Radiologic Society names molecular imaging dynamo Outstanding Researcher of the Year

DECEMBER 2, 2008--Each year the Radiologic Society of North America honors one scientist with its "Outstanding Researcher of The Year" award. This year that honoree is Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, who co-founded VisEn Medical Inc. (Bedford, MA). Weissleder has made significant contributions to molecular imaging, especially for application to cancer, atherosclerosis and inflammatory diseases.

DECEMBER 2, 2008--The Radiologic Society of North America (RSNA) has given Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD, its "Outstanding Researcher of The Year" Award. Dr. Weissleder is Professor at Harvard Medical School, Director of both the Center for Systems Biology and the Center for Molecular Imaging Research at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and co-founder of VisEn Medical Inc. (Bedford, MA).

The RSNA gives this award annually to one researcher who has made original significant contributions to the field of radiology throughout a career of research. "The RSNA 'Outstanding Researcher of the Year' award is an important acknowledgement of Dr. Weissleder's vision for molecular imaging as an integral component in the future of clinical medicine," said Kirtland Poss, CEO of VisEn Medical. "Dr. Weissleder's contributions have already benefited basic research and pharmaceutical development across numerous disease states, and these are increasingly advancing the era of personalized- and improved-medicine."

According to the RSNA, each "Outstanding Researcher of the Year" honoree has demonstrated a long-term commitment to radiologic research, including service as a principal investigator on peer-reviewed, nationally funded research programs, mentoring a new generation of research physicians, and leading significant scientific discoveries.

Weissleder has published over 500 peer-reviewed articles and is a founding member and past President of the Society for Molecular Imaging Research. He is the recipient of numerous scientific awards including the Allyn Taylor Prize in International Medicine, an SMI Lifetime Achievement Award and the Millennium Innovator in Medicine award.

Weissleder is also known for his significant contributions to molecular imaging research. Most of his work has been aimed at cancer, atherosclerosis and inflammatory diseases and has led to new approaches in the management of these diseases.

VisEn Medical has further developed and commercialized some of the leading fluorescence molecular imaging technologies originating out of Dr. Weissleder's lab at MGH, including "FMT" or fluorescent molecular tomography, as well as a portfolio of fluorescence in vivo imaging agents. The VisEn FMT 2500 quantitative tomography system provides 3D quantification of disease biologies in vivo and is used by leading research institutions and pharma companies worldwide both in research and in drug development. In addition, VisEn develops and markets a broad range of fluorescent in vivo imaging agents enabling the quantification and measurement of key disease-associated biomarkers and therapeutic responses in vivo. These agents are used preclinically today, and along with the Fox Chase Cancer Center, VisEn's first "smart" fluorescence activatable agent is being planned for clinical trials in late 2009 to enable physicians to identify and characterize early stage disease in pancreatic and ovarian cancer patients.

Posted by Barbara G. Goode, barbarag@pennwell.com.

More information:
Details on Dr. Weissleder and his work at the MGH
VisEn Medical Inc.

More in Biomedicine