A photo of Robert Fleck.

Robert J. Fleck, MD

  • Radiologist, Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging
  • Associate Professor, UC Department of Radiology



Radiology has significantly impacted the healthcare field due to its ability to accurately diagnose a variety of diseases. My scientific research interests include cardiopulmonary and airway imaging and the interaction between these bodily structures.

In my research group, my colleagues and I use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image the lungs, heart, airway and vasculature to offer a complete assessment for various conditions. These evaluations deliver diagnostic data and individualized predictive medicine without using invasive studies or ionizing radiation. Robust, more timely data leads to better decision-making and therapies.

I became interested in imaging the lungs and airways while doing research with my fellowship mentor. When I returned, after my service in the Navy, two physicians and I were tasked with building a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging service. In doing this, I became involved in using MRI to evaluate the structures within the chest, which led to my involvement in cardiopulmonary and airway research.

Regarding my patient care, my specialties include radiology-based imaging of patients using x-rays, CT, ultrasound and MRI. I mainly focus on imaging the following anatomical structures:

  • Abdominal imaging
  • Airway imaging
  • Cardiovascular imaging
  • Lung imaging

My interest, and ultimate decision to practice Pediatric Radiology, stems from my residency experience working with pediatric radiologists, pediatricians and pediatric surgeons. These physicians were kind and thoughtful, always put the patient and family first and practiced compassionate medicine. I became a Pediatric Radiologist because I wanted to emulate this approach.

Recently, our paper titled Work of Breathing in Neonates with and without Tracheomalacia using Dynamic High-Resolution MRI Combined with Computational Fluid Dynamics received the Caffey Award for Best Clinical Research at the Annual Scientific Session of The Society for Pediatrics Radiology 2020. Lastly, my scientific research has been published in prestigious journals such as Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, American Journal of Roentgenology, Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

MD: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1991.

Residency: Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA, 1998.

Fellowship: Children's Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2001.

Certification: American Board of Radiology, 1998; Pediatric Radiology, 2002, 2012.

Services and Specialties

Radiology, Rare Lung Diseases

Research Areas




Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging Evaluation of Neonatal Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia-associated Pulmonary Hypertension. Critser, PJ; Higano, NS; Tkach, JA; Olson, ES; Spielberg, DR; Kingma, PS; Fleck, RJ; Lang, SM; Moore, RA; Taylor, MD; et al. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2020; 201:73-82.


mDixon ECG-gated 3-dimensional cardiovascular magnetic resonance angiography in patients with congenital cardiovascular disease. Kourtidou, S; Jones, MR; Moore, RA; Tretter, JT; Ollberding, NJ; Crotty, EJ; Rattan, MS; Fleck, RJ; Taylor, MD. Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance. 2019; 21:52.


The Value of Dynamic Voice CT Scan for Complex Airway Patients Undergoing Voice Surgery. Bergeron, M; Fleck, RJ; Zacharias, SR C; Tabangin, ME; de Alarcon, A. The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology. 2019; 128:885-893.


Assessing the relationship between movement and airflow in the upper airway using computational fluid dynamics with motion determined from magnetic resonance imaging. Bates, AJ; Schuh, A; Amine-Eddine, G; McConnell, K; Loew, W; Fleck, RJ; Woods, JC; Dumoulin, CL; Amin, RS. Clinical Biomechanics. 2019; 66:88-96.


Non-contrast three-dimensional gradient recalled echo Dixon-based magnetic resonance angiography/venography in children. Dillman, JR; Trout, AT; Merrow, AC; Moore, RA; Rattan, MS; Crotty, EJ; Fleck, RJ; Yoneyama, M; Wang, H; Tkach, JA. Pediatric Radiology: roentgenology, nuclear medicine, ultrasonics, CT, MRI. 2019; 49:407-414.


A novel method to generate dynamic boundary conditions for airway CFD by mapping upper airway movement with non-rigid registration of dynamic and static MRI. Bates, AJ; Schuh, A; McConnell, K; Williams, BM; Lanier, JM; Willmering, MM; Woods, JC; Fleck, RJ; Dumoulin, CL; Amin, RS. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering. 2018; 34:e3144.


Using T1 mapping in cardiovascular magnetic resonance to assess congestive hepatopathy. Kazour, I; Serai, SD; Xanthakos, SA; Fleck, RJ. Abdominal Radiology. 2018; 43:2679-2685.


Preliminary Assessment of Dynamic Voice CT in Post-Airway Reconstruction Patients. Bergeron, M; Fleck, RJ; Middlebrook, C; Zacharias, S; Tolson, S; Oren, L; Smith, D; de Alarcon, A. Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 2018; 159:516-521.


Magnetic resonance imaging of obstructive sleep apnea in children. Fleck, RJ; Shott, SR; Mahmoud, M; Ishman, SL; Amin, RS; Donnelly, LF. Pediatric Radiology: roentgenology, nuclear medicine, ultrasonics, CT, MRI. 2018; 48:1223-1233.


Reference Values for Central Airway Dimensions on CT Images of Children and Adolescents. Kuo, W; Ciet, P; Andrinopoulou, E; Chen, Y; Pullens, B; Garcia-Pena, P; Fleck, RJ; Paoletti, M; McCartin, M; Vermeulen, F; et al. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2018; 210:423-430.

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