Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Raymond V. Damadian
Damadian was born in New York. He is of Melville, New York, a scientist of Armenian descent, who had his BS in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin in 1956, and an M.D. degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City in 1960.
In a 1971 paper, he reported his discovery that tumors and normal tissue responded differently to nuclear magnetic resonance ("NMR"). He suggested that the difference could be used to diagnose cancer. In recording the history of MRI, Mattson and Simon (1996) credit Damadian with describing the concept of whole-body NMR scanning, as well as discovering the NMR tissue relaxation differences that made this feasable. In 2001, the Lemelson-MIT program bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award on Dr Damadian as "the man who invented the MRI scanner" .
In 1974 he patented the design and use of NMR (US Patent 3,789,832 ) for detecting cancer. However, this patent did not describe a method for generating pictures. He produced in 1977 the first magnetic resonance imaging ("MRI") scan of the human body. In 1978 he formed his own company, FONAR, for the production of the MRI scanner. In 1980 the first commercial MRI scanner was produced.
He went on to collaborate with Wilson Greatbach, one early developer of the implantable pacemaker, to develop a MRI-compatible pacemaker.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2003 was awarded to Paul Lauterbur and Sir Peter Mansfield for their discoveries related to MRI. Damadian took out large advertisements in a number of international newspapers complaining about his exclusion from the award. The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia gave its recognition of his work on MRI. He was also named Knights of Vartan 2003 "Man of the Year". He received a National Medal of Technology in 1988 and was inducted in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1989.
Damadian is a highly religious Christian and a young earth creationist. Some creationists and evolutionary biologists  have claimed that he was not awarded a Nobel Prize because of this position.
- James Mattson and Merrill Simon. The Pioneers of NMR and Magnetic Resonance in Medicine: The Story of MRI. Jericho & New York: Bar-Ilan University Press, 1996. ISBN 0961924314.
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