Richard L. Wahl, MD, the Elizabeth E. Mallinckrodt Professor of Radiology and director of Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR), was honored with an Alumni Achievement Award from the Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association for his professional achievements and dedication to the university.
Wahl is a leader in nuclear medicine and in using PET scans to diagnose human cancers and other diseases. He was among the first to harness the power of the immune system to precisely target radiation therapy to cancers, a technique that has become known as radioimmunotherapy. He has been at the forefront of efforts to combine quantitative data from multiple kinds of scans to form so-called fusion images that can help physicians more precisely diagnose and characterize cancers.
“I feel very fortunate to be given this award, given how many accomplished people were in my class,” said Wahl. “My physics professor was Michel Ter-Pogossian. Having people like that teaching me in medical school, it gives you the sense that great things are possible.”
After earning his medical degree, Wahl remained at the university to complete his diagnostic radiology residency and fellowship in nuclear medicine at MIR, in addition to a research fellowship in immunology. He will be honored with the Alumni Achievement Award at a ceremony during the School of Medicine’s annual reunion on April 22.