James H. Thrall was born in 1943 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1964 and his medical degree from University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1968.
He completed training in radiology and nuclear medicine at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. where he subsequently served as the Assistant Chief of Nuclear Medicine from 1973–1975. He returned to the University of Michigan as Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Radiology in 1975 and was promoted to Professor in 1981.
Prof. Thrall served for five years as Chairman of the Department of Radiology at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, where he was also a physician trustee and held the position of vice-chairman of the Board of Governors of the Henry Ford Medical Staff. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Henry Ford Health Care Corporation.
In 1988, he was the first person to receive the Juan M. Taveras Professorship of Radiology at the Harvard Medical School and became Radiologist-in-Chief at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), positions he has held since then. He also currently serves as a Trustee of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization and chairs the Executive Committee of the Harvard Departments of Radiology.
Prof. Thrall has worked extensively on the development of telemedicine systems and chairs the International Medicine Committee of the MGH. He has co-founded two companies in partnership with MGH to provide teleradiology and telemedicine services.
He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Mobile Aspects, a leading provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking solutions for the healthcare industry, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Worldcare, Ltd. He notably co-founded WorldCare Clinical (WCC), an imaging CRO that provides end-to-end imaging services for clinical trials in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries, in 1992.
In his own country, Prof. Thrall serves on the Board of Trustees of the Research and Education Foundation of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), and the Board of Councilors of the Society of Chiefs of Academic Radiology Departments. He is a past President of the American Roentgen Ray Society and currently holds the position of Chairman of the Board of Chancellors of the American College of Radiology.
The quality of his work has granted him prestigious awards such as fellowship of the American College of Radiology, the Excellence of Leadership award of the magazine Diagnostic Imaging and the Gold Medal of both the RSNA and the American Roentgen Ray Society.
Prof. Thrall is an author of over 300 publications and reviews and is the founder and editor of the Requisites in Radiology textbook series. He has served as the 'Perspectives' Editor for the journal Radiology and is or has been part of the editorial board of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, International Journal of Cardiac Imaging, Investigative Radiology and Journal of the American College of Radiology.
In recognition of his outstanding career and his contribution to radiology, Professor James H. Thrall will receive Honorary Membership of the European Society of Radiology at ECR 2009.