September 18, 2008

Indian-American gets nuclear medicine research 'Nobel'

An Indian-American physician- scientist has been honoured with the prestigious Benedict Cassen Prize this year, considered the equivalent of a Nobel in the field of nuclear medicine research.

Mathew L Thakur, a professor of radiology and radiation oncology in Thomas Jefferson University of Philadelphia, was conferred the biennial USD 25,000 award instituted by Society for Nuclear Medicine, an international scientific organisation, at its 55th Annual Meeting in New Orleans recently.

Thakur's work focused on developing and evaluating radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic imaging and therapy. Described as a molecular imaging pioneer who has helped change the shape of modern medicine, Thakur finds himself among an elite group of only eight other researchers who have been awarded the Cassen Prize.

"Dr Thakur's research has truly advanced excellence in health care," Sue Weiss, executive director of the Society's Education and Research Foundation which funds the award, said.

"In science, nothing is more gratifying and encouraging than recognition by peers," Thakur said.

Thakur has a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Bombay University, and a master's degree in analytical chemistry and a doctorate in radiochemistry from London University. He was a visiting scholar at the Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis and associate professor of radiology at the Yale University School of Medicine.

His current research interests include the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer and the development of imaging techniques for venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and gene expression, the Society said in a press statement.

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