Find A Location


Electronic Radiology Laboratory (ERL)

Steven Don, M.D.

Current Position
Associate Professor of Radiology

Contact Information
Washington University School of Medicine
Electronic Radiology Lab
Campus Box 8131
4525 Scott Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 454-6229

Research Interests

Increasing clinical utilization of computed tomography (CT) has created concerns about radiation exposure to the general population and risks to individual patients, especially pediatric patients.  Any approach to lower exposure for a given system increases image noise with the potential effect on diagnosis. These challenges have been a long-term primary research focus of mine which is the heart of Radiation Dose Reduction (CT & digital radiography).  As a pediatric radiologist, I have the expertise, leadership and motivation necessary to successfully carry out the proposed work. I am a board-certified radiologist with Certificate of Added Qualification in Pediatric Radiology.  My research has focused on digital imaging and noise properties in CT and digital radiography.  Most of my research has focused on understanding the effects of noise on interpretation in digital radiography, but I have also performed observer performance studies in CT dose reduction presented as preliminary data in this proposal. My research has been funded by the Society for Pediatric Radiology to develop animal models to test computed radiography, funded by the Radiological Society of North America to develop cadaver models that ultimately led to NIH/STTR funding to develop a neonatal chest digital radiography phantom.  I most recently have corporate research collaborations with vendors to optimize exposure techniques in neonatal imaging and I have a patent with Carestream, Inc. on a noise simulator in digital radiography. I now co-chair two American College of Radiology committees, the Dose Index Registry for Digital Radiography and The Pediatric Digital Radiography Techniques Group.  In CT research, I have participated as a co-investigator with Bruce Whiting and have successfully administered projects (e.g. staffing, research protections, budget), collaborated with other researchers, and produced several peer-reviewed publications from each project. Three times my research has won awards from the Society for Pediatric Radiology (2nd place 1998, 1st place in 2008, and 1st place in 2013). The third award recognizes the preliminary data of psychometric function for this grant as a significant improvement in understanding the relationship between the observer and noise.  My research experience and knowledge has been recognized nationally by my participation as a steering committee member of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging Image Gently Campaign, where I co-chair the digital radiography section. I chaired the Image Gently Digital Radiography Summit in 2010, which resulted in acceptance of international terminology standards (IEC 62494) by the manufacturers, FDA collaboration to develop a digital radiography safety checklist and development of the American College of Radiology Dose Index Registry for Digital Radiography. In 2012, the FDA honored my participation in these efforts with the Leveraging/Collaboration Award. My clinical knowledge on this collaborative research with medical and imaging physicists and manufacturers is essential for this project. The current application builds logically on my prior work. I have established a long-term relationship with Bruce Whiting and David Politte and understand the importance of frequent communication among investigators to construct a realistic research plan, timeline, and budget. In summary, I have a demonstrated record of accomplished and productive research projects in an area of high relevance for CT-based imaging procedures and image quality metrics for CT exposure reduction, and my expertise and experience have prepared me to support the proposed project. I will serve as Washington University’s PI and focus on simulator software development and image preparation, particularly for Siemens equipment. I will collect and provide CT image sets from pediatric patients to Dr. Whiting, as well as conduct observer studies to determine the effect of dose reduction on diagnostic accuracy.

The Johns Hopkins University, 1981, B.S., Biology
Vanderbilt University, 1985, M.D., Medicine


  1. Don S, Hildebolt C, Sharp T, Shackelford GD, Lau DM, Herman TE, McAlister WH.  Computed radiography versus film-screen radiography: detection of pulmonary edema in a rabbit model that simulates neonatal pulmonary infiltrates.   Radiology 1999;213:455-460
  2. Don S, Whiting BR, Hildebolt CF, Sehnert, J, Ellinwood JS, Töpfer K, Masoumzadeh P, Kraus RA, Kronemer KK, Herman T, McAlister WH.  Preliminary validation of a new methodology for estimating dose reduction protocols in neonatal chest computed radiographs.  SPIE Proceedings of Medical Imaging 2006;6142:6142W:DOI: 10.1117/12.654486
  3. Don S, Whiting BR, Ellinwood JS, Foos DH, Kronomer KA, Kraus RA.  Neonatal chest computed radiography:  image processing and optimal image display. American Journal of Roentgenology 2007;188:1138 - 1144
  4. Peppler W, Hong W, Steinhauser R, Whiting B, Samei E, Flynn M, Don S, Corradini N.  Validation of software for QC assessment of MTF and NPS.  SPIE Proceedings of Medical Imaging 2007;65104:65104F:DOI: 10.1117/12.713434
  5. Cholleti SR, Goldman SA, Blum A, Politte DG, Don S., Smith K, Prior F.  Veritas:  Combining Expert Opinions without Labeled Data.  International Journal on Artificial Intelligence Tools (IJAIT) 2009;18:633-651
  6. Massoumzadeh P, Don S, Hildebot CF, Bae KT, Whiting BR.  Validation of CT dose-reduction simulation.  Medical Physics 2009;36:174-189
  7. Khanna G, Jaju A, Don S, Keys T, Hildebolt CF.  Comparison of Haller Index values calculated with chest radiographs versus computed tomography for pectus excavatum evaluation.  Pediatric Radiology 2010;40:1763-1767
  8. Don S.  Pediatric digital radiography summit overview: state of confusion. Pediatric Radiology 2011;41:567-572
  9. Don S, Goske MJ, John S, Whiting B, Willis CE.  Image Gently pediatric digital radiography summit:  executive summary. Pediatric Radiology 2011;41:562-565.
  10. Goske MJ, Applegate KE, Bulas D, Butler PF, Callahan MJ, Coley BD, Don S,  Frush DP, Hernanz-Schulman M,  Kaste SC, Morrison G, Sidhu M, Strauss KJ and Treves ST.  Image Gently: CT Progress and Challenges in CT Education and Advocacy.  Pediatric Radiology 2011;41 Suppl 2:461-6.
  11. Goske MJ, Applegate KE, Bulas D, Butler PF, Callahan MJ, Coley BD, Don S, Farley S, Frush DP, Hernanz-Schulman M, Kaste SC, Morrison G, Sidhu M, Strauss KJ, Treves ST; Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging. Radiation Protection Dosimetry 2011;147(1-2):137-41
  12. Moore QT, Don S, Goske MJ, Strauss KJ, Cohen M, Herrmann T, MacDougall R, Noble L, Morrison. John SD, Lois Lehman L. Image Gently: Using Exposure Indicators To Improve Pediatric Digital Radiography. Radiologic Technology 2012;84:83-89.
  13. Goske MJ, Applegate KE, Bulas D, Butler PF, Callahan MJ, Don S, Farley S,
  14. Frush D, Hernanz-Shulman M, John SD, Kaste SC, Kaupp S, McElvany C, Morrison G, Sidhu M.  Image Gently 5 Years Later: What Goals Remain to Be Accomplished in Radiation Protection for Children? American Journal of Roentgenology 2012:199;477-479.
  15. Don S, Whiting BR, Rutz L, Apgar B. New Exposure Indicators for Digital Radiography Simplified for Radiologists and Technologists.  American Journal of Roentgenology 2012:199;1337-1341.
  16. Linscott L, Kessler M, Kitchin D, Quayle K. Hildebolt C, McKinstry R, Don S.  Computed Tomography for pediatric, acute, minor head trauma:  Clinician conformity to published guidelines. American Journal of Neuroradiology 2013:34:1252-1256 PubMed: 23221949.
  17. Don S, MacDougall R, Strauss K, Moore QT, Goske MJ, Cohen M, Herrmann T, John SD, Noble L, Morrison G, Lehman L, Whiting BR. Image Gently – Back to Basics: Ten steps to help manage radiation dose in pediatric digital radiography.  American Journal of Roentgenology 2013;200;431-436.
  18. John S, Moore QT, Hermann T, Don S, Powers, K, Smith SS, Morrison, Charkot E, Mills TT, Rutz L,  Goske MJ,.  The Image Gently Pediatric Digital Radiography Safety Checklist: Tools for Improving Pediatric Radiography. Journal of the American College of Radiology 2013;781-788.
  19. McCarvill MB, Billups C, Wu J, Kaufman R, Kaste S, Coleman J, Sharp S, Nadel H, Charron M, Lederman H, Don S, Shochat S, Daw NC, Shulkin B.  The Role of PET-CT in Assessing Pulmonary Nodules in Children with Solid Malignancies.  American Journal of Roentgenology (in press).