THIS YEAR'S NOBEL PRIZE IN MEDICINE
THE SHAMEFUL WRONG THAT MUST BE RIGHTED
- BECAUSE THE TRUTH CAN BE FOUND SIMPLY BY OPENING A MEDICAL
TEXTBOOK ON MRI.
THIS IS THE AUTHORITATIVE MEDICAL TEXTBOOK MRI From Picture
to Proton (Cambridge University Press, UK, 2003).
It is an inarguably credible document. The facts presented
here will either right the shameful wrong immediately or forever
shame the prize.
STEP 1. OPEN BOOK TO PAGE 2 AND NOTICE HEADING IN COLUMN
ONE: "A BRIEF HISTORY OF MEDICAL IMAGING." PAY PARTICULAR
ATTENTION TO THE SECOND PARAGRAPH IN COLUMN TWO.
This is the paragraph that begins as follows: "The initial
concept for the medical application of NMR, as it was then
called, originated with the discovery by Raymond Damadian
in 1971 that certain mouse tumours displayed elevated relaxation
times compared with normal tissues in vitro. This exciting
discovery opened the door for a complete new way of imaging
the human body where the potential contrast between tissues
and disease was many times greater than that offered by X-ray
technology and ultrasound (figure 1.2).
STEP 2: GO TO PAGE 3. LOOK AT FIGURE 1.2. NOTE CAPTION: "Figure
1.2 Raymond Damadian's 'Apparatus and method for detecting
cancer in tissue.' US patent 3789832 filed 17 March 1972,
issued February 1974. Image from the US Patent and Trademark
STEP 3: TURN TO PAGE 4, COLUMN TWO. FOLLOW ARROW AND READ
"So what were NMR researchers doing between the forties
and the seventies - that's a long time in cultural and scientific
terms. The answer: they were doing chemistry, including
Lauterbur, a professor of chemistry at the same institution
as Damadian. NMR developed into a laboratory spectroscopic
technique capable of examining the molecular structure of
compounds, until Damadian's ground-breaking discovery in
STEP 4. LOOK AT PAGE 5, RIGHT COLUMN. SEE PICTURES OF NOBEL
LAUREATES. NOTICE THAT NONE ARE MEDICAL DOCTORS.
Ask yourself, What about the medical applications of NMR
(original name for MRI)? Why aren't any of them credited for
that? Who should be? Recall that Raymond Damadian, M. D.,
studied NMR way back in 1963 when he was a postgraduate fellow
at Harvard, and he studied under none other than Edward Purcell,
Ph. D., the first laureate named in the book for the development
of NMR. Say to yourself, No wonder Raymond Damadian, M. D.,
began to think about the medical applications of NMR way before
STEP 5. INSIST THAT RAYMOND DAMADIAN BE INCLUDED IN THIS
YEAR'S NOBEL PRIZE FOR MEDICINE, WHICH CLAIMS TO HONOR "DISCOVERIES
CONCERNING MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING."
When presented with such widely recognized historical evidence,
most people might well wonder why Raymond Damadian, M. D.,
who has been nominated for the Nobel Prize for many years,
was not selected to receive it for the MRI. In fact, since
three people can be named for the award but only two were,
the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine actually made
the calculated decision to exclude him. How is such a disgraceful
The blistering truth is, the insider club of NMR physicists
and chemists just can't seem to accept the rather logical
reality that a medical doctor made the discovery in their
field that, in Alfred Nobel's words, has "conferred the greatest
benefit on mankind." It's time for them to realize that the
attempt to reserve the MRI prize for themselves only makes
it scornfully meaningless for their own distinction and irrelevant
THE SIMPLE TRUTH IS, RAYMOND DAMADIAN:
Made the original tissue discoveries on which all MRI machines
are based (T1 and T2 relaxation times)
Devised the first workable 3D method to scan the human body
Built the first scanner by hand with two of his postdoctoral
Achieved the first MR scan (image) of the living human body
Successfully patented the MRI
Started the company Fonar to advance the MRI
Introduced the first MRI that went into the service of patients
When his patent was challenged by GE, had it affirmed by
the High Court on U. S. Patents and the U. S. Supreme Court,
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist presiding. The court found
"insubstantial differences" between the method of Dr. Damadian's
patent and the method all modern MRI's use to produce an image.
Invented the first open MRI, the first mobile MRI, and now
the first Stand-UpTM MRI
Raymond Damadian is unequivocally the founder of modern magnetic
resonance scanning. The two winners simply improved the way
the scanning is done.
COMPARE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE TWO WINNERS
The men who have been chosen to receive the Nobel Prize for
the MRI did nothing more, or less, than invent improved ways
to image the tissue signals discovered by Dr. Damadian, which
the medical textbook notes is the "... exciting discovery [that]
opened the door for a complete new way of imaging the human
The NMR chemist Paul Lauterbur, Ph. D., only began to think
about medical imaging after witnessing Damadian's tissue experiments,
which were repeated for him by others when he was the chief
executive at the same company Dr. Damadian had conducted them.
Right afterward, in fact, when he went out to dinner, he got
the idea to apply the magnetic gradient to image the tissue
signals.1 (The magnetic gradient was invented by Gabillard
in the 1950's. It came as standard equipment on all NMR machines
to help the scientist even out the signal from the inert compounds
he was popping into an opening less than 2 inches wide.)
Lauterbur credited Dr. Damadian's landmark Science paper
(in which Dr. Damadian described his "ground-breaking" signal
discoveries) in his private but witnessed notebook when he
wrote down his idea, but he failed to credit Damadian in his
first published paper and over many years. This is called
citation plagiarism and is a scientific disgrace.
The NMR physicist Peter Mansfield, Ph. D., only began to
think about imaging after Damadian's work on tissues was brought
to his attention. Then his team improved the way the magnetic
gradient made an MRI image. In Mansfield's own words, "I think
Damadian's work had some influence on everyone."1
ONLY DAMADIAN'S DISCOVERY IS STILL IN USE ON EVERY MRI.
The landmark cancer-signal discovery and the signal differences
of healthy tissues that Dr. Damadian discovered continue to
drive every MRI machine in the world. Meanwhile, the contributions
of the two winners were surpassed and replaced by the spin
warp technique invented in 1980 by a group at Aberdeen University.
WHY HAS IT TAKEN NEARLY 20 YEARS TO MAKE THE AWARD FOR THE
Given the overwhelming evidence of Dr. Damadian's priority,
why on earth has it taken 20 years or so to figure out who
to give the Nobel Prize for MRI? And how on earth was the
decision made to exclude Dr. Damadian, even given the evident
risk of unprecedented disgrace to the Nobel Prize?
The insider clubhouse of NMR chemists and physicists have
been determined to limit the award to their own kind. Paul
Lauterbur himself has said repeatedly that he would not accept
the prize if Dr. Damadian were named. His cronies decided
to let him have his way - regardless of the risks to their
own credibility and to the prize!
A FLAGRANT VIOLATION OF ALFRED NOBEL'S WILL
This year's decision to exclude Raymond Damadian is also
a flagrant violation of Alfred Nobel's will. He specified
very clearly in his will that he wished the award in physiology
or medicine to recognize only "discovery." He does not allow
for an "invention" or "improvement," as he does in physics
and chemistry. The Committee calculated the wording of their
reasons for awarding the prize to avoid the appearance of
a violation of the will. Yet, as you can see by the language
in the textbook that refers to the contributions of the two
winners, "invention" is the only thing being honored this
It is the fiduciary responsibility of the trustees of the
prize to award it according to Nobel's last will and testament.
It's not only ethically correct. It's the law.
THREE WINNERS CAN BE NAMED, BUT TIME IS RUNNING OUT
The prize Ceremony is scheduled for the evening of December
We urge that the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine
and the Nobel Assembly, to which the Committee made the outrageous
recommendation to exclude Dr. Damadian, rescue the prize from
a night of irremediable disgrace.
It is way past time for the disgraceful stonewalling in Stockholm
There is still time for those who know the wrong that has
been done to step forward to reclaim the prize for the truthful
commendation of scientific achievement. Such an unprecedented
and courageous action will in no way reduce the credibility
of the prize. It is, in fact, the only way to redeem it.
We urge you now to transform the Nobel Prize ceremony into
a celebration worthy of the distinction it claims. Should
you persist without an emendation of the wrongheaded decision
that has led to the impending catastrophe, the damage to the
prestige of the Nobel Prize will be far more calamitous than
the unwarranted damage to Raymond Damadian.
After all, he has been in the history books for over 30 years
as the inventor of the MRI. Your only credible role is to
recognize, with unimpeachable exactitude, the history of scientific
achievement. It is not, nor can it ever be, a scandalous attempt
to rewrite it.
At this time, we urge all right-minded readers to join us
in our efforts to right this shameful wrong.
ABOUT THE MEDICAL TEXTBOOK MRI FROM PICTURE TO PROTON
IT WAS PUBLISHED IN 2003 BY CAMBRDIGE UNIVERITY PRESS, IN
QUOTE FROM THE BOOK
MRI from Picture to Proton presents the basics of
MR practice and theory as the practitioner first meets them....
MRI from Picture to Proton is an essential text for the student
of MR whatever their background: medical, technical or scientific.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
There are four of them.
Donald W. McRobbie is the Head of Radiological and MR Physics
in the Radiological Sciences Unit, the Hammersmith Hospitals
NHS Trust and Senior Lecturer in Imaging at Imperial College
Elizabeth A. Moore was Principal Medical Physicist at the
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (London),
and is now working as MR Clinical Scientist for Philips Medical
Martin J. Graves is Principal Clinical Scientist in the Department
of Radiology at the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's
Martin R. Prince is Professor of Radiology at Weil Medical
College of Cornell University and Chief of MRI at New York
Paid for by The Friends of Raymond Damadian. Contact DanielCulver@aol.com
or call him at 631-694-2929.
All facts are public record. Documentation may be found at
1. A Machine Called Indomitable, by Sonny Kleinfield,
Times Books, Inc., 1985
The Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, Nobel Forum,
E-Mail To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Box 270 SE-171
77 Stockholm, Sweden
Or call the Committee at 011-46-8-585-823-44