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  • About RSNA
  • Sanjiv Sam Gambhir MD, PhD

  • Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD is the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Radiology and Bioengineering at Stanford University. He received his bachelor of science degree in physics from Arizona State University in 1983. He subsequently received both his medical degree and doctorate in biomathematics in 1993 while in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He completed an internship in internal medicine followed by a residency in nuclear medicine and a fellowship in PET/CT, at the Center for Health Sciences at UCLA. He rose up the ranks at UCLA to become director of the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging and professor/vice chair of molecular and medical pharmacology.

    Dr Gambhir moved to Stanford in 2003 to direct the Molecular Imaging program and to lead nuclear medicine. He brought over 35 scientists with him from UCLA and has grown the program at Stanford to more than 150 scientists including 30 students, post-doctoral fellows, and scientists in his own multimodality molecular imaging laboratory. He was recently appointed head of the new Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection at Stanford and was appointed the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Endowed Professorship in Cancer Research in 2009.

    Professor Gambhir is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of molecular imaging. His laboratory has developed fundamental new ways to image living subjects including methods to image gene expression and cell trafficking. He has developed methods to image signal transduction pathways including protein-protein interactions and other fundamental cellular events. Dr Gambhir has recently pioneered novel Raman nano-molecular imaging strategies that are being clinically translated for endoscopic imaging. He has translated novel molecular imaging strategies using reporter genes with PET/CT for pilot trials in gene and cell therapies. He played a major role in obtaining reimbursement for FDG PET from the Centers for Medicare and Medical Services including the development of several cancer cost-effectiveness models for lung, colorectal, and other cancers. He is currently working to advance the merger of in vitro and in vivo diagnostics using novel nanotechnology for earlier disease detection and individualized patient management.

    Dr Gambhir has more than 20 patents pending or granted and is the author of over 325 peer-reviewed journal articles, including publication in Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Methods, Science, PLOS Medicine, PNAS, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Radiology, and many other journals. His work has been featured on the cover of over 20 journals including Science, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Circulation, JACC, Journal of Urology, Gastroenterology, FASEB, Cancer Cell, Nano Letters, and Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. He is the co-editor of one of the best-selling books in the field of nuclear medicine, Nuclear Medicine in Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment. He is also co-editor of a new book, Molecular Imaging: Principles & Practice. He has received over $50 million in federal grant funding and currently is the principal investigator for several National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01s and program projects from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), including a Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence and the In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Centers.

    Dr Gambhir has trained more than 150 residents, fellows, post-doctoral scholars, graduate students, undergraduates, and high school students in his laboratories and clinic, and is head of a NCI-funded R25T post-doctoral training grant. Always in demand, Dr Gambhir has given over 250 invited talks including more than 50 Keynotes at major international meetings. He has served as President of the Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI) and in numerous advisory capacities to professional societies including RSNA and SNM. He is active in both AMI and Society for Molecular Imaging (SMI), serves on the NCI Scientific Advisory Board, and is an associate editor for several journals including Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Radiology, and Nature Clinical Practice Oncology.

    Dr Gambhir has received numerous awards including the Hounsfield Medal from Imperial College, Tesla Medal from the UK Royal College of Radiologists, Holst Medal, Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, Paul C. Aebersold Award from the SNM, Achievement Award from the SMI, and the Distinguished Basic Scientist Award from the AMI. He co-hosted the 2007 Nobel Symposium on Imaging in Stockholm and was elected in 2008 as one of the youngest members to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

    “Dr Gambhir brings an extraordinary blend of focus, intensity, and creativity to his work on imaging cellular and molecular events in vivo. A team builder and gifted scientist, he is renowned for his work on imaging gene expression and for the development of many clinical algorithms for cost-effective cancer care involving PET imaging." - Gary J. Becker, MD, 2009 President, RSNA; Executive Director, American Board of Radiology

    “Sanjiv Sam Gambhir is an innovative thinker, prolific writer, much sought-after speaker, mentor, and thought leader. He is an excellent example of a physician scientist and has become a model for what young research-oriented radiologists can aspire.” - Peter L. Choyke, MD, Chief, Molecular Imaging Program, NCI

    “Dr Gambhir is instrumental in educating clinicians and scientists alike in the application of PET in solving fundamental problems in biomedicine. His biggest contribution is moving gene expression imaging from the bench to the bedside.” - King C. P. Li, MD, MBA, Chair, Department of Radiology, The Methodist Hospital/Weill Medical College.