January 2, 2002
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Stephenson
Wahl Named "Distinguished Scientist" By Academy of Molecular Imaging
Richard L. Wahl, M.D., professor of radiology and director of nuclear medicine in Johns Hopkins Medicine's Department of Radiology, was named the Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI) Scientist of the Year at the academy's 2001 annual conference. The award includes a $10,000 prize.
Wahl, who is vice chairman for technology and business development in the Department of Radiology, is a leading expert in positron emission tomography (PET). He was cited by AMI as the first person in the United States to apply PET technology to accurately diagnose a broad array of human cancers, including primary and metastatic breast cancer, metastatic melanoma and ovarian cancer, as well as to accurately stage lung cancer. Wahl also pioneered computer methods that joined PET and CT technologies to form "fusion" images of cancer. His research led General Electric to install the first commercial combination PET/CT scanner at Hopkins earlier this year.
Over the past 20 years, Wahl developed "smart radiopharmaceuticals" that target tumors and spare healthy tissue, and he was one of the first to develop radioimmunotherapy for the treatment of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, holding multiple patents on such agents.
Wahl graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, received his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and completed his internship at the University of California at San Diego. Wahl returned to St. Louis and Washington University to perform his residency in diagnostic radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. He also concurrently completed two fellowships there in nuclear medicine at the Mallinckrodt Institute, and in immunology research in the division of allergy and clinical immunology at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Jewish Hospital. Wahl joined Hopkins in the fall of 2000.