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THIS YEAR’S NOBEL PRIZE IN MEDICINE.

THIS IS THE GREAT VOYAGE OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY THAT GAVE THE WORLD THE MRI. IT WILL BE IGNORED ON THE SHAMEFUL NIGHT OF DECEMBER 10TH.

THE NOBEL PRIZE WILL MAKE ITSELF IRRELEVANT TO THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE MRI. IT WILL ALSO LOSE ITS CREDIBILITY AS AN AWARD FOR SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENT.

This Wednesday evening, the Nobel Prize for Medicine will be awarded for the MRI.
The prize pretends to honor “discoveries concerning the development of magnetic resonance imaging.” Yet the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine decided to exclude from recognition the foundational scientific history in magnetic resonance imaging you see before you – scientific history that has been before the Committee during the many years Dr. Raymond Damadian has been nominated for the prize for the MRI.

They have chosen, instead, to award the prize to two men who contributed nothing more than improved ways to image the MR signals from cancer tissue and healthy tissue that Raymond Damadian discovered – the signals that continue to drive every MRI in the world. To put MRI technology briefly: no signal, no image.

The authoritative medical textbook MRI from Picture to Proton (Cambridge University Press, UK, 2003) describes the landmark importance of Damadian’s discovery in this way:

“The initial concept for the medical application of NMR, as it [MRI] 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.”

While the inventions of the two men being honored do have some place in the history of the MRI, they were essentially replaced in 1980 by a technique called spin warp. Meanwhile, the signals discovered by Dr. Damadian continue to help save thousands of lives around the world every day.

When it comes to the two winners – one an NMR chemist and the other one an NMR physicist – we can ask the same question that the textbook asks: “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 1971.”

A PRIZE SHOULD RECOGNIZE SCIENTIFIC HISTORY. NOT ATTEMPT TO REWRITE IT.

A prize in science, or any other field, exists for only one credible reason: to recognize the history of achievement. It must never attempt to rewrite it. The very effort demonstrates contempt for the truth of science.

Yet that is what the Nobel Committee for Physiology and Medicine has attempted to do.

They will fail, regardless of whether or not the Committee or the Assembly makes a last-minute emendation. They will fail because the truth is not so malleable as they would like and Dr. Damadian’s achievements are far too significant for any credible historian to overlook.

THE DAMAGE TO THE PRIZE WILL BE LASTING

If the trustees into whose hands the prize has fallen can maneuver their way around the undeniable evidence of scientific achievement you see here, how can their selections in years to come be regarded with anything but skepticism?

The people responsible have no one to blame but themselves.

Yet the present situation makes us and all people who had hoped for better inexpressibly sad.

OVER 500 MILLION MRI SCANS AND COUNTING

Since Dr. Damadian’s “exciting discovery opened the door for a complete new way of imaging the human body,” along with his persistence in building the first MRI in the face of nearly universal skepticism – called at the time such idiotic things as “visionary nonsense” – and his achievement of the first scan of the human body, over 500 million MRI scans have been performed around the world.

Thanks to his discovery and will, the MRI has spared millions of patients untold agony and saved millions of lives. Is he not one of the greatest living benefactors of humanity? Imagine the characters who decided such a person could be bypassed and hurt!

ALFRED NOBEL WOULD NOT QUALIFY FOR HIS OWN AWARD

The decision-making process in Stockholm has become so wrongheaded as to exclude – as a matter of spoken policy and almost without exception – inventors who hold patents in favor of academic researchers. They feel the inventors will make money, but the academic researchers need it. Sorry, we didn’t think the Nobel Prize is about money. We thought it is about the unprejudiced recognition of scientific achievement. So egregiously flawed is this policy that Alfred Nobel himself, who held 355 patents, would not qualify for his own prize!

TO THOSE WHO HAVE RAISED THEIR VOICES

We would like to dedicate this final effort to right the shameful wrong that has been done to Raymond Damadian to all those people of good conscience who have raised their voices in protest. It is your unswerving ethical sense that allows people who are wronged to hope that they may yet find justice in the unbiased court of public opinion.

WE HAVE DONE ALL WE CAN

We have now done all we can to right the shameful wrong that has been done to Raymond Damadian, M. D. The rest resides in Stockholm. As the Nobel trustees know, three winners can still be named for the prize in medicine. Yet, at this late date, what hope is there that a sufficient number of them can find within themselves the ethics to step forward?

We find it more logical to be consoled by certain verities – among them that, regardless of any prize, the MRI will continue to bestow its many benefactions on humanity, and the medical doctor who has been considered its inventor for over 30 years will continue to be regarded as such. He will also no doubt continue to be what he is so irrepressibly: the most innovative mind in MRI – from the day he first conceived the possibility of such a machine to today and on into tomorrow.

This visionary man has recently invented the first Stand-Up MRI, which spinal surgeons are finding invaluable for more accurate assessment of problems and the treatment of them. He is also perfecting the MRI Operating Room, so that surgeons can view a live image of their progress.

We are also proud to say that he is the great and good man we know as our friend – our terribly wronged but courageous friend.

TWO POSITIVE NOTES FROM SWEDEN

While the Nobel seems hopelessly bent on celebrating the disgrace of its prize, The Swedish Inventors Academy has written to Dr. Damadian to say, “Your views on the criteria used by the Nobel Committee in their work with the nomination of prize winners is now well known here. The Swedish Inventors Academy shares your opinion that inventors have been treated unjustly in the past and not in accordance with Mr. Nobel’s will. They have justified this by the argument that a good invention will enrich the inventor and he will therefore not be in need of a prize. Consequently, rich scientists should not be entitled to a prize either [which would exclude Lauterbur from the prize]…. Yours Sincerely, Magnus Lindmark, Chairman, The Swedish Inventors Academy.”

A leading member of the IDE’ Forum has informed Dr. Damadian that he plans to fly to New York on December 10th to present Dr. Damadian in person with their highest honor. The citation reads: “Let it be known that Dr. Raymond Damadian, USA, is awarded IDE’ FORUM SWEDEN gold medal within the fields of physics and technology 2003.” Bless their vision and ethics.

CAPTIONS FOR PHOTOS AROUND THE MARGIN

Here is the great voyage of scientific discovery to which we truly owe the MRI. As the result of early detection of cancer and other serious diseases, along with more exact monitoring of the effectiveness of treatment, the MRI confers countless thousands of medical benefits on humanity every day – in lives healed and saved worldwide.

Enjoy what follows. It all happened in America – in fact, most of it in New York.

1

Dr. Damadian with Dr. Freeman Cope. Cope first introduced Damadian to the workings of the NMR machine in 1969 while they were performing spectroscopy experiments on potassium-rich bacteria at NMR Specialties in New Kensington, Pennsylvania.

2

Dr. Damadian at the NMR in his Brooklyn laboratory, measuring the signals from human tissues that led him to the “exciting discovery [that] opened the door for a complete new way of imaging the human body…”1

3

Original data from Dr. Damadian’s notebook on which he based his landmark paper in the journal Science (March 1971). In his paper, titled “Tumor Detection by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance,” he reported the discovery of the tissue cancer-tissue signal and the difference in signals from healthy tissue (T1 and T2) that made the MRI a goal worth pursuing.

4

Although Dr. Damadian had never built a magnet before, he set about to build a 5,000-gauss superconducting magnet – at that time the ninth-largest in the world. He sought and received a computer program from Brookhaven National Laboratories to enable him to calculate the magnetic field of the magnet he was designing. Dr. Damadian’s design called for the construction of three huge doughnut-shaped metal rings nested within one another. The smallest doughnut, made of polished stainless steel, contained the wire hoops comprising the magnet and the liquid helium. To reduce heat conduction, the magnet was prevented from touching its container with special supports made of material that was a poor conductor of heat.

5

It was up to Michael Goldsmith, Ph. D. (who was Dr. Damadian’s postdoctoral research fellow and former graduate student), with the help of other graduate students of Dr. Damadian, to wind the wire for the two magnet hoops. Niobium-titanium wire obtained at the “miraculous” price of ten cents on the dollar from Westinghouse Corporation was tightly and precisely wound off a wooden spool into two 53-inch-diameter hoops, each containing 30 miles of wire, an almost trance-producing process that went on for weeks at six days a week, 16 hours a day.

6

The second doughnut, to be filled with liquid nitrogen to help cool the helium, was made of aluminum wrapped with 85 layers of super-insulating aluminized Mylar to bounce off unwanted heat radiation.

7

The third and largest doughnut, a half-inch-thick aluminum can visible in the finished machine on the next page, contained the other two doughnuts surrounded by a 10 exp-9 TORR vacuum.


8

Though surrounded by liquid nitrogen and encased n a vacuum atmosphere, the liquid helium for the magnet had to be replenished daily To store liquid helium, Dr. Damadian and Larry Minkoff had to build a reservoir tank to sit astride the huge magnet. Unfortunately, it leaded intolerably and it took weeks of valuable time to find and fix the microscopic leaks in the porous metal.

9

Drs. Damadian, Minkoff and Goldsmith and the completed Indomitable. Although it was built to operate at 5,000 gauss, some of the wire in the magnet had to be bypassed through a special access sleeve designed by Dr. Goldsmith. Along with the bypassed wire went the field strength. The team would have to try producing a human image at only 500 gauss.


10

To go from an NMR machine which analyzed test-but-size samples of single compounds, in pure solutions to electronically mapping the inside of the human body was, as Dr. Damadian described it, “like going from a paper glider that you tossed across the classroom to a 747.” The above machine, an example of one such NMR spectrometer, was smaller and less sophisticated than the machine used at NMR Specialties. It was ordered by Dr. Damadian in 1971 to perform ongoing tissue biopsy studies at Brooklyn’s Downstate Medical Center after his discovery of the cancer scanning signal at NMR Specialties in New Kensington, Pennsylvania.


11

The first attempt for a human scan was with Dr. Damadian sitting in Indomitable, the world’s first MR scanner that he and his colleagues built. A blood-pressure guage was affixed to his right arm, an EKG was wired to his chest, and oxygen was kept handy The cardiologist (standing at left in a photo) was there in case the magnetic field produced any strange cardiac effect on Dr. Damadian. No signal was received from the scanner. The team decided that Dr. Damadian was oversized for the cardboard vest housing the antenna and that he must have detuned it. A thinner “guinea pig” was needed.


12

The “perfect-sized” Larry Minkoff finally agreed to be scanned.


13

The data from Michael Goldsmith’s notebook where he and Dr. Damadian recorded the oscilloscope measurements of signals received form Larry Minkoff’s chest on the night of the first human MR scan. Each of the 106 numeric values was given a corresponding color which, when sketched with colored pencils on a sheet of graph paper, indicated a rough, but otherwise accurate representation of Minkoff’s chest – the body wall, the right and left lungs, the heart (the right atrium and one of its ventricles), and the descending aorta.

14

Dr. Damadian’s jubilant hand-written notation, “Fantastic Success!” marked the historic accomplishment in his notebook.

15

The data was fed into a computer and interpolated to produce the finished image.

16

Dr. Damadian in the early days of Fonar Corporation conducting MRI experiments during the development of the medical industry’s first commercial scanner, Fonar’s QED 80.

17

An early Fonar scanner (1982).

18

MR imaging, fast becoming the cornerstone of modern radiology, shows detail never shown before by diagnostic imaging.

19

Dr. Raymond V. Damadian, inventor of MR scanning, with the history-making prototype named Indomitable, used to make the first MR image of a human on July 3, 1977. The machine is now on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hall of Medical Sciences (Now on loan to The National Inventors Hall of Fame).

20

In 1989, Dr. Damadian was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of Thomas Alva Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright Brothers, and Henry Ford.

21

The Lincoln-Edison Medal award to those inducted into the Hall, acknowledges the importance of the U. S. Patent System with a quotation by Abraham Lincoln: “The Patent System added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.”

22

Dr. Raymond Damadian with his wife, Donna, at the 1989 Presidential Inaugural Ball. Dr. Damadian credits much of his achievement in inventing MR scanning to the gentle and quite strength of Donna, who kept the home fires burning during Dr. Damadian’s long, often discouraging struggle to see his dream machine become reality.

CAPTIONS FOR MAIN PHOTOS

President Reagan presenting Dr. Raymond Damadian with The National Medal of Technology on July 15, 1988 (jointly with Lauterbur) “For their independent contributions in conceiving and developing the application of magnetic resonance technology to medical uses including whole-body scanning and diagnostic imaging.”

President Reagan Dr. William Graham, Science Advisor to the President Dr. Raymond Damadian

The National Medal of Technology, as presented to Raymond V. Damadian.

Dr. Raymond Damadian at his induction into the National Inventors hall of Fame (Established by the U. S. Patent Office), February 12, 1989, for the invention of magnetic resonance scanning

EXCERPT FROM LETTER BY PRESIDENT BUSH: HALL OF FAME INDUCTION

Congratulatory letter from President Bush: “And so I join you in saluting the memory of three great inventors being honored tonight: Westinghouse, Deere, and Langmuir. You are fortunate, I understand, to have a fourth great inventor with you: Dr. Raymond Damadian, whose medical inventions are saving lives around the world. In my association with the wonderful Invent America! Program, I have seen Dr. Damadian at work, captivating young imaginations with the fires of his own. I would not be surprised to see him joined in The Hall of Fame by some of those promising young minds. All it takes is imagination and encouragement, and he is an ideal source of both. He is living, reassuring proof that the spirit of invention continues to thrive in our great Nation. Barbara and I join the American people in congratulating Dr. Damadian and in sending our best wishes to all of you.” George Bush


Timeline of MRI

1969
Original Concept

Damadian conceives of and proposes a whole-body MR scanner for the first time ever. “I will make every effort myself and through collaborators to establish that all tumors can be recognized by their potassium relaxation times or water-proton spectra and proceed with the development of instrumentation and probes that can be used to scan the human body externally for early signs of malignancy. Detection of internal tumors during the early stages of their genesis should bring us very close to the total eradication of this disease.” Health Research Council of The City of New York, grant application, September 17, 1969

1970
Key Discovery Makes the MRI Possible

Damadian identifies the T1 and T2 signal differences (that is, the signal strength differences) between cancer tissue and normal tissue

March 1971
First paper published

Damadian publishes his first paper about his findings in the journal Science (March 19).

Spring 1971
Scanning Method Proposed

Damadian outlines his voxel-by-voxel scanning method, recorded in his 1972 patent. “Already Dr. Damadian is planning to build a much larger nuclear magnetic resonance device, one that will be big enough to hold a human being. That machine, Dr. Damadian believes, will prove that nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is the tool that doctors have been looking for in their quest for a method of detecting cancer early when treatment is most effective. ‘The proposed NMR device for detecting cancer in humans would not have to be highly elaborate,’ Dr. Damadian says. ‘It would consist of a large coil to emit radio waves and a movable magnet to create the magnetic field required. The coil would be wrapped around the patient’s chest, while the magnet passed back and forth across the body. A detector would pick up NMR emissions for analysis.” The Downstate Reporter, Vol. 2, No. 2, Spring 1971


September 1971
Gradient Method Proposed

Lauterbur’s notebook proposal of the gradient methods of Gabillard, Purcell & Carr
to scan 1 dimension, as Gabillard did.
It’s incomplete; 3 dimensions are needed.

March 1972
First Patent Filed

Damadian files a patent for his 3-dimensional voxel-by-voxel scan method (patent issued in 1974)

October 1972
2D Scan (image) Achieved

Lauterbur submits a 2-dimension MR scan (image) method with scan of 1mm tubes for publication.

March 1973
2nd Paper Published

Lauterbur’s paper (2D image) published in Nature (March 16).

1974
3D Scan Method Proposed

Garroway, Grannell & Mansfield publish a 3-dimensional scan method

1975
Phase Coding Introduced

Kumar, Welti & Ernst introduce phase coding scan method.

1977
First Human Scan Achieved

Damadian and two of his coworkers, Minkoff and Goldsmith, achieve the first scan (image) of the human body, using Damadian’s voxel method. It is a cross-section of Minkoff’s chest, completed 4:45 AM, July 3, 1977.

1980
Phase Coding Applied

Aberdeen group of Hutchison, Edelstein and Mallard achieves successful spin-warp technique in use throughout the world today to make MRI images.

1980
First Commercial MRI

Damadian – and the company he forms for the practical application of MRI technology to medicine – introduces the first commercial MRI scanner, utilizing his patented voxel method.

1997
Patent Upheld

High Court on U. S. Patents and the U. S. Supreme Court enforce Damadian’s patent, finding “insubstantial differences” between the way modern MRI’s output signals and his patented use of the signals to detect cancer.


Paid for by The Friends of Raymond Damadian. Contact DanielCulver@aol.com or call him at 631-694-2929.

All facts are public knowledge. Documentation for all claims may be found at www.fonar.com

(ITEMS NOT IN FINAL ADVERTISEMENT DUE TO SPACE REQUIREMENTS)

EXCERPTS FROM DR. DAMADIAN’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH, NATIONAL INVENTORS HALL OF FAME
The invention began 18 years ago when, from my basic scientific research in biophysics and biochemistry, it occurred to me it might be possible to obtain a radio signal from cancer tissue that would allow us to build a scanner that could use these signals to hunt down cancer in the human body.

I was then able to perform the fist experiments in 1970 to test this…. To my great delight, the radio signals from the cancers were dramatically different from normal.

Then came the construction of the human magnet, the first scanner and all of the persuading, indeed pleading, with officials and funding sources that it could really work…. One chemist, knowing that laboratory NMR analyzers always spun the sample, asked at a conference, “Now Dr. Damadian, how fast do you propose to spin the patient?” … Well, we had to build the scanner now… At 4:45 a. m., the morning of July 3, 1977, after a year and a half of building Indomitable, as we called the first scanner, we performed the first scan of a live human being on Larry Minkoff’s chest… I thank the National Hall of Fame so much for giving me this great honor in vivo and, even more miraculously, when I’m still young enough and my family complete enough to appreciate it…. I thank the people of America because this invention is wholly American…. So, as Charles Dickens put it, “God bless you all, every one.”


DESCRIPTION OF DR. DAMADIAN, NATIONAL INVENTORS HALL OF FAME

Apparatus and method for detecting cancer in tissue

Raymond V. Damadian, born on Marc 16, 1936, in Forest Hills, New York, is the inventor of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine which is in use in medical institutions around the world. MRI produces images of the body that are far more detailed than x-rays which it obtains from the human body through the use of static and dynamic magnetic fields.

Dr. Damadian also invented the first Open MRI and the first mobile MRI.
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