Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health


April 8, 2013

NIBIB Grantees Chien Ho and Mitchell Schnall awarded 2013 Gold Medals by the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

Chien Ho

Chien Ho, Ph.D.

Two prominent researchers at NIBIB-funded Biomedical Technology Resource Centers are being awarded the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) 2013 Gold Medal at the society's 21st annual meeting and exhibition in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 22, 2013.

Chien Ho, Ph.D. of Carnegie Mellon University was selected for his pioneering magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique to track the migration of cells in the body and for laying the foundation for the current interest in cell tracking. His work may offer a new non-invasive approach to detecting early signs of organ rejection after transplantation and is also important in the study of developing stem cells, the migration of cancer cells, inflammatory processes, and gene expression. 

Mitchell Schnall

Mitchell Schnall, M.D.,Ph.D.

Mitchell Schnall, M.D. Ph.D. of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania was selected for his pivotal role in the development of imaging methods and enabling MRI coil technology, used in the diagnosis and staging of prostate and breast cancer, and for his leadership of clinical trials to test novel imaging technologies. Dr. Schnall's work spans the interface between basic imaging science and clinical medicine and has fundamentally changed the imaging approaches to breast and prostate cancer.

Drs. Ho and Schnall join a distinguished group of more than sixty gold medalists within ISMRM, a prestigious association of 8,000 academicians and researchers from over 58 countries.

Dr. Ho is alumni professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and director of the Pittsburgh NMR Center for Biomedical Research, a Biomedical Technology Resource Center funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Dr. Ho earned a Ph.D. from Yale University and completed his postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A former recipient of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute MERIT Award, Dr. Ho is also an Academician of Academia Sinica (Taiwan) and is actively involved in research efforts rooted in understanding the relationship between structure and function in biological systems. He is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the International Society of Magnetic Resonance (ISMAR), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Ho is the author of numerous research articles and the recipient of multiple patents.

Dr. Ho is widely recognized for his pioneering research in the application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to living systems, both by imaging (MRI) and by spectroscopic (MRS) methods and is known for his research in the allosteric mechanisms of hemoglobin based on structural information obtained from high-field triple-resonance NMR spectrometry.

Dr. Schnall is the Eugene P. Pendergrass Professor of Radiology, Chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and clinical director of the Center for Magnetic Resonance and Optical Imaging (CMROI), a Biomedical Technology Resource Center funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. At the CMROI, he serves as the clinical director to oversee clinical and safety aspects, review all human studies protocols, and set up procedures for clinical studies. He is also the NIBIB-funded principal investigator on an innovative training program to develop imaging clinical scientists which is designed to meet the growing need for imaging-based clinician scientists. Dr. Schnall received his undergraduate, medical, and doctorate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where he has served on the faculty of the Radiology Department since 1991 and as full professor since 2002. He became the chairman of the Department of Radiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. He has also served as the principal investigator of the American College of Radiology Imaging Network and is principal investigator for the Penn Center for Innovation in Personalized Breast Screening.

Dr. Schnall serves on multiple editorial boards and scientific advisory committees including the National Cancer Institute's Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Radiology Society of North America and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He was elected as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Schnall is a senior fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and was elected to the Institute of Medicine, one of the most highly regarded honors in biomedicine.

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and bioengineering supports a wide range of interdisciplinary research efforts that span molecular discovery, as demonstrated by Dr. Ho, to clinical translation, as exhibited in the research of Dr. Schnall. 


About the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB): The NIBIB’s mission is to support multidisciplinary research and research training at the crossroads of engineering and the biological and physical sciences. NIBIB supports emerging technology research and development within its internal laboratories and through grants, collaborations, and training. More information is available at the NIBIB website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. More information is available at the NIH website.

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