2017 ACNM Gold Medal Award

Abass Alavi, MD receives 2017 ACNM Gold Medal Award

Dr. Abass Alavi, is a Professor of Radiology and Director of Research Education at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. 

His lifetime contribution to the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, especially translating and advancing the clinical impact of FDG PET/CT, has improved the health care of millions of patients worldwide over the last two decades.  Together with chemists at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Dr. Alavi, David Kuhl, and Martin Reivich were the first to introduce radioactively labeled glucose as fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and Dr. Alavi to a human subject in 1976 and make tomographic images of the brain by a homemade single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) machine and planar whole body images by a rectilinear instrument. His group pioneered PET imaging of the normal brain and disorders such as dementia, stroke, glioma, schizophrenia, and brain trauma.   He also has been quite instrumental in advancing applications of FDG and other PET tracers in assessing numerous malignant and benign disorders.

His contributions are unparalleled in the field with an academic record of more than one thousand peer reviewed publications, 50, 000 total citations, 3000 citations annually. He delivered hundreds of invited lectures, trained countless young nuclear medicine physicians from worldwide and held NIH peer reviewed funding for decades. More importantly, his philanthropic contributions to the field are exemplary including Alavi – Mandel award for scientific contributions to the journal of nuclear medicine by trainees in basic sciences and clinical programs, Alavi-Mandel Award Fund for Subscription to Journal of Nuclear Medicine for medical libraries in the developing countries and ACNM Alavi International visiting professorship to India.

For his selfless lifetime contributions to promote the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging in the United States and the world, and for building many nuclear medicine physician careers, it is ACNM’s great honor to award the 2017 Gold Medal to Dr. Alavi.