David W. Townsend receives SNMMI 2015 Aebersold Award for Nuclear Medicine Achievement

June 07, 2015

Baltimore, Md. (Embargoed until 10 a.m. EDT, June 7, 2015)--David W. Townsend, PhD, professor in the Department of Diagnostic Imaging at the National University Hospital of Singapore and director of the A*STAR-NUS Clinical Imaging Research Centre in Singapore, has been named this year's recipient of the prestigious Paul C. Aebersold Award. Townsend was presented the award by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) during its 2015 Annual Meeting, held June 6-10 in Baltimore, Md.

Townsend received the award, named for Paul C. Aebersold--a pioneer in the biologic and medical application of radioactive materials and the first director of the Atomic Energy Commission's Division of Isotope Development--at the SNMMI plenary session and formal opening. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in basic science applied to nuclear medicine and was first presented in 1973. The SNMMI Committee on Awards selects the recipient.

"Dr. Townsend's contributions to the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging have been transformative in regard to the way medicine is practiced today," said Gary L. Dillehay, MD, FACNM, FACR, chair of the SNMMI Committee on Awards and past president of the society. "With the introduction of 3D PET imaging and the development of a practical and effective PET/CT camera, he brought form and function together to solve the challenges facing our field. Today, his work allows nuclear medicine and molecular imaging professionals to produce high-quality images for more than three million patients each year."

Townsend began his work on PET instrumentation development in the early eighties, designing and building the first rotating partial ring PET scanner using bismuth germanate--or BGO--block detectors. This necessitated new reconstruction algorithms, new approaches to detector normalization, close attention to scatter correction, and much work to optimize and demonstrate the value of imaging in 3D. Townsend's contributions to 3D PET imaging were influential in improving the signal-to-noise of reconstructed PET images without increasing the amount of detector material, which to a large extent determines cost. As a result, the impact on the overall cost-effectiveness of PET as a clinical tool has been substantial.

In 1999, Townsend and colleagues introduced the combined PET/CT scanner, which was rapidly adopted and utilized in the nuclear medicine and molecular imaging field. As a pioneer and advocate for the technology, he led the early clinical studies at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre that were influential in bringing PET/CT imaging to its full potential, and his original paper on the development of PET/CT is the second most frequently cited basic science article of all time from The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM). The development of PET/CT technology was medically and commercially successful and has made a difference in the lives of innumerable oncology, neurology and cardiology patients. This work revolutionized the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging and has paved the way for the adoption of hybrid imaging, in-cluding PET/MRI.

"This award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging truly recognizes the many physicists and engineers who have contributed to the emerging field of clinical multimodality imaging--in particular, my friend, the late Bruce Hasegawa, who was a pioneer of hybrid imaging, and Dr. Ronald Nutt, with whom I developed PET/CT," noted Townsend. "It has been a privilege to work in a field with so many such outstanding scientists. It has also been a privilege to be involved in the development of an imaging device that has been rapidly embraced by the clinical community and that has contributed in some way to the healthcare of many patients. I am most honored to accept this prestigious award from the SNMMI."

Townsend received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Bristol, England, in 1966 and his doctorate in experimental high-energy physics from the University of London, England, in 1971. He also holds a docent title in medical imaging, awarded in 1987, from the University of Geneva in Switzerland. In addition to his work at the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Clinical Imaging Research Centre, Townsend currently serves in roles internationally, including adjunct professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn., and honorary professor at the Sydney University School of Medicine in Sydney, Australia.

In addition to his membership in SNMMI, Townsend has been a member of multiple professional societies, including the Swiss Society of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI). He has authored or coauthored more than 170 peer-reviewed journal articles and 120 abstracts, and he has contributed to more than 75 invited published papers, proceedings of conferences and symposia, and book chapters. Townsend has held editorial roles for 11 journals and has served as a reviewer for 14 journals, including JNM, IEEE Transactions in Medical Imaging and Molecular Imaging and Biology, and others.

Townsend has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the inaugural IEEE Innovations in Healthcare Technology Medal in 2010, the SNMMI Benedict Cassen Lecture in 2009, the Nuclear Medicine Pioneer Award from the Austrian Society of Nuclear Medicine in 2008, and the AMI Distinguished Clinical Scientist of the Year award in 2004, among others. The PET/CT scanner and Townsend's work on the technology were also recognized by Time magazine in 2000 as the "Medical Invention of the Year." He is a Fellow of the IEEE and an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists (London). He has received honorary degrees from the University of the Mediterranean, Marseille, France, and the University of Bristol, UK.
About the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about nuclear medicine and 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 and helping provide patients with the best health care possible.

SNMMI's 18,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by cre-ating 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 http://www.snmmi.org.

Society of Nuclear Medicine

Related Medical Imaging Articles from Brightsurf:

Improved medical imaging improves cancer staging
Prof. TIAN Chao's group improved the imaging quality and 3D construction of the photoacoustic imaging, and applied them to in vivo sentinel lymph node imaging.

AI techniques in medical imaging may lead to incorrect diagnoses
Machine learning and AI are highly unstable in medical image reconstruction, and may lead to false positives and false negatives, a new study suggests.

Tiny devices promise new horizon for security screening and medical imaging
Miniature devices that could be developed into safe, high-resolution imaging technology, with uses such as helping doctors identify potentially deadly cancers and treat them early, have been created in research involving the University of Strathclyde.

Advanced medical imaging combined with genomic analysis could help treat cancer patients
Melding the genetic and cellular analysis of tumors with how they appear in medical images could give physicians new insights into how to best treat patients, especially those with brain cancer, according to a new study led by TGen.

Low doses of radiation used in medical imaging lead to mutations in cell cultures
Common medical imaging procedures use low doses of radiation that are believed to be safe.

Use of medical imaging
This observational study looked at patterns of use for computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound and nuclear medicine imaging in the United States and in Ontario, Canada, from 2000 to 2016.

Medical imaging rates continue to rise despite push to reduce their use
The rates of use of CT, MRI and other scans have continued to increase in both the US and Ontario, Canada, according to a new study of more than 135 million imaging exams conducted by researchers at UC Davis, UC San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente.

Two-in-one contrast agent for medical imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) visualizes internal body structures, often with the help of contrast agents to enhance sensitivity.

Medical imaging rates during pregnancy
Researchers looked at rates of medical imaging (CT, MRI, conventional x-rays, angiography, fluoroscopy and nuclear medicine) during pregnancy in this observational study that included nearly 3.5 million pregnant women in the United States and Canada from 1996 to 2016.

Scientists discover new method for developing tracers used for medical imaging
University of North Carolina researchers discovered a method for creating radioactive tracers to better track pharmaceuticals in the body as well as image diseases, such as cancer, and other medical conditions.

Read More: Medical Imaging News and Medical Imaging Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.