2018 Saul Hertz, MD, Award

Opening Date: August 1, 2017

Amount: Non-Monetary

Sponsor: Therapy Center of Excellence


  • 2016 marked the 75th anniversary of the first reported treatment of humans with an artificially produced radioactive material. In January 1941, Dr. Saul Hertz administered a cyclotron-produced I-130 - I-131 mixture as a therapeutic dose to the first human patient with Graves' hyperthyroidism (Graves' Disease) at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

  • In honor of the professional achievements of Dr. Hertz, SNMMI established a new lifetime achievement award to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to radionuclide therapy.

  • Dr. Hertz was born on April 20, 1905, to Aaron Daniel (A.D.) Hertz and Bertha Hertz in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Michigan with Phi Beta Kappa honors. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1929, and performed his internship and residency at Cleveland's Mount Sinai Hospital. In addition to the aforementioned innovative medical use of I-130-I-131, Dr. Hertz was the first and the foremost to develop the experimental data on radioiodine (RAI) and apply it in the clinical setting to treat hyperthyroidism. Dr. Hertz utilized RAI as the first and what has become the gold standard in targeted therapies as treatment for thyroid cancer. He envisioned an expansion of nuclear targeted cancer therapies in The American Weekly June 2 1946 article when he stated, "...demand is expected for radioactive iodine and as research develops in the fields of cancer and leukemia for other radioactive medicines."

  • The development of radioactive iodine in the treatment of thyroid disease is a cornerstone upon which nuclear medicine was built. Barbara Bush, who was successfully treated for Graves' Disease, wrote to Vitta Hertz, his widow, "It is comforting to know that so many people are well because of the scientific expertise of people like Dr. Hertz."

  • He wrote over 50 scientific publications dealing mainly with topics in thyroid physiology, its disease and treatment. He influenced the development of nuclear medicine through his research and instruction at both Harvard and MIT. Dr. Hertz was an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard University from 1946 - 1950. His teaching included an attachment to the Nuclear Physics Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1939 - 1950



  • A nomination package is required for each candidate. Although all individuals are eligible for this award, nominations will only be accepted from members of SNMMI’s Therapy Center of Excellence. The package must include the following. 
    • A letter written on behalf of the nominee stating the individual's qualifications (submitted by a Therapy Center of Excellence member)
    • The Curriculum Vitae of the nominee
    The nomination package should be sent to K. Malaika Walton, Associate Director of Leadership, SNMMI at mwalton@snmmi.org by November 1, 2017.  Ms. Walton can also be reached via phone: 703.652.6782 and fax: 703.708.9020

Apply Now »
(opens August 1, 2017) Nomination packets should be emailed to mwalton@snmmi.org