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Roderic Pettigrew

Photo by Jack Kearse, courtesy of Emory University School of Medicine.

Pettigrew ’73 Named Director of New NIH Institute

Roderic Pettigrew ’73, Ph.D., M.D., has been appointed the first director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Pettigrew leaves his position as professor of radiology, medicine (cardiology), and bioengineering and director of the Emory Center for MR Research, Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta.

“The NIBIB is the only institute at NIH dedicated to biomedical technologies, and we believe this new direction is truly a reflection of where science is today, and where it will take us tomorrow,” said Ruth Kirschstein, acting director of the NIH.

Pettigrew will oversee the institute’s federally mandated budget for basic and applied research and training. The NIBIB was established in December 2000 to improve health by supporting fundamental research in bioengineering and bioimaging science and transferring the results to medical applications. It awarded its first grants in April.

“The opportunity to develop new technologies in medicine has never been greater,” says Pettigrew. “To combat disease more effectively, the hope is to develop new and emerging technologies that can detect the disease process at its earliest stage, when therapies are most efficacious.”

Pettigrew is known for his pioneering work involving dynamic three-dimensional imaging of the heart using magnetic resonance (MRI). He also was co-developer of the first computer software package specifically designed for cardiac imaging using MRI.

Pettigrew earned a B.S. in physics at Morehouse College, an M.S. in nuclear medicine and engineering from Rensselaer, a Ph.D. in applied radiation physics from MIT, and an M.D. from the University of Miami School of Medicine in an accelerated two-year program.

Pettigrew, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Bennie Award (Benjamin E. Mays) for Achievement in 1989. In 1990, he was named the Most Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Miami. He is a fellow of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

More information on NIBIB can be found at:

Rensselaer Magazine: September 2002
President's View Your Mail From the Archives Hawk Talk Class Notes Features
Front Page At Rensselaer Milestones
In Memoriam Making a Difference Staying Connected
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