Randy Hawkins, MD, PhD (1949-2018)

Randall Hawlins, MD, PhDI am deeply saddened to share with you that Randall Hawkins, MD, PhD, friend and long-time faculty member in the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging passed away unexpectedly over the weekend.

Randy grew up in southern California, northeast of Los Angeles in Wrightwood. A champion swimmer and lifeguard in high school, he went on to obtain his undergraduate training in Physics at Occidental College. He then received his M.D. from the University of California, Irvine after which he completed residency training first in Radiology at the University of Southern California and then in Nuclear Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. An innate scholar interested in the science of medicine just as much as the practice of medicine, he stayed on at UCLA to complete his Ph.D. in Biomedical Physics. He quickly rose to become residency director and section head at UCLA in the Division of Clinical Nuclear Medicine, where he also served as Vice Chairman in the Department of Radiological Sciences.

After a distinguished career at UCLA, Randy was recruited as Professor to UCSF by chair Dr. Ronald Arenson as Chief of Nuclear Medicine, a role in which he served until 2009. Initially drawn to UCSF by a medical cyclotron and growing program in positron emission tomography (PET), he became a celebrated scientist and lecturer around the world. He gained international renown for his pioneering work that helped pave the way for the clinical use of PET in stroke, malignancy, dementia and epilepsy. During his tenure, Randy developed new and innovative mathematical techniques for PET and SPECT image reconstruction using Bayesian estimation and led fundamental work for applying these modalities in oncology and neurology.

Randy was a truly exceptional physician who had a broad impact on clinical care across UCSF. He was loved by residents and fellows, and served as dedicated and caring mentor to numerous trainees and faculty. He will be sorely missed.