H. William Strauss, MD, Receives 2016 Benedict Cassen Prize for Research in Cardiovascular Nuclear Medicine

June 13, 2016

San Diego, Calif. (Embargoed until 10 a.m. PT, June 13, 2016) — H. William (Bill) Strauss, MD, FACNM, a pioneer in the field of cardiovascular nuclear medicine, was awarded the Benedict Cassen Prize, often considered the Nobel Prize of nuclear medicine, during the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) in San Diego, Calif. 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.

“The Cassen Prize Committee selected Bill Strauss as the 2016 recipient in recognition of his seminal studies in cardiovascular nuclear medicine, which have greatly advanced nuclear medicine science and have had exceptionally high clinical impact,” said ERF President Hazem H. Chehabi, MD, FACNM, FACNP.

During a special plenary session at SNMMI’s Annual Meeting, Strauss presented the Cassen Lectureship on "Quo Vadis Cardiovascular Nuclear Medicine?” The lecture described contributions by major investigators to cardiovascular imaging, recent studies on the role of microcalcification as the precipitating cause of heart attack and new applications in heart failure and the evolving role(s) of multimodality imaging with magnetic resonance imaging and PET.

Strauss commented, “It has been a thrill to work at the interface of cardiology and nuclear medicine. One of the best parts of this adventure has been the opportunity to learn from dedicated colleagues and students from around the world, people who are willing to teach and hungry to learn. I want to thank my wife for putting up with many late nights and missed dinners—and the Education and Research Foundation of the Society of Nuclear Medicine for recognizing the importance of cardiovascular nuclear medicine to our field.” 

Internationally recognized for his work in cardiovascular nuclear medicine, Strauss is currently an attending physician emeritus in the Molecular Imaging and Therapy Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Memorial Hospital in New York City. He joined the Memorial Sloan Kettering/Cornell faculty and staff in 2001, following 30 years of faculty, clinical and research appointments in nuclear medicine at the medical schools and teaching hospitals/medical centers of Johns Hopkins, Harvard (Massachusetts General Hospital), Stanford and Cornell University. For two years in the early 1990s, he served as vice president for diagnostics drug discovery at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. In 2002, the Society of Nuclear Medicine honored him with the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award.

Strauss is a prolific researcher, an active teacher and clinician, and the author of eight books, including the Atlas of Cardiovascular Nuclear Medicine and Cardiovascular Nuclear Medicine. He has more than 560 published original and invited articles and more than 70 book chapters.

He is a past president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, former editor of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, and has served on the editorial board of that journal, as well as six other juried publications.

Strauss has been widely recognized for his work with named lectureships, life memberships and honorary degrees. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and a life member of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine, as well as a fellow of both the American College of Nuclear Physicians and the American College of Nuclear Medicine.

The Cassen Prize 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. Strauss is the 14th individual to receive this prestigious $25,000 award from the Education and Research Foundation for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging since 1994.

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About the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, a vital element of today’s medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated and helping provide patients with the best health care possible.

SNMMI’s more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit www.snmmi.org.

Bill Strauss photo