SNMMI Press Releases

June 5, 2011

Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, Receives SNM’s 2011 Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award

Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, Receives SNM’s 2011 Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award

Stanford University professor honored for his work in nuclear medicine

San Antonio, Texas—Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, has been named as this year’s recipient of the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award for his contributions to the nuclear medicine profession. Gambhirwas presented the award by SNM—an international scientific and medical organization—during its 2011 Annual Meeting, June 4–8 in San Antonio, Texas.

Gambhir is the Virginia & D.K. Ludwig Professor of Radiology, Bioengineering, and Materials Science & Engineering at Stanford University, where he also serves as director of the Molecular Imaging Program and head of the Nuclear Medicine Division. In September 2011, Gambhir will assume the position of chair of the Stanford University School of Medicine Department of Radiology. Additionally, Gambhir heads up the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection.

“Dr. Gambhir has made extraordinary contributions to the field of molecular imaging," said Dominique Delbeke, MD, PhD, 2010–11 president of SNM. “He is leading the way in shaping the future of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.”

An internationally recognized researcher in molecular imaging, Gambhir’s work has focused on interrogating fundamental molecular events in living subjects. He has developed and clinically translated several multimodality molecular imaging strategies, including imaging of gene and cell therapies. He has also developed strategies for Raman and photoacoustic molecular imaging. Gambhir has published more than 400 papers in the field of nuclear medicine and has over 30 patents pending or approved.

In 2009, Gambhir received the SNM’s Paul C. Aebersold Award for outstanding achievement in basic nuclear medicine science. Among his other awards are the 2009 Outstanding Researcher Award from the Radiological Society of North America, the Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Holst Medal, the Tesla Medal, and the Hounsfield Medal from Imperial College, London. He also became one of the youngest elected members to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2008.

“I am honored to receive such an important award from the SNM and am thankful to all my mentors and colleagues for helping me to move our field forward for the benefit of patients everywhere,” said Gambhir. “Many challenges lie ahead, but none are too great for the combined intellect of our clinicians, scientists, and trainees.”

Each year, SNM presents the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Medicine Pioneer Award to an individual for outstanding contributions to the field of nuclear medicine. De Hevesy received the 1943 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work in determining the absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of radioactive compounds in the human body. His work led to the foundation of nuclear medicine as a tool for diagnosis and therapy and he is considered the father of nuclear medicine. SNM has given the de Hevesy Award every year since 1960 to honor groundbreaking work in the field of nuclear medicine.

The list of previous recipients of this award includes numerous Nobel laureates—such as Ernest Lawrence, who built the world’s first cyclotron for the production of radionuclides, and Glenn Seaborg, who discovered more than half a dozen new elements.


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