Raymond Vahan Damadian, an Armenian-American born in New York in 1936, is known as the man who created the first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.
Before receiving an MD degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York in 1960, Damadian had earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1956 and had studied the violin at Juilliard for 8 years.
At the base of MRI is nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) that has been initially used in the examination of the composition of various substances. Damadian invented a safe way of NMR utilization for the scanning of the human body, a technique that was called MRI. The first MRI scanning provided experts with clear images of the heart, lungs, and the thoracic wall with no side effects.
Modern MRI scanners can instantaneously analyze and show data on any part of the human body in high detail, allowing medical experts to diagnose any medical condition. MRI scanners can also provide data on the chemical composition of the scanned tissue.
In 1978, Damadian established the company FONAR Corporation (Field fOcused Nuclear mAgnetic Resonance), which released its first commercial scanner in 1980. Along with Dr. Paul Lauterbur, Doctor Damadian was awarded the National Medal of Technology, the highest honor in technology in the US, for the development of MRI by the President of the United States Ronald Reagan on July 15, 1988.
Damadian is also a member of the Biophysical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, and Society for Medical Innovation and Technology.
Raymond V. Damadian, 2001 Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Raymond Damadian and the MRI