Joseph Leach, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor in Res


Joseph Leach, MD, PhD obtained his PhD from the joint UCSF-UC Berkeley Bioengineering program in 2009. In 2013 Dr. Leach earned his medical degree at UCSF, followed by a one-year Internal Medicine internship at California Pacific Medical Center of San Francisco, where he was awarded "Francis J Rigney Intern of the Year". Dr. Leach completed a four-year Diagnostic Radiology residency at UCSF in 2018, spending 2017-2018 as an NIH T32 Training Grant research fellow, where he focused his research on the development of methodologies by which to study the biomechanics of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) on a patient-specific basis. Dr. Leach completed a clinical fellowship in Abdominal Imaging/Ultrasound at UCSF in 2019 and joined the department as an assistant professor in residence in the section of Abdominal Imaging and Ultrasound later the same year. In addition to his clinical role at UCSF, Dr Leach maintains an active research program, studying the imaging and biomechanics of vascular disease.


Fellowship, 2019 - Abdominal Imaging; Ultrasound, UCSF, Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging
NIH T32 Research Fellowship, 2018 - , UCSF, Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging
Residency, 2018 - Diagnostic Radiology, UCSF, Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging
Internship, 2014 - Internal Medicine, California Pacific Medical Center
MD, 2013 - Medicine, UCSF, School of Medicine
PhD, 2009 - Bioengineering, UCSF-UC Berkeley Joint Bioengineering Program

Honors and Awards

Outstanding Resident Research Award, Margulis Society, UCSF Radiology & Biomedical Imaging, 2018


Zamirpour S, Boskovski MT, Pirruccello JP, Pace WA, Hubbard AE, Leach JR, Ge L, Tseng EE. Sex differences in ascending aortic size reporting and growth on chest computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Clin Imaging. 2024 Jan; 105:110021.
Dong H, Leach JR, Kao E, Zhou A, Chitiboi T, Zhu C, Ballweber M, Jiang F, Lee YJ, Iannuzzi J, Gasper W, Saloner D, Hope MD, Mitsouras D. Measurement of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Strain Using MR Deformable Image Registration: Accuracy and Relationship to Recent Aneurysm Progression. Invest Radiol. 2023 Oct 19.
Zamirpour S, Xuan Y, Wang Z, Gomez A, Leach J, Mitsouras D, Saloner DA, Guccione JM, Ge L, Tseng EE. Aortic area/height ratio, peak wall stresses, and outcomes in veterans with tricuspid versus bicuspid aortic valve-associated ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2023 12; 166(6):1583-1593.e2.
Gulati A, Zamirpour S, Leach J, Khan A, Wang Z, Xuan Y, Hope MD, Saloner DA, Guccione JM, Ge L, Tseng EE. Ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm elongation occurs in parallel with dilatation in a nonsurgical population. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2023 06 01; 63(6).
Wang Y, Xiong F, Leach J, Kao E, Tian B, Zhu C, Zhang Y, Hope M, Saloner D, Mitsouras D. Contrast-enhanced CT radiomics improves the prediction of abdominal aortic aneurysm progression. Eur Radiol. 2023 May; 33(5):3444-3454.
Zhou A, Leach JR, Zhu C, Dong H, Jiang F, Lee YJ, Iannuzzi J, Gasper W, Saloner D, Hope MD, Mitsouras D. Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced MRI in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms as a Potential Marker for Disease Progression. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2023 10; 58(4):1258-1267.
Leach JR, Zhu C, Burris N, Hope MD. Editorial: Advances in aortic imaging. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2023; 10:1137949.
Siavash Zamirpour, XUAN Yue, Zhongjie Wang, Axel Gomez, Michael D Hope, JOSEPH LEACH, David Saloner, Julius Guccione, Liang Ge, Elaine E Tseng. Abstract 14350: CVSA Early Career Investigator Award Finalist: Association of Aneurysm Wall Stresses With Diameter Indices and Three-Year Outcomes in Veterans. Circulation. 2022 Nov 8; 146(Suppl_1):a14350-a14350.
J.R. Leach, H. Shen, E. Huo, T.A. Hope, D. Mitsouras, M.A. Whooley. Impact of Implicit Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System Over 10 Years. Journal of Vascular Surgery. 2022 Jul 1; 76(1):304.
Zamirpour S, Xuan Y, Wang Z, Gomez A, Hope MD, Leach J, Mitsouras D, Saloner DA, Guccione JM, Ge L, Tseng EE. Association of 3-Year All-Cause Mortality and Peak Wall Stresses of Ascending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms in Veterans. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2023 Autumn; 35(3):447-456.
Leach JR, Shen H, Huo E, Hope TA, Mitsouras D, Whooley MA, Hope MD. Impact of Implicit Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System Over 10 Years. J Am Heart Assoc. 2022 04 05; 11(7):e024571.
Gulati A, Leach J, Wang Z, Xuan Y, Hope MD, Saloner DA, Ge L, Tseng EE. Ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm growth is minimal at sizes that do not meet criteria for surgical repair. Quant Imaging Med Surg. 2022 Jan; 12(1):333-340.
Siavash Zamirpour, Yue Xuan, Zhongjie Wang, Axel Gomez, Michael D Hope, Joseph Leach, David A Saloner, Julius M Guccione, Liang Ge, Elaine E Tseng. Abstract 9061: Aortic Wall Stress Across Risk Groupings of Aortic Size and Height Indices in a Male Veteran Population With Ascending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm. Circulation. 2021 Nov 16; 144(Suppl_1):a9061-a9061.
Arushi Gulati, Joseph Leach, Zhongjie Wang, Yue Xuan, Michael D. Hope, Liang Ge, Elaine E. Tseng. Ascending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Growth is Minimal at Sizes That Do Not Meet Criteria for Surgical Repair. Structural Heart. 2021 Apr 9; 5(sup1):63-63.
Leach JR, Zhu C, Mitsouras D, Saloner D, Hope MD. Abdominal aortic aneurysm measurement at CT/MRI: potential clinical ramifications of non-standardized measurement technique and importance of multiplanar reformation. Quant Imaging Med Surg. 2021 Feb; 11(2):823-830.
Leach JR, Manoukian B, Stewart L. Mesh on the move: a case report of total transmural surgical mesh migration causing bowel obstruction. Clin J Gastroenterol. 2021 Feb; 14(1):136-140.
Arushi Gulati, Zhongjie Wang, Yue XUAN, JOSEPH LEACH, Michael D Hope, David Saloner, Julius Guccione, Liang Ge, Elaine E Tseng. Abstract 16957: Ascending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Wall Stresses Evolve in Parallel With Diameter Growth. Circulation. 2020 Nov 17; 142(Suppl_3).
Wang Y, Tian B, Xiong F, Kao E, Zhang Y, Liu X, Tian X, Haraldsson H, Zhu C, Leach J, Liu J, Hope MD, Mitsouras D, Saloner D. Computer-aided quantification of non-contrast 3D black blood MRI as an efficient alternative to reference standard manual CT angiography measurements of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Eur J Radiol. 2021 Jan; 134:109396.
Yan Wang, Bing Tian, Fei Xiong, Evan Kao, Yue Zhang, Xinke Liu, Xia Tian, Henrik Haraldsson, Chengcheng Zhu, Joseph Leach, Jing Liu, Michael D. Hope, Dimitrios Mitsouras, David Saloner. Computer-Aided Quantification of Non-contrast 3D Black Blood MRI As An Efficient Alternative to Reference Standard Manual CT Angiography Measurements of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. European Journal of Radiology. 2020 Nov 1; 109396.
Arushi Gulati, Zhongjie Wang, Yue Xuan, Joseph Leach, David A. Saloner, Julius M. Guccione, Liang Ge, Elaine E. Tseng. Wall Stress Changes in Ascending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms Do Not Correlate with Changes in Diameter over Time. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2020 Oct 1; 231(4):s49.
Mitsouras D, Leach JR. Expanding the Radiologist's Arsenal against Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms, a Versatile Adversary. Radiology. 2020 06; 295(3):730-732.
Wang Y, Zhu C, Leach J, Gasper W, Saloner D, Hope M. Growth of common iliac artery aneurysms coexisting with abdominal aortic aneurysms: associated factors and potential role of intraluminal thrombus. Quant Imaging Med Surg. 2020 Mar; 10(3):703-712.
Zhu C, Leach JR, Wang Y, Gasper W, Saloner D, Hope MD. Intraluminal Thrombus Predicts Rapid Growth of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. Radiology. 2020 03; 294(3):707-713.
Keerthi Valluru, James Parkhill, Ayushi Gautam, Henrik Haraldsson, Evan Kao, Joseph Leach, Alexandra Wright, Megan Ballweber, Karl Meisel, David Saloner, Matthew Amans. Sound Measurement in Patient-Specific 3D Printed Bench Models of Venous Pulsatile Tinnitus. Otology & Neurotology. 2020 Jan 1; 41(1):e7-e14.
Leach JR, Kao E, Zhu C, Saloner D, Hope MD. On the Relative Impact of Intraluminal Thrombus Heterogeneity on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Mechanics. J Biomech Eng. 2019 Nov 01; 141(11).
M Amans, K Valluru, H Haraldsson, E Kao, J Leach, A Wright, M Ballweber, K Meisel, D Saloner. O-025 Sound measurement in patient-specific 3D printed bench models for venous pulsatile tinnitus. Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery. 2019 Jul 1; 11(Suppl 1):a17.
Zhu C, Leach JR, Tian B, Cao L, Wen Z, Wang Y, Liu X, Liu Q, Lu J, Saloner D, Hope MD. Evaluation of the distribution and progression of intraluminal thrombus in abdominal aortic aneurysms using high-resolution MRI. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2019 09; 50(3):994-1001.
Zhu C, Tian B, Leach JR, Liu Q, Lu J, Chen L, Saloner D, Hope MD. Non-contrast 3D black blood MRI for abdominal aortic aneurysm surveillance: comparison with CT angiography. Eur Radiol. 2017 May; 27(5):1787-1794.
Leach JR, Elicker B, Yee J, Puppula S, Wisneski JA, Yeh BM. Clot Through the Heart: Paradoxical Embolism With Thrombus-in-Transit at Multidetector Computed Tomography. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2015 Jul-Aug; 39(4):598-600.
Baillargeon B, Costa I, Leach JR, Lee LC, Genet M, Toutain A, Wenk JF, Rausch MK, Rebelo N, Acevedo-Bolton G, Kuhl E, Navia JL, Guccione JM. Human Cardiac Function Simulator for the Optimal Design of a Novel Annuloplasty Ring with a Sub-valvular Element for Correction of Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation. Cardiovasc Eng Technol. 2015 Jun; 6(2):105-16.
Tsai M, Kita A, Leach J, Rounsevell R, Huang JN, Moake J, Ware RE, Fletcher DA, Lam WA. In vitro modeling of the microvascular occlusion and thrombosis that occur in hematologic diseases using microfluidic technology. J Clin Invest. 2012 Jan; 122(1):408-18.
Leach JR, Rayz VL, Soares B, Wintermark M, Mofrad MR, Saloner D. Carotid atheroma rupture observed in vivo and FSI-predicted stress distribution based on pre-rupture imaging. Ann Biomed Eng. 2010 Aug; 38(8):2748-65.
Joseph R. Leach, Mohammad R. K. Mofrad, David Saloner. Computational Models of Vascular Mechanics. Computational Modeling in Biomechanics. 2010 Jan 1; 99-170.
Leach JR, Rayz VL, Mofrad MR, Saloner D. An efficient two-stage approach for image-based FSI analysis of atherosclerotic arteries. Biomech Model Mechanobiol. 2010 Apr; 9(2):213-23.