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A*STAR scientist receives international award for innovation in healthcare technology
Date:6/22/2010

Physicist David William Townsend will be honoured with the prestigious 2010 IEEE Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology for the design, commercial development and clinical implementation of the PET/CT scanner. Prof Townsend will receive the medal jointly with his co-inventor, engineer Ronald Nutt, on 26 June 2010 at the IEEE Honors Ceremony in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. IEEE is the world's largest professional association advancing technology for humanity.

Heralded as "Medical Invention of the Year" in 2000 by TIME magazine, the PET/CT scanner revolutionised diagnostic medical imaging by enabling cancer tumours to be detected faster and more accurately, for diagnosis as well as staging and during treatment. The hybrid PET/CT scanner works by ingeniously combining the anatomical information offered by CT imaging with the high contrast of PET tumour imaging in a single examination. This enables the two sets of images to be more precisely registered as there is no changing of the patient's position between the two types of scans. Previously, patients had to take two separate PET and CT examinations, preventing accurate alignment of the images and limiting the quality of disease assessment. Since its commercial introduction in 2001, the PET/CT technology has been widely adopted by the medical profession. Over 95% of all PET scanners sold in 2004 were PET/CT scanners. By 2006, practically all stand-alone PET scanner purchases were replaced by PET/CT scanners.

Prof Townsend is currently head of PET and SPECT development at the Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC) under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and a Professor of Radiology at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. He is leading his team to develop both single photon and positron-emitting radiotracers for pre-clinical imaging of disease.

Highly regarded as the world's leading authority on hybrid imaging sys
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Contact: Adela Foo
adela_foo@a-star.edu.sg
656-826-6218
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

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