David W Townsend, PhD

David W. Townsend is a pioneer in PET physics and, together with Dr Ronald Nutt, the inventor of combined PET/CT imaging.
David W. Townsend obtained his PhD in Particle Physics from the University of London and was a staff member for eight years at the European Centre for Nuclear Research, CERN, in Geneva (CH). In 1980, Dr Townsend joined the faculty of Geneva University Hospital as a physicist in the Department of Nuclear Medicine.

He has worked on PET instrumentation development since the early 1980’s covering most aspects of PET imaging, including the transition from 2D to 3D PET and the clinical validation of new PET technology for brain and whole-body imaging. In 1993, Dr Townsend moved to the University of Pittsburgh as an Associate Professor of Radiology and Senior PET Physicist. In 1995, Dr Townsend was Principal Investigator on the first proposal to design and build a combined PET/CT system.

The PET/CT, attributed to Dr Townsend and Dr Nutt, then President of CPS Innovations, was named by TIME Magazine as the medical invention of the year 2000. In recognition of his work Dr Townsend received the 2004 Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Academy of Molecular Imaging, and the 2008 Nuclear Medicine Pioneer Award from the Austrian Society of Nuclear Medicine.

Since 2003, Dr Townsend has been at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville as Professor of Medicine and Radiology, and Director of the Molecular Imaging and Translational Research Program.

In 2009 Prof Townsend has bean appointed Head of PET/SPECT development at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC) and Professor of Radiology at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.

As of December 1, 2010 Professor Townsend is the Director of Clinical Imaging Research Centre (CIRC). As director of the CIRC – established in 2007 by the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and A*STAR’s SBIC – he leads the Centre in research using state of the art imaging tools and technologies.