News Column

Barry A. Siegel, M.D., receives 2014 Benedict Cassen Prize for Research in Nuclear Medicine

June 23, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Clinical Trials Week -- Barry A. Siegel, MD, known for his pioneering work in positron emission tomography (PET), was awarded the Benedict Cassen Prize during the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) in St. Louis, Mo. This honor is given every two years by the Education and Research Foundation for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (ERF) to a living scientist or physician/scientist whose work has led to a major advance in basic or clinical nuclear medicine science.

"We honor Dr. Barry Siegel with the 2014 Benedict Cassen Prize for his sustained contributions to clinical translation of nuclear medicine science and, in particular, his visionary leadership in developing scientific methodology for evidence-based clinical trials that resulted in widespread acceptance of imaging studies using positron emission tomography," said ERF President Peter S. Conti, MD, PhD, FACR, FACNM (see also Clinical Trials and Studies).

During a special plenary session at SNMMI's Annual Meeting, Siegel presented the Cassen Lectureship, "What Have We Learned from the National Oncologic PET Registry?" He reviewed the history of PET reimbursement, including the accomplishments of the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR) and the limitations of observational registries in generating evidence that a technology leads to improved patient outcomes.

Siegel commented, "I am truly honored to have received this award and am gratified that my efforts, in collaboration with so many colleagues at Washington University and other institutions, have helped to achieve broader recognition of the utility of PET in clinical practice."

Trained in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine, Siegel is currently professor of radiology and medicine and chief of the Division of Nuclear Medicine at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He came to Washington University as an undergraduate in 1962, earned his medical degree in 1969, and then remained for internship, followed by a residency in diagnostic radiology and a fellowship in nuclear medicine at the university's Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. Siegel joined the faculty in 1973, and has now been with Washington University for 52 years. His current research focuses on the applications of PET for monitoring and predicting tumor response to treatment, as well as incorporation of imaging biomarkers into multicenter clinical trials.

Siegel served as an associate editor for The Journal of Nuclear Medicine for many years. He also serves on the editorial boards of the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, RSNA News and Clinical and Translational Imaging.

Over the years Siegel has been awarded the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nuclear Medicine from the Society of Nuclear Medicine in 2003, the Peter Valk Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Academy of Molecular Imaging in 2008, and the Distinguished Clinician Award from Washington University School of Medicine in 2013.

"Dr. Siegel has been a pioneer in clinical PET, proving its effectiveness and ensuring adequate reimbursement," said SNMMI President Gary Dillehay, MD, FACNM, FACR. "In receiving the Cassen Prize, he takes his place among the most influential people in nuclear medicine imaging."

The Cassen Prize, often considered the Nobel Prize of nuclear medicine, honors Benedict Cassen, whose invention of the rectilinear radioisotope scanner-the first instrument capable of making an image of radiotracer distribution in body organs of living patients-was seminal to the development of clinical nuclear medicine. Siegel is the 13th individual to have been presented this prestigious $25,000 award by the Education and Research Foundation for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging since 1994.

Keywords for this news article include: Radiology, Nanotechnology, Molecular Imaging, Emerging Technologies, Clinical Trials and Studies, Society of Nuclear Medicine.

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Source: Clinical Trials Week


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