Sanjiv Sam Gambhir

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Sanjiv Sam Gambhir
Sanjiv Sam Gambhir.jpg
Born (1962-11-23) November 23, 1962 (age 54)
Ambala, India
Nationality American
Fields Nuclear Medicine, Radiology, and Bioengineering
Institutions Stanford University
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Academic advisors M.E. Phelps, S.C. Huang, and H.R. Herschman
Known for Molecular Imaging, Nuclear Medicine, PET-CT, and Early Cancer Detection
Notable awards Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the US National Academies (2008)

Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD (born November 23, 1962) is an American physician-scientist. He is the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor in Cancer Research,[1] Chairman of the Department of Radiology at Stanford University School of Medicine, and a professor by courtesy in the departments of Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Additionally, he serves as the Director of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS) and Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection. To date, he serves on many editorial and advisory boards and committees. He serves as the PI to various extramural funds as well as private foundations funds.


Gambhir was born in Ambala, India and moved to the US with his parents and sister in 1969. He was raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He is married to Aruna Bodapati Gambhir and lives in the Bay Area. He is an American citizen.

Education and employment[edit]

Gambhir is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Arizona State University where he received his B.S. in Physics. He then entered the combined M.D-Ph.D. Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the University of California Los Angeles and received his MD and PhD in biomathematics. He received the highest honor given to a UCLA graduate student, the outstanding graduate student award gold medal award in 1990.

His first academic appointment was in 1994 at UCLA as an Assistant Professor of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology. He was a Clinical Attending in the Nuclear Medicine Department at Center for Health Sciences at UCLA starting in 1997. He was appointed tenure Professorship at UCLA in 2003. In 2003, he moved to Stanford University and was appointed Professor of Radiology, Head of Nuclear Medicine, Director of Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), and Member of the Bio-X Program. He became the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor for Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research, which is an Endowed Professorship in 2009. He was appointed the Chair of Radiology in August 2011.

Honors and awards[edit]

Gambhir has many honors and awards. In the last decade he has received the following: Taplin Award,[2] Holst Medal,[3] Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI) Distinguished Basic Scientist of the Year Award,[4] Society for Molecular Imaging (SMI) Achievement Award,[5] Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation,[6] Hounsfield Medal (Imperial College London),[7] fellowship of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE),[8] Paul C. Aebersold Award,[9] Organizer and Co-Chair for the Nobel Symposium in Imaging (2008), Inducted as a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigator (ASCI),[10] Tesla Medal, Elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the US National Academies,[11] Parmley Prize, Radiological Society of North American (RNSA) Outstanding Researcher Award,[12] The Gopal Subramanian Lifetime Achievement Award,[13] the George Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award,[14] Aunt Minnie Award,[15] Distinguished Scientist Award for Distinguished Contributions to Nuclear Medicine,[16] Society of Asian American Scientists in Cancer Research Award,[17] the American Association of Indian Scientists in Cancer Research Lifetime Achievement Award,[18] the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow Award.[19] and J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine.[20]

Research focus[edit]

His research focuses on imaging assays to monitor fundamental cellular/molecular events in living subjects with an emphasis on cancer. Technologies being utilized include micro-positron emission tomography (microPET), bioluminescence imaging, fluorescence optical imaging, Raman optical imaging, ultrasound, and photoacoustics in small animal models. Particular interest of his research and lab is early cancer detection including combining in vivo and in vitro diagnostics.

Clinical practice[edit]

Clinical applications in humans include the use of PET-CT with novel tracers and translational trials with new imaging modalities (e.g., Raman and Photoacoustics), strategies for early cancer detection.

Major contributions[edit]

Decision Management Models for the use of FDG PET in cancer, PET reporter gene technology, multimodality reporter genes, imaging of gene/cell therapies, imaging of intracellular events in living subjects (e.g., protein-protein interactions), bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) in living subjects, nanoparticle based imaging, Raman imaging in vivo and photoacoustic imaging with novel imaging agents.


Gambhir has published over 549 publications in peer reviewed journals, has authored and co-authored several textbooks and holds 41 patents that are issued or filed.

Selected publications[edit]


External links[edit]