February 11, 2016
George E. Thoma, Jr., MD, a pioneer in the field of nuclear medicine and a former vice president of the St. Louis University medical center, died January 31 of natural causes. He was 93.
An early adopter of nuclear medicine, Thoma collaborated on the development of a nuclear radiation scanner, which paved the way for future sophisticated diagnostic imaging devices. He was the founding editor of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, serving in that capacity from 1958 to 1970.
Active in his community and profession, Thoma served as medical director for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. He was a member of the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Education and the International Federation of Catholic Universities. He also served on the boards of Alexian Brothers Health Systems and Mercy Health Systems, Detroit Region, and he was director of the Edgewater Medical Center and Edgewater Foundation.
Thoma was president of the Academy of Science of St. Louis from 1992 to 1998. During his tenure, he expanded the Academy’s Junior Academy of Science to include a full array of hands-on STEM opportunities for young people.
NOTE: The April issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine will have a full In Memoriam in the “Newsline” section.