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C. Leon Partain, PhD, MD ’75

C. Leon Partain, PhD, MD, professor of radiology, of radiological services, and of biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, is recognized worldwide for his contributions to advance the fields of nuclear medicine and medical imaging.

With a background in engineering, nuclear sciences, and medicine, Partain is a preeminent authority on nuclear medicine and diagnostic imaging. After obtaining his doctorate in nuclear engineering, he served as a nuclear engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, then decided to apply his combined skills in the field of medicine. He earned his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine and served as a research assistant in nuclear medicine at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology.

Partain is well known for his groundbreaking work on the use of MRI as a clinical diagnostic tool. The author of six widely acclaimed textbooks on MRI, he is an acknowledged innovator in the development of nascent and creative imaging techniques that advance the use of diagnostic imaging in all facets of medical care.

Partain has enhanced the quality of radiological research worldwide through his leadership roles, including editorial roles with the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computerized Tomography. Among his many other leadership roles, Partain has served as president of the Radiology Research Alliance for the Association of University Radiologists and as a member of the Residency Review Committee for Nuclear Medicine for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). A recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Imaging, Partain also is a leading recipient of National Institutes of Health RO1, foundation and industry research grants as a principal investigator for multiple studies focused on MRI.

As director of nuclear medicine and the Imaging Division at Vanderbilt University, Partain served as the university’s program chairman for the First International Clinical Symposium for MRI. He was named Vanderbilt’s first Carol D. and Henry P. Pendergrass Professor and chairman of the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences in 1992 and has consistently advanced the education of radiologists and nuclear medicine scientists throughout his career.

It is with great pride that the Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association presents this Alumni Achievement Award to Dr. Partain.

Published: 03/05/2017