National Academies touts nuclear medicine's revival

November 1, 2007

After a year of hearings and deliberations, the National Academies of Science has recommended that the U.S. government recommit financially to the advancement of nuclear medicine science.

After a year of hearings and deliberations, the National Academies of Science has recommended that the U.S. government recommit financially to the advancement of nuclear medicine science.

An NAS-convened committee linked many of nuclear medicine's lingering R&D problems to deteriorating infrastructure and loss of federal research dollars. In 2006, for instance, the Department of Energy cut funding to the Medical Applications and Science program by 85%. Lack of student interest in basic science in the U.S. is so severe that the committee also recommended federally funded advanced training programs outside the nation's borders.

"If we are serious about personalized medicine, then the vehicle to [it] will be through basic research in nuclear medicine," said committee chair Dr. Hedvig Hricak, director of radiology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

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