June 24, 2019
Anaheim, California — Vasken Dilsizian, MD, professor of radiology and medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of the Division of Nuclear Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, has assumed office as 2019-20 president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI). SNMMI introduced a new slate of officers during its 2019 Annual Meeting, June 22–25 in Anaheim, California.
“This is an exciting time for the field of nuclear medicine,” Dilsizian said. “Within a short period of time, we have witnessed the approval of several new diagnostic and therapeutic agents by the FDA, which was a tall order. More innovations are in development and clinical trials, with potentially huge impact for patients. SNMMI is ready to meet the challenge of guiding them to approval and appropriate reimbursement.”
Another goal for the society is to increase outreach and media exposure of nuclear medicine therapy and diagnosis in order to ensure awareness and, thereby, appropriate use. “This requires a member-guided grassroots approach,” Dilsizian explained, “with outreach to regional physicians and care facilities, as well as promotion of remarkable patient outcomes in local newspapers and on social media. In addition, SNMMI will increase its work to engage major networks and newspapers with stories about significant advances in therapy and theranostics and their impact on health care delivery and patient outcomes.”
Dilsizian pointed out that one of the key strengths of SNMMI is its unique breadth and diversity of members within the nuclear medicine and molecular imaging community, from physicists and chemists to physicians and technologists. “SNMMI will work to engage and involve more in the community, in the United States and internationally, from students and residents to professionals in related specialties,” he states. “The Society needs to cast a wide net and cultivate opportunities for collaboration with the other professional organizations, underscoring the value of molecular imaging for patient management, promoting additional subspecialty nuclear medicine training, and fostering scientific investigations.”
Dilsizian graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1982. This was followed by an internal medicine residency at Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1985, a fellowship in Cardiology at Boston University Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital in 1988, and a nuclear medicine residency at the National Institutes of Health in 1992. He holds master's (Tau Beta Pi) and bachelor's (magna cum laude) degrees in chemical engineering, both from Tufts University. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Nuclear Medicine.
Dilsizian has been involved in many councils, committees, and task forces at SNMMI as well as the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC). He served as president of the Cardiovascular Council of the SNMMI (2013-2014) and was awarded the 2014 Hermann Blumgart Award for his contributions to the science of nuclear cardiology. He was the SNMMI Henry N. Wagner, Jr., Cardiovascular Nuclear and Molecular Imaging Lecturer in 2014 and 2015. He is on the board of directors of the SNMMI and ASNC and was program chair for the ASNC 2014 scientific sessions. In 2016, he became a Master of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology for his contributions to the field of nuclear cardiology and for holding senior leadership positions within the society. He was chair of the American College of Cardiology Task Force on clinical competence and training in nuclear cardiology. He serves on the Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2014-2022). In addition, he is serving a four-year term (2018-2022) on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health.
Dilsizian spent 13 years at the National Institutes of Health, where he served as director of nuclear cardiology from 1992 to 2001. His research efforts over the past 30 years have culminated in more than 228 original, peer-reviewed manuscripts and invited editorials/articles, 12 books and 47 book chapters. He has served as a guest editor on five periodicals and excerpts. He serves as deputy editor of the Journal of American College of Cardiology—Cardiovascular Imaging and the editorial boards of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. He is a co-editor of the Atlas of Nuclear Cardiology (now in its 5th edition), Cardiac CT, PET and MR (now in its 3rd edition) and, most recently, the Atlas of Cardiac Innervation. He has also been a co-author of the “Nuclear Cardiology” chapter in Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine since 2005.”
Other SNMMI officers elected for 2019-20 are Alan B. Packard, PhD, Boston, Massachusetts, as president-elect and Richard L. Wahl, MD, St. Louis, Missouri, as vice president-elect. SNMMI Technologist Section officers for 2019-20 are Mark H. Crosthwaite, MEd, CNMT, PET, FSNMMI-TS, Richmond, Virginia, as 2019-20 SNMMI-TS president and Tina M. Buehner, MS, CNMT, NMTCB(CT)(RS), RT(N)(CT), FSNMMI-TS, Chicago, Illinois, as president-elect.
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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 advancing nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, vital elements of precision medicine that allow diagnosis and treatment to be tailored to individual patients in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.
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 www.snmmi.org.