Marcelo F. Di Carli, MD, Receives the SNMMI 2019 Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award

June 23, 2019

ANAHEIM, California – Marcelo F. Di Carli, MD, has been named this year’s recipient of the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award for his contributions to nuclear medicine. Di Carli is executive director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Program and the Joint Program in Nuclear Medicine Founders’ Chair of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as well as Professor of Radiology and Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was presented the award by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) during its 2019 Annual Meeting, June 22-25 in Anaheim, California.


Di Carli is recognized as an outstanding clinician-scientist, teacher, and mentor and noted for his pioneering work in cardiovascular radionuclide imaging and services. His research interests have focused on the study of cardiovascular pathophysiology, with an emphasis on coronary heart disease, heart failure, myocardial ischemia, and cardiac function.

Di Carli’s work has contributed to the understanding of the pathophysiology of ischemic cardiac dysfunction and of the use of positron emission tomography (PET) for guiding management of patients with end-stage heart failure. He pioneered the application of quantitative PET for assessing risk and guiding management of patients with ischemic heart disease. His work demonstrated that the presence of coronary vascular dysfunction is a key marker of clinical risk, which is independent of clinical and other traditional risk markers and provides a link between coronary epicardial and microcirculatory dysfunction and increased clinical risk. This work is opening new opportunities for improved diagnosis and targeted management of patients with coronary artery disease. His most recent work centers on using PET to improve diagnosis and management of patients with cardiac inflammation.

Di Carli established and directs the first integrated multidisciplinary cardiovascular imaging program in the country, which is considered a model of patient-centered cardiovascular imaging care, education and research. He also led and directs one of the few NIH-funded T32 training programs in cardiovascular imaging.  This program has been instrumental in training academic cardiovascular imaging clinician-scientists who have gone on to develop their own independent successful careers as investigators and academic leaders in cardiovascular imaging.

“From Dr. Di Carli we have learned how we can practice nuclear cardiology, how we can use new instrumentation, and how we can elucidate pathophysiology of cardiac diseases using new tracers,” said Satoshi Minoshima, MD, president of SNMMI. “He relentlessly advances the value of nuclear cardiology for better patient care.”

Di Carli was the founding editor in chief of Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging and serves on the editorial boards of multiple journals including JACC, JACC Imaging, The Journal of Nuclear Medicine and the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. He served as member and chair of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine and as past president of SNMMI’s Cardiovascular Council, and he is chair-elect of the American College of Cardiology Cardiovascular Imaging Leadership Council. He received the Laverna Titus Award from the American Heart Association and the Hermann Blumgart Award from the SNMMI, and he is a Distinguished Investigator of the Academy of Radiology Research. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 scientific peer-reviewed publications, and he edited two books on advanced cardiovascular imaging including cardiac PET and PET/CT.

“I am deeply honored and humbled for this important distinction from the SNMMI,” Di Carli said. “I would like to share this award with my great teachers and mentors, colleagues and collaborators, my talented trainees throughout the last 25 years, and my family for their unconditional support and encouragement. I believe that this is also a tribute to the innovation and research efforts from the broad cardiovascular nuclear medicine community that have and continue to play such an important role in advancing imaging science to improve our understanding of mechanisms underlying cardiovascular diseases, patient care and clinical outcomes.”

Di Carli received his MD degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. His clinical training was completed at the Favaloro Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery in Buenos Aires (Internal Medicine and Cardiology), and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA, Nuclear Medicine). After completing his clinical and research training, Di Carli joined the faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, in 1994, where he served as a staff physician in the Cardiovascular Division and the Department of Radiology and associate director of the PET Center. He joined the faculty of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2001 as director of Nuclear Cardiology.

Each year, SNMMI presents the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Medicine Pioneer Award to an individual for outstanding contributions to the field of nuclear medicine. De Hevesy received the 1943 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work in determining the absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of radioactive compounds in the human body. His work led to the foundation of nuclear medicine as a tool for diagnosis and therapy, and he is considered to be one of the fathers of nuclear medicine. SNMMI has given the de Hevesy Award every year since 1960 to honor groundbreaking discoveries and inventions in the field of nuclear medicine.

The list of previous recipients of this award includes numerous Nobel laureates—such as Ernest Lawrence, who invented the world’s first cyclotron for the production of radionuclides, and Glenn Seaborg, who discovered more than half a dozen new elements.


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 16,000 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