The IS3R Sam Gambhir Innovation Prize 2023 has been awarded to Dr. Martin Pomper, Henry N. Wagner, Jr., M.D. Professor and Director of the Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging within the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for his outstanding achievements identifying new molecular imaging techniques and theranostics, particularly regarding small-molecule imaging and therapeutic agents targeting the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). His groundbreaking work has led to the direct identification and FDA approval of DCFPyL (PYLARIFY®) – a PET radiopharmaceutical that is used to image prostate cancer in hundreds of thousands of men annually.
Dr. Pomper received his undergraduate, graduate (organic chemistry), and medical degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His postgraduate medical training was at Johns Hopkins and included an internship (Osler Medical Service), residencies (diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine), and fellowship (neuroradiology). He has been on the faculty at Johns Hopkins since 1996, where he delved into research, focusing his efforts on molecular imaging techniques.
In 2007, he became a Professor of Radiology at the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Since 2015, Dr. Promper has served as Director of the Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, and since 2016, he has held the Henry N. Wagner, Jr. M.D. Professorship of Nuclear Medicine. He is the inaugural recipient of the William R. Brody Professor of Radiology, a professorship designated for a radiologist physician-scientist who excels in translational innovation in imaging. Moreover, Dr. Pomper became the Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship and Technology Development in 2019 responsible for promoting entrepreneurship within the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and is involved in several commercial enterprises.
Dr. Pomper’s extraordinary contributions to the field have been widely recognized and honored with numerous accolades, including prestigious awards and fellowships. He is the immediate past President of the Society of Nuclear Medicines Molecular Imaging Center of Excellence and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Molecular Imaging. In 2017, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. His prolific publication record includes more than 480 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, cementing his reputation as a leading authority in
the field of molecular imaging.
Throughout his career, Dr. Pomper has pioneered the application of cutting-edge imaging technologies in various fields, including oncology, neurology, and cardiology. His groundbreaking research on targeted molecular imaging agents has enabled non-invasive assessment of tumor biology and response to therapy, revolutionizing cancer treatment. A distinguished researcher and visionary leader, Dr. Pomper has consistently pushed the boundaries of scientific knowledge, making significant breakthroughs that have transformed the landscape of radiology and improved patient care.