UCSF Radiologists Named 2014 World Molecular Imaging Society Gold Medal Award Recipients!

The World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS), an organization dedicated to developing and promoting preclinical and clinical multi-modal molecular imaging, has announced that a UCSF Radiology and Biomedical Imaging research team lead by Professors Sarah J. Nelson, PhD, John Kurhanewicz, PhD and Daniel P. Vigneron, PhD will receive the Society’s Gold Medal Award for their work in the area of hyperpolarized 13C MRI metabolic imaging, an important tool they have developed for identifying and characterizing cancer and its response to therapy.

Created in 2012, the WMIS Gold Medal Award honors “pioneering work in the field of DNP-induced hyperpolarized MRI” and “the introduction of new and novel hyperpolarizable agents with biological significance” with the goal of advancing the applications of these agents for in vivo diagnosis in humans.

It is an honor for our team to be recognized by the World Molecular Imaging Society for our investigations. The development and translation into patients of this exciting new metabolic imaging technology has required expertise from a large number of our highly talented students, staff and collaborators. We are grateful to them all for their dedication and look forward to applying it in our studies of patients with cancer, neurological and other chronic diseases.

Sarah Nelson, PhD

It was only three years ago that we wrote the first white paper describing the clinical potential of this new molecular imaging technique and it is has been exhilarating to be part of it becoming reality. It has been very exciting working with leading scientists, engineers and clinicians from around the world to translate hyperpolarized 13C MRI from bench-top and pre-clinical studies into patients.

John Kurhanewicz, PhD

This unprecedented molecular imaging technique can detect vital biochemical processes rapidly in both normal and pathologic tissues to improve clinical management of a wide range of diseases. I am honored to be a part of this international academic-industry collaboration that developed and translated the technique for the first human studies at UCSF.

Dan Vigernon, PhD

Dr. Sarah Nelson has had a major role in the development of bioengineering research programs at UCSF. She is a Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Director of the Surbeck Laboratory and Director of the Brain Research Interest Group at UCSF. She is a past recipient of the UCSF Graduate Division’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award for her support of graduate students at UCSF.

John Kurhanewicz, PhD, is a Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Urology and Pharmaceutical Chemistry. He is the Director of the Body Imaging Research Group, and the Biomedical NMR Laboratory.

Daniel B. Vigneron, PhD, is a Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF. He is the Director of the Advanced Imaging Technologies Resource Group, Hyperpolarized MRI Technology Resource Center, and is the Associate Director of the Surbeck Laboratory for Advanced Imaging at UCSF.

The Gold Medal Award will be presented at the annual WMIS meeting to be held in Seoul, Korea, in September 2014.

Read more from Dr. Vigneron here.