Henry VanBrocklin, PhD, FSNMMI, FSRS, Receives SNMMI 2023 Paul C. Aebersold Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Nuclear Medicine Science

June 25, 2023

Chicago, Illinois (Embargoed until 9:30 am, CDT, Sunday, June 25, 2023)—Henry VanBrocklin, PhD, has been named the 2023 recipient of the prestigious Paul C. Aebersold Award. VanBrocklin is a professor in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and director of the Radiopharmaceutical Research Program in the Center for Molecular and Functional Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco. The award was announced by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) during its 2023 Annual Meeting.

For more than 30 years VanBrocklin has led research on the preparation and application of novel radiopharmaceuticals, including receptor-based imaging agents for hormone receptors, growth factor receptors, neuroreceptors, and prostate-specific membrane antigen. He has also developed imaging agents for cardiac blood flow and metabolism. VanBrocklin created several in vitro and in vivo model systems, interpreted the data collected from these systems to determine the utility of the imaging agents, and successfully translated many of them into humans. Currently, VanBrocklin is evaluating a new agent to measure T cell activation, 18F-FAraG and targeted antibodies to visualize viral reservoirs associated with HIV and Long COVID.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by my colleagues and to receive the prestigious 2023 SNMMI Aebersold Award,” said VanBrocklin. “I have had the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented nuclear medicine and molecular imaging professionals throughout my career, and I look forward continuing our effort to advance nuclear medicine agents for the benefit of our patients.”

VanBrocklin received his bachelor of science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Insititue in Troy, New York, in 1984, followed by a doctoral degree in radiopharmaceutical chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1990. He then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois. VanBrocklin served as a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, until 2005, when he moved to the Department of Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco.   

Always looking to give back to nuclear medicine and molecular imaging community, VanBrocklin has served the field in many roles. He is co-chair of the Coalition for PET Drug Manufacturers, an organization he co-founded to support interaction of the PET community with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and he is a past president of the Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences. He is editor-in-chief for the Hindawi/SAGE journal Molecular Imaging. A current member of SNMMI’s committees on Publications and Government Relations, VanBrocklin has served in the past on many SNMMI committees and was president of SNMMI’s Center for Molecular Imaging Innovation & Translation and Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council.

VanBrocklin received the SNMMI President’s Distinguished Service Award in 2006 and 2010. He was selected as a Distinguished Investigator by the Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research in 2018 and was honored with an SNMMI fellowship the same year. In 2020, he received the Michael J. Welch Award from the SNMMI Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council, and in 2021 he became a Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Fellow.

“It is a distinct pleasure to present the Aebersold Award to Henry,” noted Alan B. Packard, PhD, FSNMMI, chair of the SNMMI Committee on Awards. “His work in the field spans the full spectrum of radiopharmaceutical science disciplines and has resulted in tracers for cardiac blood flow measurement, receptor-targeted tracers for prostate, pancreatic and breast cancer, neurological imaging agents for neuroinflammation and excititory amino acid transport, and more.”

The Aebersold 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.


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 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.