DAVIS, Calif.; November 30, 2016–The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has elected Simon Cherry, distinguished professor in the UC Davis Department of Biomedical Engineering, to its newest class of fellows.
Cherry is pioneering new medical imaging technologies to improve cancer detection and treatment. In 2015, the National Institutes of Health awarded Cherry and his colleague, Ramsey Badawi, a $15.5 million grant to develop the world’s first total-body PET scanner. This scanner allows all tissues and organs to be imaged simultaneously with 40 times more sensitivity than current combination PET/CT scanners. It also reduces a patient’s radiation exposure dramatically. Instead of taking 20 minutes to complete a scan this method requires only 30 seconds.
Cherry received his Ph.D. in medical physics in 1989 from the University of London. He was a faculty member at UCLA for eight years before joining UC Davis in 2001. Cherry was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2016.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He received the 2007 Distinguished Basic Scientist Award from the Academy of Molecular Imaging, and the 2012 IEEE Edward J Hoffman Medical Imaging Scientist Award, for his “outstanding contributions to the field of medical imaging science.”
In June 2015, he received the IEEE Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award, for outstanding contributions to the field of nuclear and plasma sciences and engineering. He was recognized for his “contributions to the development and application of in vivo molecular imaging systems.”
Just two months later, he received an Outstanding Investigator Award totaling more than $5 million from the National Cancer Institute to expand Cherry’s research into optical and ionizing radiation.
The AAAS Council recently voted in 391 fellows in all for 2016, in recognition of their efforts to advance science or its applications. Examples of areas in which nominees may have made significant contributions are research; teaching; technology; services to professional societies; administration in academe, industry, and government; and communicating and interpreting science to the public. Cherry is one of seven UC Davis faculty members elected as AAAS fellows this year.