Commentary

Dan Pavel Memorial

Posted 3 years ago
Edited 3 years ago

Dr. Dan G. Pavel – In Memoriam

Dan G. Pavel, MD, a pioneer in nuclear medicine, passed away on February 20, 2021. He is remembered by his friends and colleagues as a warm and generous man, who guided many to be better physicians and scientists. Dan was always focused on the task at hand with little patience for small talk. His style may seem somewhat abrasive at first, but behind that was a genuinely caring person of great integrity.

Originally from Bucharest, Romania, Dr. Pavel completed his residency in Nuclear Medicine at Northwestern University in 1974. He immediately joined the faculty at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago. In 1977, he was promoted to Director of Nuclear Medicine and in 1982 became Professor of Radiology/Nuclear Medicine. He remained in this department until 2005 when he retired from academia. Dr. Pavel continued in private practice as Director of Pathfinder Brain SPECT Imaging until his untimely death. 

Dr. Pavel developed a strong interest in image processing algorithms and display techniques. He always insisted on rigorous quality control and reproducibility; in particular, he promoted the use of color in report displays, and created an intuitive color palette allowing semi-quantitative readings. Open to new ideas, he pioneered the use of Factor Analysis to discover patterns in dynamic studies, both in renal studies and in planar gated ventriculography. He became one of the top specialists in the latter technique.

In the late '90s, he became more and more involved with Brain SPECT, and strived to establish rigorous criteria for the diagnosis of various pathologies, as well as developing better techniques for image processing and display of SPECT brain scans. His goal was to make these scans understandable by general practitioners and patients alike. He was a founding member of the International Society of Applied Neuroimaging and worked to improve the utility and appreciation of SPECT neuroimaging.

Dr. Pavel was an active member of SNMMI and the International Society of Applied Neuroimaging. He served on the Instrumentation Council from 1980-1982, the Brain Imaging Outreach Working Group from 2016-2017, and as a reviewer throughout the 1980s and 1990s. His contributions to the scientific community include over 100 research articles in multiple languages, four book chapters, over 90 presentations, and over 100 invited lectures.

We lost a friend and mentor but his contributions to nuclear medicine will live on. 

By:

Theodore A. Henderson, MD, PhD1,2,3,4 , Simon DeBruin, MSEE5, &  Philippe Briandet, PhD6

1) The Synaptic Space, Inc. Denver, CO

2) Neuro-Luminance, Inc. Denver, CO

3) Dr. Theodore Henderson, Inc. Denver, CO

4) President – The International Society of Applied Neuroimaging (ISAN)

5) President – Good Lion Imaging

6) President – Segami Corporation

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