On July 13, Peter Conti, MD, PhD, director of the USC Molecular Imaging Center, was awarded the Benedict Cassen Prize during the annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI). The $25,000 award is bestowed every two years by the Education and Research Foundation (ERF) for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging for outstanding innovations in nuclear medicine science.

Conti has numerous academic appointments in radiology, biomedical engineering and pharmaceutical sciences and has served as the director of the USC PET Imaging Science Center since its inception in 1991. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers in his field, many of which focused on the development of novel PET and hybrid agents for enhanced diagnostic imaging for cancer and other diseases.

“It is a privilege to be considered a member of this elite group of scientists who have contributed so much to the field,” Conti said. “I want to thank all my U.S. and international collaborators, colleagues, mentors, students, friends and family whose support and inspiration made this possible.”

The Cassen Prize is named after Benedict Cassen, inventor of the rectilinear radioisotope scanner, the first instrument capable of making an image of radioactive substance distribution in the bodies of living patients.

— Landon Hall