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Paul C. Lauterbur

Paul C. LauterburAKA Paul Christian Lauterbur

Born: 6-May-1929
Birthplace: Sidney, OH
Died: 27-Mar-2007
Location of death: Urbana, IL
Cause of death: Kidney failure
Remains: Buried, Graceland Cemetery, Sidney, OH

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Magnetic resonance imaging

Military service: US Army (Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, 1953-55)

The scientific principles behind magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were developed in the 1950s, and until the 1970s the technology was primarily used for studying the chemical structure of substances. In 1973, American chemist Paul C. Lauterbur wrote an article published in the journal Nature, suggesting that a second, weaker magnetic field, the gradient field, could be incorporated into nuclear resonance imaging, allowing two-dimensional internal images of the body. Lauterbur was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 2003, sharing the honors with Sir Peter Mansfield.

The Nobel honors for Lauterbur and Mansfield have been considered controversial, for their exclusion of Herman Y. Carr and Raymond Damadian, two other scientists whose early work on MRI had almost certainly been read (but not cited) by the two laureates.

Father: Edward Joseph Lauterbur (owned Peerless Bread Machinery Company)
Mother: Gertrude Frieda Wagner Lauterbur
Brother: Thomas Lauterbur (d. infancy)
Brother: Edward Joseph Lauterbur Jr ("Joe")
Sister: Margaret Lauterbur McDonough
Wife: Rose Mary Caputo Lauterbur (m. 1962, div.)
Son: Daniel Lauterbur
Daughter: Sharon Lauterbur-Digeronimo ("Sharyn")
Wife: M. Joan Dawson (physiologist, m. 1984)
Daughter: Elise Lauterbur

    High School: Sidney High School, Sidney, OH (1947)
    University: BS Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University (1951)
    Scholar: Organosilicon Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University (1951-53)
    University: PhD Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh (1962)
    Professor: Chemistry and Radiology, Stony Brook University (1966-85)
    Scholar: Chemistry, Stanford University (1969-70)
    Professor: Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1985-90)
    Administrator: Director, MRI Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1985-2007)

    Dow Corning Mellon Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
    Lasker Award 1984
    National Medal of Science 1987
    IEEE Medal of Honor 1987
    Kyoto Prize 1994
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 2003, with Peter Mansfield
    National Inventors Hall of Fame 2007
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    American Physical Society
    International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
    National Academy of Sciences
    Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity
    Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
    Luxembourg Ancestry Paternal
    German Ancestry Maternal

Author of books:
Principles of Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Signal Processing Perspective (2000, with Zhi-Pei Liang)


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