Simon Cherry has been selected as the winner of the IEEE Edward J Hoffman Medical Imaging Scientist Award, “For pioneering contributions to preclinical PET and molecular imaging”. This award is given by the Nuclear and Plasma Science Society of IEEE to an individual in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of medical imaging science. The award honors the impact and novelty of a nominee’s research. It also recognizes a nominee’s research contributions over a career and his or her influence on medical imaging science through education. The award will be presented at the upcoming IEEE Medical Imaging Conference in Anaheim on October 31st.

Dr. Cherry received his B.Sc. (Hons) in Physics with Astronomy from University College London in 1986 and a Ph.D. in Medical Physics from the Institute of Cancer Research, University of London in 1989.  After a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Edward Hoffman at UCLA, he joined the faculty in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA in 1993.  From 1998-2001 he was Associate Director of the UCLA Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging.  In 2001, Dr. Cherry joined UC Davis as a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and established the Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging which he has directed for the past ten years. Dr. Cherry was Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis from 2007-2009.

Dr. Cherry’s research interests center around biomedical imaging and, in particular, the development and application of vivo molecular imaging systems.  His major accomplishments have been in developing and applying very high resolution systems for positron emission tomography (PET), in particular the invention of the microPET technology that was subsequently widely adopted in academia and industry.  He has contributed to the development of very high performance detectors for PET, and to the multimodality imaging systems.  He developed the first hybrid PET/MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) systems, and this technology is now being translated for clinical use.  The technologies developed by his laboratory have been broadly applied in biomedical science to study diseases processes and measure the effects of novel therapeutic interventions His laboratory also developed the concept of Cerenkov luminescence imaging as a novel way to image beta-emitting radionuclides non-invasively using sensitive optical cameras and is currently exploring the use of Cerenkov radiation as an internal light source for phototherapy.

Dr. Cherry is a founding member of the Society of Molecular Imaging and an elected fellow of five professional societies, including the Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology. In 2006, Dr. Cherry was invited to give the Henry Wagner Distinguished Lectureship at the Society of Nuclear Medicine annual meeting and in 2007, Dr. Cherry received the Academy of Molecular Imaging Distinguished Basic Scientist Award. In 2011 Dr. Cherry received the Imaging Achievement Award from the Society for Molecular Imaging.  Dr. Cherry is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, review articles and book chapters in the field of biomedical imaging. He is also co-author of the widely-used textbook “Physics in Nuclear Medicine”.