the committee that awards The Nobel Prize for Physiology or
Medicine did the one thing it has no rights to do: it ignored
the truth. Eminent scientists, leading medical textbooks and
the historical facts are in disagreement with the decision
of the committee. So is the U.S. Patent Office. Even Alfred
Nobel's will is in disagreement. The committee is attempting
to rewrite history.
Prize Committee for Physiology or Medicine chose to award
the prize, not to the medical doctor/research scientist who
made the breakthrough discovery on which all MRI technology
is based, but to two scientists who later made technological
improvements based on his discovery.
EMINENT SCIENTISTS AND AUTHORS SAY:
was stunned to learn that the Nobel Committee has apparently
become so political that it is willing to overlook documented
evidence (1971) for the first discovery of the substantial
T1 and T2 tissue differences discovered by Damadian, which
have become the foundation of all NMR imaging." - John Throck
Watson, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Michigan
State University, East Lansing Michigan
are perplexed, disappointed and angry about the incomprehensible
exclusion of Professor Raymond Damadian, M.D., from this year's
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. MRI's entire development
rests on the shoulders of Damadian's discovery of NMR proton
relaxation differences among normal and diseased tissues and
his proposal of external scanning of NMR relaxation differences
in the human body, published in Science in 1971" - Eugene
Feigelson, M.D., Senior Vice President for Biomedical Education
and Research, Dean of the College of Medicine, Distinguished
Service Professor, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
on the Nobel for Medicine's face." - V. Adrian Parsegian,
Ph.D., Chief, Laboratory of Physical and Structural Biology,
National Institute of Child health, national Institute of
Health, Bethesda, MD
let me know what I can do, along with your many friends, to
mark this error as such, and to set the record straight in
the minds of the millions of patients who benefit daily from
your invention. I expect to spend the rest of my life telling
the true story on your behalf." - David D. Stark, MD, FACR,
co-author, the definitive MRI textbook, Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (Mosby, Third Edition, 1999)
a note to express my deep disappointment in learning of the
Nobel committee's failure to recognize the real pioneer of
MRI...Millions of people are living healthier lives because
of your seminal research and subsequent development of MRI."
- James Mattson, co-author of the book The Pioneers of NMR
and Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (Bar-llan University Press,
initial concept for the medical application of NMR, as it
was then called, originated with the discovery by Raymond
Damadian in 1971..." - MRI From Picture to Proton by McRobbie,
Moore, Graves and Prince (Cambridge University Press, 2003)
THE HISTORICAL FACTS SAY:
Proposal by Dr. Damadian for first time by anyone of an MR
(magnetic resonance) body scanner.
Damadian makes the discovery that makes the MR scanner possible.
He discovers a dramatic difference in the MR signal between
cancerous and normal tissue, proving Damadian's scanner concept
is achievable. For the first time in history a radio signal
that originates inside tissue (the MR signal) is discovered
that can monitor tissue from outside the body and be used
to hunt down cancers. Damadian also discovers marked differences
in the same signals among normal tissues (called their T1
and T2 relaxations), so that all body tissues can now be seen
with greater clarity.
1971 - Damadian's article about his discovery of the MR cancer
signal is published in the journal Science.
1971 - Basic MR focused spot-scanning method proposed by Damadian
1971 - Lauterbur cites Damadian's 1971 Science paper in his
notebook entry, establishing it as "prior art." Lauterbur
also proposes using a magnetic gradient to obtain a projection
in one dimension but the method cannot achieve a scan using
only one dimension.
1972 - Damadian files for first MR scanning patent with the
U.S. Patent Office, using his discovery of the cancerous radio
signal (T1 and T2) as a means to detect cancer. The patent
also includes the first MR scanning method that works.
- Lauterbur's 2-D paper is published in Nature. He avoids
citing Damadian's "prior art" publicly, explaining later to
a reporter that he didn't have enough room.
Garroway, Grannell and Mansfield publish a method for a 3-dimensional
Damadian and co-workers, Goldsmith and Minkoff, build the
first MR scanner, which they call Indomitable, and achieve
the first image of the human body using the scanning method
of Damadian's 1972 patent.
Damadian and the company he starts, Fonar Corporation, introduce
the first commercial MRI scanner.
High Court on U.S. Patents and U.S. Supreme Court enforce
Damadian's 1972 patent, affirming his priority over Lauterbur
and asserting that all MRI scanners use Damadian's T1 and
T2 to create images as per Damadian's 1970 discovery.
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT SAYS:
States Supreme Court: Supreme Court affirms High Court on
Patents decision enforcing Damadian's original 1972 MR scanning
of the United States: In 1988 President Ronald Reagan awarded
the prestigious National Medal of Technology jointly to Raymond
Damadian and Paul Lauterbur "for their independent contribution(s)
in conceiving and developing the application of magnetic resonance
technology to medical applications including whole-body scanning
and diagnostic imaging."
States Patent Office: Raymond Damadian, creator of the MR
technology, is inducted in 1989 into The National Inventors
Halls of Fame of the United States Patent Office.
Institution: First MRI scanner, built by Raymond Damadian
and co-workers, is placed into the Smithsonian Institution
ALFRED NOBEL SAID:
Last Will and Testament, Alfred Nobel bequeathed prizes in
medicine to the person who "...shall have made the most important
discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine. . ."
He specifies only "discovery" and does not allow for techniques
or inventions that exploit the discovery, as he does in chemistry
and physics. Unfortunately, techniques are the only things
that the awards in medicine are to be given for this year.
So the Nobel committee has violated Alfred Nobel's last will
THE NOBEL COMMITTEE SAID:
for medicine in the year 2003 is to go to Paul Lauterbur and
Peter Mansfield "for their discoveries concerning magnetic
resonance imaging." This statement is a deliberate misrepresentation
to avoid a challenge based on Nobel's will. These men did
not make medical discoveries as defined by Nobel. Dr. Damadian
made the discovery - that cancer tissue and normal tissue
respond differently to a magnetic field.
inexcusable disregard of the truth has led the committee to
make a decision that is simply outrageous. The Nobel charter
allows for three people to be named for the prize. There is
no excuse whatsoever to exclude Dr. Raymond Damadian.
essence of science is allegiance to the truth. The last institution
that should disregard the truth is the one that considers
itself the arbiter of scientific achievement.
Nobel Prize Committee for Physiology or Medicine has disgraced
itself. The only way to right this wrong is for the committee
to correct its error.
CAN BE DONE?
are encouraged to add your voice to the many distinguished
physicians, scientists and authors who are expressing their
outrage at this decision.
to the Nobel Prize Committee for Physiology or Medicine to
assure that this shameful wrong is righted before the awards
are presented in December.
The Nobel Prize Committee for Physiology or Medicine
of the Nobel Committee: The TRUTH must have a place. I/We
believe this year's Nobel for Physiology or Medicine should
include Dr. Raymond Damadian.
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