April 2021

In recognition of his outstanding, internationally-recognised achievements and leadership in the fields of molecular imaging and nuclear medicine, Dr Sanjiv Sam Gambhir of Stanford, United States, will posthumously receive ESR Honorary Membership at ECR 2021.

It is with our sincere condolences that we mourn the loss of a remarkable radiologist, researcher, and educator.

Dr Gambhir was born in Ambala, India, in 1962, and immigrated to the United States of America with his family in 1969. He graduated from Arizona State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Physics and then enrolled in a combined MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), receiving a PhD in Biomathematics in 1990 and an MD in 1993.

Dr Gambhir went on to complete an internship in internal medicine and a residency in nuclear medicine at the Center for Health Services. In 1994, Dr Gambhir became Assistant Professor to the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Department of Biomathematics, and Director of the Computational and Communication Sciences Division at the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging. In 2002, he became Vice-Chair of the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and a year later was appointed Adjunct Professor of the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and Department of Biomathematics, Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging.


Dr Gambhir became Professor of Radiology and Head of Nuclear Medicine at Stanford in 2003, directing the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), and eventually accepting the additional role of Professor of the Department of Bioengineering in 2005. In 2009, he became the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor for Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research and Director of the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection. In 2010, he was appointed as affiliated Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, continuing on to become Chairman of the Department of Radiology, School of Medicine in 2011. In 2016, he established the Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics (PHIND) Center, serving as its director.

Dr Gambhir’s primary professional focus was molecular imaging with a particular interest in cancer imaging and diagnostics, and he was a strong advocator for precision health. His research provided many valuable contributions to the areas of immunology and the early detection and imaging of cancer.

Throughout his illustrious career, he held positions in many significant medical societies including the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM), Radiological Society of Northern America (RSNA), the American Association of Cancer Researchers (AACR), the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS, President 2016-2017), and the International Society for Strategic Studies in Radiology (IS3R, President 2017-2019), and was a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the US National Academies and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS).

Dr Gambhir served on the editorial board of Nano Letters, Nature Clinical Practice Oncology, and Science Translational Medicine, founded several biotechnology spin-off companies, and acted as a scientific advisor for several organisations. He published more than 680 papers, created over 40 patent applications, and received innumerable honours and awards for his remarkable contributions to radiology, molecular imaging, and nuclear medicine.