News Release

SNM honors outstanding contributors

Individuals recognized for exemplary education and service to the nuclear medicine profession

Grant and Award Announcement

Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Reston, Va.—SNM––an international scientific and medical organization—recognized the contributions and work to the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging during its 57th Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. Several awards ceremonies were held to recognize the value that SNM members play in advancing the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, cancer and neurological conditions.

"Nuclear medicine researchers, physicians and educators are leading the field of medicine," said Dominique Delbeke, M.D., Ph.D., SNM president and director of nuclear medicine and positron emission tomography in the department of radiology and radiological sciences at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. "It is a pleasure to honor their contributions and recognize their dedicated service to patient care."

SNM Presidential Distinguished Service Award

This year's recipients of the SNM Presidential Distinguished Service Award, which is given in recognition of continual dedication to the society, are Henry VanBrocklin, Ph.D., and Wil B. Nelp, M.D.

Henry F. VanBrocklin received his Ph.D. in radiopharmaceutical chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis under the mentorship of Michael Welch, Ph.D. He furthered the development of positron-labeled estrogens, progestins and androgens for tumor imaging. As a U.S. Department of Energy Alexander Hollander Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship, he continued his research on positron-labeled steroids and fatty acids in the laboratory of John Katzenellenbogen, Ph.D., at the University of Illinois. In 1992, VanBrocklin moved to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he was a staff scientist and radiopharmaceutical chemistry group leader in the Department of Functional Imaging. He is currently director of radiopharmaceutical research and professor of radiology and biomedical imaging at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He has built a successful radiotracer development program with many active collaborations. His work in the field spans many disciplines, from short-lived radioisotope production to the creation of fluorine-18 and carbon-11 labeling chemistry strategies for new radiotracer preparation and application.

VanBrocklin's current research interests include the development of radiopharmaceutical probes for PET and SPECT blood flow measurement and imaging agents targeting cancer cell surface markers. He has been very active within the SNM Leadership as president of the Molecular Imaging Center of Excellence, president of the Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council and chair of the Committee on Councils. He has also contributed to SNM's molecular imaging strategic plan.

Wil B. Nelp, M.D., graduated from Franklin College of Indiana in 1951 and then received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1955. At Johns Hopkins, Nelp trained in internal medicine and was the first nuclear medicine trainee in 1960 in the program, which had just been started by Henry Wagner Jr., M.D. In 1962, Nelp was recruited by the University of Washington in Seattle to start the nuclear medicine program and became a professor of medicine and radiology and the nuclear medicine program chief. Many bright minds, including Michael M. Graham, Ph.D., M.D. (2009󈝶 SNM president), have passed through the University of Washington's active teaching and research program. Nelp is professor emeritus at the University of Washington, and practices nuclear medicine part time.

Nelp has been involved with nuclear medicine—and the society—on a national level for many decades. In 1967, he served as head of local arrangements for SNM's first national meeting, which was held in Seattle. He served as president of SNM in 1973. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Nuclear Medicine, of which he is a lifetime member. In 1967, he received an honorary doctorate of sciences from his alma mater, Franklin College of Indiana, and currently serves on its board of trustees. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and American College of Nuclear Physicians (now known as the American College of Nuclear Medicine). In 1972, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in Nuclear Medicine from Johns Hopkins University.

SNM Presidential Distinguished Educator Award

George Segall, M.D., chief of nuclear medicine service at the Department of Veterans' Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, Calif., and professor of radiology at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., was selected for the SNM Presidential Distinguished Educator Award for his sustained contributions to education throughout his professional career.

Segall has been the organizer of many symposia and workshops, a distinguished speaker at national and local meetings of professional societies, and author of educational articles.

Segall, who was elected as SNM's president-elect during the 57th Annual Meeting, also serves as Chair of SNM's Commission on Education and is currently serving the second year of a two-year term as president of SNM's PET Center of Excellence (PET CoE). Under his leadership, the PET CoE has guided the community toward the appropriate use of PET/CT and has developed extensive resources, including a PET e-library, e-community and educational courses.

Since 1986, Segall has served at the Department of Veterans Affairs' Palo Alto Health Care System in Calif. He was named chief of nuclear medicine service in 1998. At Stanford, Segall has served as a professor in the department of radiology since 2006 and is also a professor in the department of cardiovascular medicine. His responsibilities include the education and training of residents and fellows.

Segall is also a director of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine and a director of the American Board of Medical Specialties, as well as a member of the American College of Nuclear Medicine, and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

Segall has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and authored six book chapters. He holds a medical degree from the University of Southern California and a bachelor of arts from the University of California at Berkeley. He completed medical residency both in internal medicine at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Los Angeles and in nuclear medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Nuclear Medicine.

SNM 2010 Honorary Member

SNM selected Henry Wagner Jr., M.D., as an honorary member of the society. Wagner is a past president of SNM and for many years selected the SNM Image of the Year from thousands of images presented at the society's annual meeting. In 1971, when he was SNM's president, he started the Technologist Section and installed the first SNMTS president. Wagner is a founding member of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine, established in 1971. In 1974, he was a founding member of the World Federation of Nuclear Medicine and Biology. At Johns Hopkins University, Richard Wahl, M.D., holds the title of the Henry N. Wagner, Jr., MD Professor of Nuclear Medicine, a professorship named for Wagner.

Wagner is a professor emeritus of medicine and radiology at the John Hopkins School of Medicine and a professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His pioneering work in imaging brain neuroreceptors paved the way for groundbreaking research in addiction and drug design. He was awarded SNM's first President's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nuclear Medicine and the Georg Von Hevesy Award. A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, he is an honorary member of both the British Institute of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America.

Henry N. Wagner Jr. Lectureship

Larry Kessler, Sc.D., delivered the Henry N. Wagner, Jr. Lectureship on Sunday, June 6. His speech, "Strange Bedfellows? Comparative Effectiveness Research, Molecular Imaging Medical Practice, and Health Policy," discussed the pitfalls and promise of evidence-based medicine with respect to molecular imaging and how the health policy and decision-making landscape may change. Kessler then described comparative effectiveness research issues for molecular imaging and how the society should take leadership in resolving those issues in order to move the field forward and provide optimal care for patients.

In January 2009, Kessler was appointed as professor and chair of the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington (UW), School of Public Health. In this role, he directs more than 60 faculty members who provide education in a wide variety of health services disciplines leading to degrees in public health, including a Ph.D. program, Masters of Public Health, Masters of Health Administration and a recently developed undergraduate major in public health. Prior to joining the faculty at UW, he spent 30 years working for the federal government, first at the National Institute of Mental Health, then at the National Cancer Institute and most recently at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. He obtained his Sc.D. degree in operations research from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 1978.

Kessler has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as numerous book chapters and government reports. His research has concentrated on applications of quantitative methods and health services research to problems in surveillance and public health.

Hal Anger Memorial Lecture

Thomas Budinger, M.D., Ph.D., delivered the Hal Anger Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the SNM Academic Council, on Tuesday, June 8. His speech, "Radionuclide Enhancements Above and Beyond Signal to Noise: Losing the Background," demonstrated how advances in imaging detectors, collimators, gantry design, and time of flight and reconstruction algorithms can significantly improve the quality of nuclear medicine imaging.

Budinger is currently professor of the Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley and senior medical scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley. He is the home secretary for the National Academy of Engineering and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He served in the Arctic and Antarctic in the U.S. Coast Guard where his contributions included the limitations of radar detection of icebergs. His work in nuclear medicine started at Donner Laboratories (Berkeley) in 1968 with Hal Anger, John Lawrence, Yukio Yano, Saul Winchell and James McRae. Through D.O.E. funding and NIH support, he pioneered the first rubidium-82 PET studies in human subjects and devoted much of the 1970s to SPECT and PET reconstruction methods for heart and brain along with dosimetry studies with SNM's Medical Internal Radiation Dose (MIRD) Committee and activities in magnetic resonance imaging safety. Among 400 publications is the 2006 John Wiley book, "Ethics of Emerging Technologies," authored with Miriam Budinger, M.D. He is past-president of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and recent past-president of the Society for Molecular Imaging. Recognitions include the Paul C. Aebersold Award, Georg Charles de Hevesy Pioneer Award and the Eugene Pendergrass New Horizons Lecture.

Kuhl-Lassen Lecture Award

On Monday, June 7, Kirk Frey, M.D., Ph.D., accepted the Kuhl-Lassen Lecture Award for Research in Brain Imaging, an annual award presented by the SNM Brain Imaging Council to honor a scientist who has made significant contributions to the field of functional brain imaging using SPECT and PET. His lecture, "The Vesicular Neurotransmitter Transporters," described the pharmacology and biodistribution of vesicular neurotransmitter transporters. It also discussed the advantages and limitations of monoaminergic and cholinergic vesicular transporter radioligands.

Frey obtained his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He completed residency training in neurology as well as two fellowships—nuclear medicine and neurology. Frey currently serves as professor in the radiology department, Division of Nuclear Medicine, and the Department of Neurology, chief of the Division of Nuclear Medicine, and director of the PET Center at the University of Michigan Hospitals.

Hermann Blumgart Award

Rory Hachamovitch, M.D., M.Sc., staff cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, was selected by SNM's Cardiovascular Council to receive the Hermann Blumgart Award. The award annually recognizes a key contributor to the science of nuclear cardiology, who is also an advocate for the field through involvement with the society's research and educational activities.

Hachamovitch's special interests include: outcomes research and the use of cardiac imaging in the assessment of coronary disease. He is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases and credentialed in nuclear cardiology. Hachamovitch received his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and his master of science in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Hachamovitch went on to complete a fellowship in cardiology at Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School and a fellowship in nuclear cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Edward J. Hoffman Memorial Award

Grant T. Gullberg, Ph.D., a senior staff scientist at E. O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., and an adjunct professor of radiology at the University of California San Francisco, is this year's recipient of the Edward J. Hoffman Memorial Award, which is presented annually by SNM's Computer and Instrumentation Council. The award was established to honor the memory of Professor Edward J. Hoffman and recognizes scientists in the field of nuclear medicine for their service and devotion to research and development of nuclear medicine instrumentation and to educating and training the next generation of scientists.

Gullberg's medical imaging research interests include: improved cardiac SPECT with converging collimation, dynamic cardiac SPECT, molecular imaging of cardiac hypertrophy in small animals, electromechanical modeling of cardiac function and tensor tomography. Gullberg received a Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. in mathematics from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a B.S. in mathematics from Seattle Pacific University, Seattle.

Berson-Yalow Award

Shawn M. Hillier, Ph.D., received the Berson-Yalow Award. The award commemorates Rosalyn S. Yalow, Ph.D., and the late Solomon A. Berson, M.D., who together developed radioimmunoassay (RIA) technique in the l950s. SNM established the award in 1977, the year that Yalow received the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine. Judges for the award choose the investigators who submit the most original abstract for presentation at SNM's annual meeting, and who have made significant contributions to basic or clinical RIA research, or any area of research using the indicator-dilution method.

Hillier is a principal scientist at Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals and has held several positions with the company since 2005. He is highly involved in all aspects of the biological studies to support the discovery research efforts at Molecular Insight, where his current research focuses on developing novel molecular imaging pharmaceuticals and radiotherapeutics for cancer. Hillier received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Department of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005. While a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow at MIT, he focused on elucidating the mechanism of action of two drugs designed to treat breast and prostate cancer by causing DNA damage and subsequently inhibiting the natural DNA repair mechanisms. Prior to his Ph.D. work, Hillier was a laboratory supervisor in the Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology, at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Robert Lull Memorial Lectureship

N. Reed Dunnick, M.D., and Henry D. Royal, M.D., delivered the Robert Lull Memorial Lectureship on Monday, June 7. The lectureship was sponsored by SNM's Young Professionals Committee.

Dunnick is a professor and chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

After completing a residency in diagnostic radiology at Stanford University, Dunnick moved to the National Institutes of Health as a staff radiologist, where he developed an interest in genitourinary tract radiology. He spent 11 years on the faculty at Duke University before moving to Ann Arbor in 1992. Dunnick has written 288 scientific papers, 62 book chapters and nine books on various aspects of radiology, especially diagnostic oncology, uroradiology, and more recently, administration.

Royal is a professor of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., and the associate director of nuclear medicine at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. He completed his internal medicine training at Brown University in Providence, R.I., and his nuclear medicine training at Harvard University in Boston, Mass. He was a member of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine from 1993 to 1999 and is now serving as its executive director. He has served as a trustee of the American Board of Radiology since 2002 and recently completed his term as president. He was president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine from 2003 to 2004. He has been listed in "Best Doctors in America" since the first edition in 1992.

Loevinger-Berman Award

Amin I. Kassis, B.S., M.Sc., Ph.D., received the Loevinger-Berman Award on Sunday, June 6. The award was established in 1999 by the Medical Internal Radiation Dose (MIRD) Committee in honor of Robert Loevinger, Ph.D., and Mones Berman, Ph.D., who formulated the MIRD schema for internal dose calculations. The award is given in recognition of excellence pertaining to the field of internal dosimetry as it relates to nuclear medicine through research and/or development, significant publication contributions, or advancement of the understanding of internal dosimetry in relationship to risk and therapeutic efficacy.

Kassis is a professor in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Radiation Biology and Experimental Radionuclide Therapy Sections at Brigham and Women's Hospital. The major objectives of Kassis' research is to understand the biophysical relationship between the intracellular localization of low-energy-electron-emitting radionuclides and the biologic consequences of the resulting microdistribution of energy, assess the dosimetric implications of inhomogeneous deposition of radiopharmaceuticals, and develop radionuclide carrier systems suitable for the specific delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic radioactive moieties to cancerous cells. Most recently, Kassis and colleagues have also been developing novel blood assays for the noninvasive blood-based detection of occults tumors. Using the assays, they have been able to detect cancer-specific signatures (genomic and proteomic) in tumor-bearing mice and in cancer patients.

Tom Miller Memorial Award

The Tom Miller Memorial Award was presented to Missy Fleming, Ph.D., and Darlene F. Metter, M.D., on Sunday, June 6. The award is sponsored by SNM's Academic Council and involves a 90-minute lectureship, during which Metter and Fleming explained how to use the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) website.

At ACGME, Fleming is the executive director of the review committees for diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology. Before joining the ACGME, she worked at the American Medical Association as the program director for child and adolescent health. Fleming has a doctorate in counseling psychology and a master's degree in higher education, both from Loyola University in Chicago.

Darlene Metter, M.D., F.A.C.R. is a professor of radiology, vice-chair of clinical education for the Department of Radiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas (UTHSCSA), and the nuclear medicine program director for the U.S. Army, Air Force and UTHSCSA. Her interests lie in graduate and post-graduate medical education and innovative teaching activities. She serves as a board member for SNM's Academic Council, is the chair of the SNM Nuclear Medicine Program Directors, is the recent past-chair of the ACGME Nuclear Medicine Residency Review Committee, and the recent past-president of SNM's Southwest Chapter.

Michael J. Welch Award

Mark M. Goodman, Ph.D., a professor of radiology at Emory University, Atlanta, received the Michael J. Welch Award, which is presented annually by SNM's Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to radiopharmaceutical sciences.

Goodman is an internationally recognized PET radiochemist with a track record of success in developing numerous novel and unique biochemical probes for studying brain cancer, cocaine addiction and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Parkinson's disease and depression.

Goodman received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1976. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Goodman's research as a staff scientist led to the development of [123I]BMIPP, which has been commercially introduced in Japan as Cardiodine. In 1993, Goodman established the PET radiopharmaceutical research program at Emory. At Emory his research lead to the development of [18F]FACBC for imaging both intracranial tumors and prostate cancer in patients. He has published approximately 180 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, 22 patents and 185 symposium abstracts.


About SNM—Advancing Molecular Imaging and Therapy

SNM is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about what molecular imaging is and how it can help provide patients with the best health care possible. SNM members specialize in molecular imaging, a vital element of today's medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated.

SNM's more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit

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