education Using Aggregated Missed-Cases Data. J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 May 11. pii: S1546-1440(18)30386-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2018.03.044. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29759529.

Kline CN, Packer RJ, Hwang EI, Raleigh DR, Braunstein S, Raffel C, Bandopadhayay P, Solomon DA, Aboian M, Cha S, Mueller S. Case-based review: pediatric medulloblastoma. Neurooncol Pract. 2017 Sep;4(3):138-150. doi: 10.1093/nop/npx011. Epub 2017 Aug 11. Review. PubMed PMID: 29692919; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5909805.

Weinberg BD, Boreta L, Braunstein S, Cha S. Location of subventricular zone recurrence and its radiation dose predicts survival in patients with glioblastoma. J Neurooncol. 2018 Mar 15. doi: 10.1007/s11060-018-2822-8. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29546530.

Barajas RF Jr., Villanueva-Meyer J, Perry A, Berger M, Cha S. Biologically aggressive regions within glioblastoma identified by spin-lock contrast T1 relaxation in the rotating frame (T1ρ) MRI. Radiol Case Rep. 2017 Sep 1;12(4):827-832. doi: 10.1016/j.radcr.2017.07.010. eCollection 2017 Dec. PubMed PMID: 29484081; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5823312.

Villanueva-Meyer JE, Wood MD, Choi BS, Mabray MC, Butowski NA, Tihan T, Cha S. MRI Features and IDH Mutational Status of Grade II Diffuse Gliomas: Impact on Diagnosis and Prognosis. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Mar;210(3):621-628. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.18457. Epub 2017 Dec 20. PubMed PMID: 29261348; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5823758.

Tremblay MA, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Cha S, Tihan T, Gelfand JM. Clinical and imaging correlation in patients with pathologically confirmed tumefactive demyelinating lesions. J Neurol Sci. 2017 Oct 15;381:83-87. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2017.08.015. Epub 2017 Aug 10. PubMed PMID: 28991721; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5659762.

Autry A, Phillips JJ, Maleschlijski S, Roy R, Molinaro AM, Chang SM, Cha S, Lupo JM, Nelson SJ. Characterization of Metabolic, Diffusion, and Perfusion Properties in GBM: Contrast-Enhancing versus Non-Enhancing Tumor. Transl Oncol. 2017 Dec;10(6):895-903. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2017.08.009. Epub 2017 Sep 22. PubMed PMID: 28942218; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5612804.

Villanueva-Meyer JE, Han SJ, Cha S, Butowski NA. Early tumor growth between initial resection and radiotherapy of glioblastoma: incidence and impact on clinical outcomes. J Neurooncol. 2017 Aug;134(1):213-219. doi: 10.1007/s11060-017-2511-z. Epub 2017 May 31. PubMed PMID: 28567589; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5563441.

Barajas RF, Krohn KA, Link JM, Hawkins RA, Clarke JL, Pampaloni MH, Cha S. Glioma FMISO PET/MR Imaging Concurrent with Antiangiogenic Therapy: Molecular Imaging as a Clinical Tool in the Burgeoning Era of Personalized Medicine. Biomedicines. 2016 Oct 31;4(4). pii: E24. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines4040024. PubMed PMID: 28536391; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5344267.

Li Y, Ali S, Clarke J, Cha S. Bevacizumab in Recurrent Glioma: Patterns of Treatment Failure and Implications. Brain Tumor Res Treat. 2017 Apr;5(1):1-9. doi: 10.14791/btrt.2017.5.1.1. Epub 2017 Apr 30. Review. PubMed PMID: 28516072; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5433944.

Villanueva-Meyer JE, Mabray MC, Cha S. Current Clinical Brain Tumor Imaging. Neurosurgery. 2017 Sep 1;81(3):397-415. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyx103. Review. PubMed PMID: 28486641; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5581219.

Kline CN, Joseph NM, Grenert JP, van Ziffle J, Talevich E, Onodera C, Aboian M, Cha S, Raleigh DR, Braunstein S, Torkildson J, Samuel D, Bloomer M, Campomanes AGA, Banerjee A, Butowski N, Raffel C, Tihan T, Bollen AW, Phillips JJ, Korn WM, Yeh I, Bastian BC, Gupta N, Mueller S, Perry A, Nicolaides T, Solomon DA. Targeted next-generation sequencing of pediatric neuro-oncology patients improves diagnosis, identifies pathogenic germline mutations, and directs targeted therapy. Neuro Oncol. 2017 May 1;19(5):699-709. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now254. PubMed PMID: 28453743; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5464451.

Ehman EC, Johnson GB, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Cha S, Leynes AP, Larson PEZ, Hope TA. PET/MRI: Where might it replace PET/CT? J Magn Reson Imaging. 2017 Nov;46(5):1247-1262. doi: 10.1002/jmri.25711. Epub 2017 Mar 30. Review. PubMed PMID: 28370695; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5623147.

Neill E, Luks T, Dayal M, Phillips JJ, Perry A, Jalbert LE, Cha S, Molinaro A, Chang SM, Nelson SJ. Quantitative multi-modal MR imaging as a non-invasive prognostic tool for patients with recurrent low-grade glioma. J Neurooncol. 2017 Mar;132(1):171-179. doi: 10.1007/s11060-016-2355-y. Epub 2017 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 28124178; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5373029.

Nelson SJ, Li Y, Lupo JM, Olson M, Crane JC, Molinaro A, Roy R, Clarke J, Butowski N, Prados M, Cha S, Chang SM. Serial analysis of 3D H-1 MRSI for patients with newly diagnosed GBM treated with combination therapy that includes bevacizumab. J Neurooncol. 2016 Oct;130(1):171-179. Epub 2016 Aug 17. PubMed PMID: 27535746; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5069332.

Mabray MC, Cha S. Advanced MR Imaging Techniques in Daily Practice. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2016 Nov;26(4):647-666. doi: 10.1016/j.nic.2016.06.010. Epub 2016 Sep 3. Review. PubMed PMID: 27712798.

Barajas RF Jr, Cha S. Metastasis in Adult Brain Tumors. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2016 Nov;26(4):601-620. doi: 10.1016/j.nic.2016.06.008. Epub 2016 Sep 2. Review. PubMed PMID: 27712796; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5104196.

Nelson SJ, Kadambi AK, Park I, Li Y, Crane J, Olson M, Molinaro A, Roy R, Butowski N, Cha S, Chang S. Association of early changes in 1H MRSI parameters with survival for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma receiving a multimodality treatment regimen. Neuro Oncol. 2017 Mar 1;19(3):430-439. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now159. PubMed PMID: 27576874; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5464305.

Barajas RF Jr, Butowski NA, Phillips JJ, Aghi MK, Berger MS, Chang SM, Cha S. The Development of Reduced Diffusion Following Bevacizumab Therapy Identifies Regions of Recurrent Disease in Patients with High-grade Glioma. Acad Radiol. 2016 Sep;23(9):1073-82. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2016.04.004. Epub 2016 Jul 18. PubMed PMID: 27443507; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5571825.

Lupo JM, Molinaro AM, Essock-Burns E, Butowski N, Chang SM, Cha S, Nelson SJ. The effects of anti-angiogenic therapy on the formation of radiation-induced microbleeds in normal brain tissue of patients with glioma. Neuro Oncol. 2016 Jan;18(1):87-95. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nov128. Epub 2015 Jul 22. PubMed PMID: 26206774; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4677411.