November 17, 2015
Nuclear medicine pioneer Alan Davison, PhD, MIT professor emeritus of chemistry and a Fellow of the Royal Society, has died at 79 following a long illness.
Throughout his impressive career, Davison made significant research contributions to the fields of organometallic, boron, coordination, and bioinorganic chemistries. He will be best remembered for his work with octahedral homoleptic isocyanide complexes of technetium(I). In collaboration with the late Professor Alun G. Jones, professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, he brought rational synthetic understanding of technetium chemistry to the field of nuclear medicine. Davison and Jones also developed the first technetium-based myocardial perfusion-imaging agent, an important tool in clinical nuclear cardiology.
Davison was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow (1967); Paul C. Aebersold Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Science Applied to Nuclear Medicine (1993); Ernest H. Swift Lectureship at the California Institute of Technology (1999); American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention (2006); Carothers Award for outstanding contributions and advances in industrial applications of Chemistry (2006); Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine (2006); and the Society of Nuclear Medicine’s Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award (2009).