SNMTS Fellows from the Central Chapter
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The History of CCSNM:
Reprinted from a 1981 Central Chapter Newsletter
- James C. Carlson, M.S.
In 1974 at the request of E.R.N. Grigg, M.D., I wrote a short article
about the history of the Central Chapter. Recently I rediscovered this
article in my files. It was never published due to the death of Dr. Grigg
in a plane crash before the materials he was gathering were ready for
publication. The officer list was brought up to date for this publication.
Perhaps this short introduction will be a stimulus for all to send their
old time memories to me for an eventual comprehensive history of the
Which came first -- the Central Society of Nuclear Medicine or the Nuclear
Society? The embryo of the Central Society formed in 1953 when a group of
Chicago physicians gathered together on a weekly basis to discuss thyroid
cases involving diagnosis and treatment with radioactive iodine.
Eventually, in 1955, Dr. Maglotti, Hummon and Landauer invited physicians
and scientists in the Chicago area to help them organize a formal society
related to the clinical applications of radioactive materials. The Central
Society was chartered on November 28, 1955.
But 1955 might have been too late to be first. The Nuclear Society (now
called the Society of Nuclear Medicine) was already formally organized.
After these two organizations discussed areas of mutual assistance,
secretary Robert Landauer, Ph.D. of the Central Society announced that
members may "retain membership in the Central Society and concurrently
join the Nuclear Society" by paying annual dues of $10. That was 1956.
Finally, in 1960 the Central Society agreed to become a chapter of the
Society of Nuclear Medicine and changed its name to the Central Chapter of
the Society of Nuclear Medicine.
Although the Central Chapter is the largest chapter in terms of
membership, it was proportionally larger before 1968. In that year the
proposal by E. James Potchen, M.D., to incorporate Iowa and Missouri into
an area called the Plains States Chapter (now the Missouri Valley Chapter)
met with the approval of the membership of Iowa, Missouri and the
remainder of the Central Chapter. It's not clear in the meeting minutes
when southern Ohio shifted allegiance to the Southeastern Chapter. This
division is confirmed in a chapter boundary description issued by the
national office in September 1964; yet, the October 1960 meeting of the
Central Chapter was held in Cincinnati. In one meeting report of 1960, I
notice that Central Society members were being accepted from as far away
as Nebraska. Evidently, chapter boundaries were established nationally
sometime after 1960.
Subgroups functioning within and as a part of the Central Chapter became a
reality in 1970 when a bylaws change was approved by membership. The
technologist section immediately became a recognized subgroup within the
chapter and the first joint meeting of the chapter with this group was
held in Indianapolis on October 25-27, 1973.
Of the many pioneers in nuclear medicine that have their roots in the
Central Chapter, I best remember those with whom I've had personal
contact. One of the old-timers is Kenneth Corrigan, Ph.D. who was engaged
in nuclear medicine as early as 1939 when he used Geiger counters to
measure the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid gland.
George Moore, M.D., was surgical resident at the University of Minnesota
in 1948 when he decided to label the diiodofluorescein he was using to
localize brain tumors at surgery with radioactive iodine in order to
localize the tumor before surgery. Another surgeon at the University of
Chicago, Paul Harper, M.D. significantly enhanced the routine utilization
of this diagnostic technique in 1963 when he demonstrated the
effectiveness of technetium 99m as a brain imaging agent.Â Katherine
Lathrop, PhD migrated from the Manhattan Project to the University of
Chicago to collaborate with Dr Haper in developing and publishing
extensively on Technetium chemistry.
Persons successful in the commercial arena are infrequently recognized for
contributing substantially to the advancement of nuclear medicine. Yet by
efficiently distributing the tools of the trade they enable patients in
all areas to enjoy the latest in nuclear medicine services. John Kuranz,
Ph.D., was one of the leaders in this area. He began making Geiger
counters in the early 1940's which eventually led to the founding of the
Nuclear Chicago Corporation in 1946 (Siemens, today). Nuclear Consultants
(Mallinkrodt Nuclear) and Ohio Nuclear, Inc., (Technicare) originated at
later dates under similar circumstances when the individual efforts of Wil
Konneker, Ph.D. and Donald W. Steel, B.S., M.B.A., resulted in successful
companies. In the late 40's and early 50's, if you didn't buy your
radioisotopes from Oak Ridge, you bought them from Abbott's globe trotting
salesman, Donalee Tabern, Ph.D.
It's not possible in this short writing to pay homage to all of the many
people that contributed significantly to the growth of nuclear medicine
and the Central Chapter. Many of those who were active participants in the
early meetings of the Central Chapter never became officers of the Central
Chapter and, consequently, are not listed in Table 1. Looking through the
meeting minutes we see such familiar names as Brues, Clark, Schilling,
Fields, Henderson, Grigg, Oliver, Bruch, Maglotti, Storaasli, Marenelli,
Knorpp, Carr, Whipple and Preuss. Other chapter members distinguished
themselves by becoming president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine. They
were Titus C. Evans, Ph.D., Linden See, M.D., William H. Bierwaltes, M.D.,
James L. Quinn III, M.D., Alexander Gottschalk, M.D., and William J.
The Chapter's tradition of holding one meeting per year in the Chicago
area and one meeting at some peripheral area relates to the fact that the
physical and membership centroid of the Chapter is Chicago, the place of
the Chapter's birth.
Additional Central Chapter members have served as president of the SNM
since the original publication of this history: Merle K. Loken, M.D.,
Ph.D. and Howard Dworkin, M.D. Two others may or may not fit this
category. Richard Holmes, M.D., a long time member of the Central Chapter,
was a member of the Missouri Chapter when elected president of the SNM.
Richard Reba, M.D., was elected president of the SNM soon after moving
into the Central Chapter.