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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 Office."

STEP 3: TURN TO PAGE 4, COLUMN TWO. FOLLOW ARROW AND READ IMPORTANT PASSAGE.

"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."

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 anyone else.

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 act possible?

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 to history.

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 fellows

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 body..."

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 MRI?

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 year.

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 10th.

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 to stop.

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 THE UK

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 London.

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 Systems Australasia.

Martin J. Graves is Principal Clinical Scientist in the Department of Radiology at the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's NHS Trust.

Martin R. Prince is Professor of Radiology at Weil Medical College of Cornell University and Chief of MRI at New York Hospital.

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 www.fonar.com.

1. A Machine Called Indomitable, by Sonny Kleinfield, Times Books, Inc., 1985

Write to:

The Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, Nobel Forum,
Box 270 SE-171
77 Stockholm, Sweden

E-Mail To: secr@mednobel.ki.se
Or call the Committee at 011-46-8-585-823-44
011-46-8-662-64-31
011-46-8-51-77-45-00

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