Paul C. Lauterbur

1990 Bower Science Award Theme: Chemistry, Biophysics, and Bioengineering

Paul C. Lauterbur received his B.S. from Case Institute of Technology in 1951 and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1962. From 1963 to 1984, he was on the faculty of the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he served as a Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Radiology. During this period, Lauterbur worked on NMR spectroscopy and its applications to the studies of the structures of molecules, solutions, and solids. He also extended his NMR studies to applications in biochemistry and biophysics when he discovered nuclear magnetic resonance imaging. In 1984, he was named as University Professor at SUNY Stony Brook until his departure in 1985. Dr. Lauterbur joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1985.

From Dr. Lauterbur's work came a new medical diagnostic instrument and his discovery provided a new field of exploration for physicists, engineers, and clinicians. The discovery of NMR imaging has opened new horizons in the medical instrumentation. Dr. Lauterbur's other research interests are in chemistry, especially its role in the origin of life, involving imprints in polymers and similar topics.

Dr. Lauterbur is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and won the National Medal of Science in 1987. Since winning the Bower Award in 1990, some of Dr. Lauterbur's other honors include the International Society of Magnetic Resonance Award (1992); the Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology (1994); the Gray Medal of the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measures (1999); the Gold Medal of the European Congress of Radiology for Significant Contribution to Progress of Radiology (1999); and the National Academy of Sciences Award for Chemistry in Service to Society (2001).

Information as of 2001