Kuhl earns Japan Prize for molecular imaging research

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A University of Michigan medical school professor, known as "the father of emission tomography," has been awarded the Japan Prize, an international honor for original and outstanding achievements in science and technology.

David E. Kuhl, MD, a U-M professor of radiology, was honored by the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan for his research that produced the first tomographic images of the human body. His work laid the foundation for modern day medical diagnostic imaging systems that construct 3D images, reported The Detroit News.

Kuhl, a U-M faculty member since 1986, said he was grateful that not only his work was honored, but the field of molecular imaging.

"In molecular imaging there's a hope and expectation that these new noninvasive ways of determining how things work in small internal parts of the body will be key methods for developing new drugs and for managing patients with more individualized, personalized treatment," said Kuhl.

In the 1960s, he headed a group at the University of Pennsylvania that developed a series of SPECT devices.