Robert Mattrey, M.D.

Robert Mattrey, M.D.

Director, Ultrasound Research

  • Radiology - General


Robert F. Mattrey, M.D., is a Professor of Radiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a member of its Abdominal Imaging Division. He holds a secondary appointment in the Advanced Imaging Research Center (AIRC). His clinical interests include extracting physiological data from clinical images, particularly when using ultrasound.

After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and his medical degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Dr. Mattrey completed a residency in diagnostic radiology at the University of California–San Diego (UCSD), where he served as Chief Resident, and stayed at UCSD for advanced fellowship training in computed tomography, ultrasound, and interventional radiology. He joined the UCSD faculty in 1982, and became a Professor of Radiology in 1991.

Dr. Mattrey joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2015 when he was recruited to develop a translational ultrasound research program. This program is funded by a Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Established Investigator Award, which provides $6 million over five years. He has since recruited four basic scientists, and is developing collaborations with other UT Southwestern basic and clinical scientists.

A strong focus on research

Dr. Mattrey began his research career while still a resident. He received his first National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 Research Project Grant award in July 1983, after he discovered that perfluorocarbon emulsions served as effective ultrasound contrast agents. Since then, he has been continually funded, receiving 28 NIH grants as principal investigator (PI) or co-PI, including a National Cancer Institute Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08). In 2010, he received $2.6 million in research support through eight active awards, a rare accomplishment for a clinician-scientist in radiology.

Dr. Mattrey’s research is focused on contrast media in general and molecular imaging in particular, with an emphasis on ultrasound solutions. Over the past 20 years, he has translated several agents from concept through preclinical validation to the clinic, including multicenter trials, with two receiving approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Leadership and service at a national level

Dr. Mattrey is an active member of national and international societies, and has had a long record of service. He served as President of the Association of University Radiologists (AUR) in 1999. In 2001, he co-founded the Radiology Research Alliance (RRA) to promote the research mission of the AUR, and he served as its President from 2002 to 2003. Both organizations recognized him with their highest honors, the AUR Gold Medal and the RRA Innovation and Leadership Award. His impactful contribution to science resulted in Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Society of Abdominal Radiology and the International Contrast Media Research group of academic and industrial scientists.

Dr. Mattrey is frequently invited to lecture at professional conferences, educational symposia, and scientific meetings throughout the country and around the world. In addition to authoring or co-authoring more than 130 peer-reviewed research articles, a textbook, and 65 book chapters and invited manuscripts, Dr. Mattrey also serves as a reviewer for scientific journals including Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, Arthritis & Rheumatism, Radiology, Cancer Research, Biomaterials, ACS-Nano, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Training a new generation of clinician-scientists

While at UCSD, Dr. Mattrey developed a clinician-scientist training program in radiology that he directed for 12 years. He is now developing a similar program at UT Southwestern. He has served as a primary advisor to graduate students and postdoctoral trainees in bioengineering, nanotechnology, and material science.

He currently spends one day per week on the clinical ultrasound service, where he also mentors residents and junior faculty. His continued clinical exposure has strengthened his position as a translational clinician scientist by continually refining his research objectives and has afforded him the opportunity to directly interact with residents and to serve as a role model for research-oriented residents.

Education & Training
  • Medical School - State University of New York at Buffalo (1976-1978)
  • Residency - UC San Diego (1978-1981), Diagnostic Radiology
  • Fellowship - University of California, San Diego Medical Center (1981-1982), Ultrasound
  • Medical School - American Univ of Beirut School of Medicine, Lebanon (1973-1976)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
  • Association of University Radiologists
  • Radiological Society of North America
  • San Diego Radiologic Society
  • Society of Abdominal Radiology
  • Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
  • Society of Molecular Imaging
  • Society of Uroradiology
Honors & Awards
  • Innovation and Leadership Award 2015, Radiology Research Alliance
  • Council of Distinguished Investigators 2014, Academy of Radiology Research
  • Lifetime Achievement Award 2014, Society of Abdominal Radiology
  • A.E. James Lecturer 2009, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Gold Medal Award 2007, Association of University Radiologists
  • Harry Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award 2007, International Contrast Media Research
  • Herbert Stauffer Award 2005, Academic Radiology
  • Cum Laude Award for Scientific Exhibit 2002, Radiological Society of North America
  • Magna Cum Laude Award for Scientific Exhibit 2002, American Society of Neuroradiology
  • Career Development Award 1998, NIH Research
  • Cum Laude Award for Outstanding Scientific Paper 1998, Society of Computed Body Tomography/Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • First Place 1996, European Society of Uroradiology
  • Physician-Investigator Development Award 1984, National Institutes of Health
  • Resident Memorial Award for Outstanding Research 1982, Association of University Radiologists
  • Fellow, Society of Abdominal Radiology