Sept. 20, 2018

DAVIS, Calif. – Members of the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) have chosen UC Davis’ Dr. Julie Sutcliffe, professor of internal medicine and biomedical engineering, as their 2020 president-elect.

Sutcliffe was nominated by peers and won the office following a members-only election that concluded September 1. She formally accepted her position as WMIS 2020 president-elect during the society’s annual meeting, which took place September 12 – 15 in Seattle. Her one-year term as WMIS president officially begins September 2019.

“It’s an honor to be considered for the position of WMIS president, and I’m excited to work with all stakeholders to advance our field,” she said.

Among her presidential priorities, Sutcliffe looks forward to:

  • Strengthening alliances between industry and academia to enable rapid translation of discoveries to the clinic
  • Improving education across sub-disciplines to help prepare for the future of molecular imaging
  • Engaging patients and advocates to help molecular-imaging scientists understand important clinical challenges and concerns.

“We are so very proud of Julie and her many accomplishments, including this latest international honor,” said UC Davis Biomedical Engineering Department Chair Dr. Alyssa Panitch. “Anyone who knows Julie knows her true passion for patient care, and I’m absolutely thrilled that she’ll be bringing that passion to her new role at WMIS.”

“We want to heartily congratulate Julie Sutcliffe on this honor,” said UC Davis Medical Center Division Chief of Hematology and Oncology Dr. Ted Wun. “Julie was motivated to join our division to facilitate translation of her work to improve patient care. Not many hematology oncology divisions have their own radiochemist. She has become a highly valued and collaborative member of our clinical translational team. Her recent work has enabled development of target specific molecular imaging agents, which have been approved by the FDA for investigational use and are being used successfully in the clinic setting at UC Davis Medical Center. This has potential for transformative impact in the early detection and subsequent treatment for patients with pancreatic cancer and enabled further advancements in personalized medicine.”

President-elect is Sutcliffe’s latest role with this professional society: She also serves as a member of the WMIS Board of Trustees and the society’s Women in Molecular Imaging Network (WIMIN), which fosters career development and advancement of women in molecular-imaging sciences.

Sutcliffe graduated with a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Leicester in 1991, her M.S. in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of London in 1997 and her Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from King’s College, London, in 2002. She has been a part of the UC Davis Biomedical Engineering Department since 2002, where her research centers on the design, synthesis and in-vivo evaluation of targeted molecular imaging agents with a focus on Positron Emission Tomography (PET) – a noninvasive, sensitive tool that uses radioactive tracers to view molecular targets, biochemical pathways or drugs in live subjects. In addition to her research, laboratory and faculty work at UC Davis, she serves as co-director of the university’s Center for Molecular and Genomic Engineering (CMGI).

“We are the community who reaches across disciplines, working together to design and build new tools that reveal the molecular basis of disease,” she said. “In my role of WMIS president, I will focus efforts on advancing the field of molecular imaging to the benefit of all.”