The History of CCSNM:
Reprinted from a 1981 Central Chapter Newsletter
– James C. Carlson, M.S. 

In 1974 at the request of E.R.N. Grigg, M.D., I wrote a short article about the history of the Central Chapter. Recently I  rediscovered this article in my files. It was never published due to the death of Dr. Grigg in a plane crash before the materials he was gathering were ready for publication. The officer list was brought up to date for this publication. Perhaps this short introduction will be a stimulus for all to send their old time memories to me for an eventual comprehensive history of the
Central Chapter.

Which came first — the Central Society of Nuclear Medicine or the Nuclear Society? The embryo of the Central Society formed in 1953 when a group of Chicago physicians gathered together on a weekly basis to discuss thyroid cases involving diagnosis and treatment with radioactive iodine. Eventually, in 1955, Dr. Maglotti, Hummon and Landauer invited physicians and scientists in the Chicago area to help them organize a formal society related to the clinical applications of radioactive materials. The Central
Society was chartered on November 28, 1955.

But 1955 might have been too late to be first. The Nuclear Society (now called the Society of Nuclear Medicine) was already formally organized. After these two organizations discussed areas of mutual assistance, secretary Robert Landauer, Ph.D. of the Central Society announced that members may “retain membership in the Central Society and concurrently join the Nuclear Society” by paying annual dues of $10. That was 1956. Finally, in 1960 the Central Society agreed to become a chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and changed its name to the Central Chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine.

Although the Central Chapter is the largest chapter in terms of membership, it was proportionally larger before 1968. In that year the proposal by E. James Potchen, M.D., to incorporate Iowa and Missouri into an area called the Plains States Chapter (now the Missouri Valley Chapter) met with the approval of the membership of Iowa, Missouri and the remainder of the Central Chapter. It’s not clear in the meeting minutes when southern Ohio shifted allegiance to the Southeastern Chapter. This division is confirmed in a chapter boundary description issued by the national office in September 1964; yet, the October 1960 meeting of the Central Chapter was held in Cincinnati. In one meeting report of 1960, I notice that Central Society members were being accepted from as far away as Nebraska. Evidently, chapter boundaries were established nationally sometime after 1960.

Subgroups functioning within and as a part of the Central Chapter became a reality in 1970 when a bylaws change was approved by membership. The technologist section immediately became a recognized subgroup within the chapter and the first joint meeting of the chapter with this group was held in Indianapolis on October 25-27, 1973.

Of the many pioneers in nuclear medicine that have their roots in the Central Chapter, I best remember those with whom I’ve had personal contact. One of the old-timers is Kenneth Corrigan, Ph.D. who was engaged in nuclear medicine as early as 1939 when he used Geiger counters to measure the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid gland. George Moore, M.D., was surgical resident at the University of Minnesota in 1948 when he decided to label the diiodofluorescein he was using to localize brain tumors at surgery with radioactive iodine in order to localize the tumor before surgery. Another surgeon at the University of
Chicago, Paul Harper, M.D. significantly enhanced the routine utilization of this diagnostic technique in 1963 when he demonstrated the effectiveness of technetium 99m as a brain imaging agent.  Katherine Lathrop, PhD migrated from the Manhattan Project to the University of Chicago to collaborate with Dr Haper in developing and publishing extensively on Technetium chemistry.

Persons successful in the commercial arena are infrequently recognized for contributing substantially to the advancement of nuclear medicine. Yet by efficiently distributing the tools of the trade they enable patients in all areas to enjoy the latest in nuclear medicine services. John Kuranz, Ph.D., was one of the leaders in this area. He began making Geiger counters in the early 1940’s which eventually led to the founding of the Nuclear Chicago Corporation in 1946 (Siemens, today). Nuclear Consultants 
(Mallinkrodt Nuclear) and Ohio Nuclear, Inc., (Technicare) originated at later dates under similar circumstances when the   individual efforts of Wil Konneker, Ph.D. and Donald W. Steel, B.S., M.B.A., resulted in successful companies. In the late 40’s and early 50’s, if you didn’t buy your radioisotopes from Oak Ridge, you bought them from Abbott’s globe trotting salesman, Donalee Tabern, Ph.D.

It’s not possible in this short writing to pay homage to all of the many people that contributed significantly to the growth of nuclear medicine and the Central Chapter. Many of those who were active participants in the early meetings of the Central Chapter never became officers of the Central Chapter and, consequently, are not listed in Table 1. Looking through the meeting minutes we see such familiar names as Brues, Clark, Schilling, Fields, Henderson, Grigg, Oliver, Bruch, Maglotti, Storaasli, Marenelli, Knorpp, Carr, Whipple and Preuss. Other chapter members distinguished themselves by becoming president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine. They were Titus C. Evans, Ph.D., Linden See, M.D., William H. Bierwaltes, M.D., James L. Quinn III, M.D., Alexander Gottschalk, M.D., and William J. MacIntyre, Ph.D.

The Chapter’s tradition of holding one meeting per year in the Chicago area and one meeting at some peripheral area relates to the fact that the physical and membership centroid of the Chapter is Chicago, the place of the Chapter’s birth.

Additional Central Chapter members have served as president of the SNM since the original publication of this history: Merle K. Loken, M.D., Ph.D. and Howard Dworkin, M.D. Two others may or may not fit this category. Richard Holmes, M.D., a long time member of the Central Chapter, was a member of the Missouri Chapter when elected president of the SNM. Richard Reba, M.D., was elected president of the SNM soon after moving into the Central Chapter.