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Molecular engineering pioneer Sanjiv Sam Gambhir dies at 57


Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, bioengineering professor and chair of radiology at Stanford School of Medicine, died of cancer on July 18 at 57 years old. An internationally renowned trailblazer in molecular imaging, Gambhir is survived by his wife, Aruna Gambhir.

Gambhir was a professor by courtesy in the bioengineering and material science and engineering departments at Stanford. He also served as director of Molecular Imaging Programing at Stanford, director of Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection and director of Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics Center at Stanford.

Gambhir was credited as a founding father of molecular engineering for developing methods of early disease detection. One of his most notable efforts is his contribution to the creation of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) reporter gene expression imaging, a molecular engineering technique used to visualize human physiology for positron-emitting drugs. 

Stanford School of Medicine’s highest honor, the Dean’s Medal, was awarded to Gambhir on the eve before his death. As a tribute to his “revolutionary contributions to biomedicine and human health,” Dean Lloyd Minor also announced the Sanjiv Sam Grambhir Professorship in Translational Medicine. 

“Sam’s contributions to Stanford, to human health, to the science of diagnostics and to the many lives he has touched and impacted throughout his career have been immeasurable,” Minor told Stanford Medicine. 

Contact Brian Lee at bl45983 ‘at’ 

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Brian was a high school intern for The Daily in summer 2019.