WMIS Awards Dr. Robert J. Gillies the 2018 Gold Medal Award for Lifetime of Research in Cancer Imaging

Dr. Gillies Received the Highest Honor from WMIS at the World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC) in Seattle, September 15, 2018

CULVER CITY, CA., September 26, 2018 – The World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) awarded the 2018 Gold Medal Award to Dr. Robert J. Gillies, PhD, Moffitt Cancer Center, for his renowned dedication to the molecular imaging community and revolutionary contributions to the field. Dr. Gillies accepted the Gold Medal at the 11th annual World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC), September 12-15, 2018 in Seattle, WA, USA among over 1,200 of his peers and colleagues.

“Dr. Gillies was chosen for his sustained research over decades elucidating fundamental insights into cancer biology,” said Dr. Sanjiv (Sam) Gambhir, MD, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine, WMIS Past President and Fellow, Chair of Awards Committee. “His detailed studies involving molecular imaging tools such as MRI continue to help unravel the complex behavior of cancer. He has also championed work in which complex information regarding cancer is derived from radiology images and helps determine patient outcomes.”

Dr. Gillies currently serves as the Martin Silberger Chair of Cancer Physiology, and vice-Chair of Radiology. His research has investigated cancers as complex, dynamic systems governed by the forces of ecology and evolution. Because his focus is on a theme and not an approach, he has used diverse approaches from cell biology to radiology.

Throughout his career, Dr. Gillies has had an unwavering interest in aerobic glycolysis (the Warburg Effect). His major focus has been on how altered tumor metabolism results in acidification of the extracellular pH. He was the first to definitively demonstrate, with 31P MRS, that the extracellular pH of solid tumors is acidic. Dr. Gillies has served as a member of the Board of Trustees and as the President of WMIS. He was also a founding member and chair of the Molecular Imaging study section at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Recently, Dr. Gillies has been actively identifying and characterizing the consequences of increased acidity on tumor behavior, which includes increased invasion and metastasis, as well as inhibition of immune surveillance, both of which can be reversed by neutralizing tumor acidity with buffers. He is currently working on clinically translatable approaches to measure and neutralize tumor acidity in human cancer patients.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Robert J. Gillies, PhD. “It has been extremely gratifying to participate in the maturation of Molecular Imaging as a field, which has moved beyond an approach with just a promise to one that is delivering on that promise to improve patient outcome and our understanding of human health and disease.”


The WMIS is dedicated to developing and promoting translational research through multimodality molecular imaging. The education and abstract-driven WMIC is the annual meeting of the WMIS and provides a unique setting for scientists and clinicians with very diverse backgrounds to interact, present, and follow cutting-edge advances in the rapidly expanding field of molecular imaging that impacts nearly every biomedical discipline. Industry exhibits at the congress included corporations who have created the latest advances in preclinical and clinical imaging approaches and equipment, providing a complete molecular imaging educational technology showcase. For more information: www.wmis.org


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Email: lbairdn@wmis.org