Report: Carolyn J. Anderson, PhD, receives SNMMI 2020 Paul C. Aebersold Award



IMAGE: Carolyn J. Anderson, PhD, Receives SNMMI 2020 Paul C. Aebersold Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Nuclear Medicine Science.
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Credit: SNMMI

Carolyn J. Anderson, PhD, has been named the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Paul C. Aebersold Award. Anderson is a professor in the departments of medicine, radiology, bioengineering, chemistry, and pharmacology and chemical biology at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. The award was announced by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) during its 2020 Annual Meeting.

Anderson’s research interests center on the development and evaluation of novel radiometal-based radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic imaging and targeted radiotherapy of cancer and other diseases. The current focus of her research lab is the development of imaging agents for upregulated receptors on immune cells that are involved in inflammation related to lung diseases including tuberculosis, primary tumor growth and cancer metastasis, and sickle cell disease. Her research also capitalizes on the effects of targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy on both tumor cells and immune cells in the tumor microenvironment. “What is most exciting and interesting about research in radiopharmaceutical development is multipurposing tracers for diseases that range from cancer to pulmonary ailments to vascular diseases. I’ve had the honor and pleasure of working with a highly diverse group of clinicians and scientists by being part of the nuclear medicine research community.”

Bennett S. Greenspan, MD, FACNM, FACR, FSNMM, chair of the SNMMI Committee on Awards, congratulated Anderson on this achievement. “Dr. Anderson has been a trailblazer in the translation of novel PET agents for the imaging and targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy of cancer and other diseases in humans. She pioneered the development of radiometal-labeled receptor-targeted PET imaging agents, leading to the first human study of 64Cu-labeled octreotide in patients with neuroendocrine tumors. Her contributions to basic science in the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging are well deserving of the SNMMI Aebersold Award.”

Upon hearing of this recognition, Anderson remarked. “Words cannot describe how honored I am to receive the Aebersold Award and join the prestigious group of previous awardees. This award is shared with my past and present collaborators and trainees, and our accomplishments are greatly enhanced by the support of the SNMMI community.”

In addition to her academic positions, Anderson currently is director of the Molecular Imaging Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh and co-director of the In Vivo Imaging Facility at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. She will be moving to the University of Missouri as the Simon-Ellebracht Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Professor of Radiology on August 1, 2020, and there she will be have a leadership role in molecular imaging and theranostics research. Previously, she spent more than 20 years developing PET tracers at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin Superior, in Superior, Wisconsin, and her doctorate degree in inorganic chemistry from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.

Anderson has received numerous honors throughout her career, including the Michael J. Welch

Award from the SNMMI in 2012 and the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy of Radiology Research in 2014. In 2019, Anderson was inducted as a Fellow of SNMMI, as well as of the World Molecular Imaging Society. She has mentored many students and researchers throughout her career and has developed multiple training programs in radiochemistry and molecular imaging. Anderson has co-authored more than 185 publications, mostly in the area of developing radiopharmaceuticals for oncological imaging and therapy.

Anderson is a past president of the SNMMI Center for Molecular Imaging Innovation and Translation and has served on many committees and councils throughout the organization, including the SNMMI board of directors and the PET Center of Excellence. She is also a member of the American Chemical Society, American Association of Cancer Research, Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences, Academy of Molecular Imaging, and World Molecular Imaging Society.

The Aebersold Award is named for Paul C. Aebersold–a pioneer in the biologic and medical application of radioactive materials and the first director of the Atomic Energy Commission’s Division of Isotope Development. It recognizes outstanding achievement in basic science applied to nuclear medicine and was first presented in 1973. The SNMMI Committee on Awards selects the recipient.


About the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to advancing nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, a vital element of today’s medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated and helping provide patients with the best health care possible.

SNMMI’s members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit



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