Martin G. Pomper, MD, PhD, Receives SNMMI 2017 Paul C. Aebersold Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Nuclear Medicine Science

June 11, 2017

DENVER, Colo. (Embargoed until 9:30 AM MT, June 11, 2017) – Martin G. Pomper, MD, PhD, director of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging and professor in the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, has been named the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Paul C. Aebersold Award. Pomper was presented the award by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) during its annual meeting, held June 10-14 in Denver, Colorado. 

The award is named for Paul C. Aebersold—a pioneer in the biologic and medical application of radioactive materials and the first director of the Atomic Energy Commission’s Division of Isotope Development. It recognizes outstanding achievement in basic science applied to nuclear medicine and was first presented in 1973. The SNMMI Committee on Awards selects the recipient.

“Dr. Pomper is an internationally recognized leader in molecular imaging research,” stated Peter Herscovitch, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FSNMMI, chair of the SNMMI Committee on Awards and past president of the society. “His impressive body of work has focused on the development of new imaging agents that target cancer and central nervous system processes.”

Upon news of this recognition, Pomper remarked, “This is a tremendous honor for our team and for me personally – particularly when I consider the iconic figures who have previously received this award and what they have done to shape nuclear medicine. I thank the SNMMI, my mentors and my colleagues over the years who have continually supported us in molecular imaging research.”

Upon assuming leadership of the division of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging in 2015 Pomper became the Henry N. Wagner, Jr. Professor of Radiology. Previously he was the inaugural William R. Brody Professor, which is a Johns Hopkins professorship designated for a radiologist physician-scientist who excels in translational innovation in imaging. He oversees a coalition of molecular imaging researchers at Johns Hopkins through several federally funded programs, and he co-directs the Kimmel Cancer Center's Cancer Molecular and Functional Imaging Program and the Cancer Functional Imaging Core. He has contributed to several Johns Hopkins start-up companies in an effort to disseminate laboratory-based discoveries.

His team has performed pioneering work in discovery and translation of low-molecular-weight imaging agents targeting the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). Such compounds are currently being used worldwide in management of prostate cancer. Other projects focus on development of radiopharmaceuticals for PET and SPECT for a variety of indications, including other cancers, inflammation, immunity and central nervous system disorders. His team has also developed a general technique for molecular-genetic imaging and therapy of cancer, among other contributions.

Pomper received his undergraduate, graduate (organic chemistry) and medical degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His postgraduate medical training was at Johns Hopkins and included an internship on the Osler Medical Service, residencies in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine, and a fellowship in neuroradiology. He is board certified in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine and has been on the faculty at Johns Hopkins since 1995. Pomper is a past president of SNMMI’s Center for Molecular Imaging Innovation and Translation and former editor-in-chief of the journal Molecular Imaging.

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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.

Downloadable photo: Martin Pomper