Carolyn J. Anderson, PhD, a trailblazer in nuclear medicine, has been named the 2024 recipient of the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award. The award was announced by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Carolyn J. Anderson, PhD


June 10, 2024 — Carolyn J. Anderson, PhD, a trailblazer in nuclear medicine, has been named the 2024 recipient of the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award. The award was announced by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) during its 2024 Annual Meeting, June 8-11 in Toronto.

For over three decades, Anderson’s pioneering research has laid the foundation for the growth of radiometal-based agents for diagnostic imaging and targeted radionuclide therapy of cancer, a field now known as "theranostics." Her groundbreaking work at Washington University led to the development and first human studies of a copper-64-labeled somatostatin analog for imaging neuroendocrine tumors, nearly 20 years before the FDA approval and commercialization of Cu-64 DOTATATE. Anderson’s research also contributed to the FDA-approval of Lu-177 DOTATATE for treating neuroendocrine tumors. More recently, she and her collaborators developed a PET imaging agent for vaso-occlusive crisis in sickle cell disease, recently approved for human studies by the FDA as an Investigational New Drug.

“Anderson has been a trailblazer in the translation of novel PET agents for the imaging and targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy of cancer and other diseases,” said SNMMI President Helen Nadel, MD, FRCPC, FSNMMI. “Her groundbreaking research on radiometal-based agents has paved the way for innovative cancer treatments and diagnostic tools—an enduring contribution to the fight against cancer.”

Currently, Anderson is SimĂłn-Ellebracht Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and director of the Molecular Imaging and Theranostics Center at University of Missouri-Columbia. She previously directed the Molecular Imaging Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh and co-directed the In Vivo Imaging Facility at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Anderson started her career at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where she worked more than 20 years developing PET and radiopharmaceutical therapy agents. She received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and her doctorate degree in inorganic chemistry from Florida State University.

Throughout her career, Anderson has received numerous honors, including the Michael J. Welch Award (SNMMI) in 2012, the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy of Radiology Research in 2014, the Paul C. Aebersold award (SNMMI) for outstanding achievement for basic science research applied to nuclear medicine in 2020, and the Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry from the American Chemical Society in 2022. She has mentored many students and researchers, developing multiple training programs in radiochemistry and molecular imaging. Anderson has co-authored more than 200 publications, primarily focusing on developing radiopharmaceuticals for oncological imaging and therapy.

Anderson is a past president of the SNMMI Center for Molecular Imaging Innovation and Translation and has served on numerous committees and councils, including the SNMMI board of directors and the PET Center of Excellence. She is an associate editor for The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. She is also a member of the American Chemical Society, American Association of Cancer Research, and Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences and was president of the World Molecular Imaging Society from 2020-2022.

“I am honored to have received the SNMMI de Hevesy Award,” said Anderson. “This award is shared with my past and present collaborators and trainees, and our accomplishments have been greatly enhanced by the support of the SNMMI community. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of nuclear medicine and improve patient care.”

Each year, SNMMI 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. SNMMI 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.

For more information: www.snmmi.org

 

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