Patton Receives NMTT Bob Bowen Lifetime Achievement Award

James A. Patton, Ph.D., Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), last week received the Nuclear Medicine Technologists of Tennessee’s (NMTT) Bob Bowen Lifetime Achievement Award. 


Presented at the 10th Annual NMTT meeting in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the Bob Bowen Award is presented by the NMTT’s Executive Council in recognition of contributions made to the society, as well as the fields of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. 


“Dr. Patton has, perhaps, been the single largest influencer in the field of nuclear medicine technology in the state of Tennessee in both the profession’s development and sustainability,” said Jenny Pafford, M.S., CNMT, NMTT President and VUMC Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT) Program Director. “He has educated, trained and graduated a considerable portion of practicing technologists in the field today.”


Patton joined VUMC’s Department of Radiology as faculty following the completion of his Doctorate in Physics from Vanderbilt University in 1972. In 1979, he founded the NMT Program and served as its director for 39 years before its transition into the Center for Programs in Allied Health. Throughout his tenure, he has trained more than 265 students in the NMT and Radiology Residency programs in the areas of physics and instrumentation of nuclear medicine and positron emission tomography.


Pafford, who is also a graduate of the NMT Program, said nearly half those attending the NMTT meeting trained under the direction of Patton in the NMT Program. 


“Individuals ranging from the program’s first to most recent graduating classes were present to walk the stage and congratulate Dr. Patton on his award,” she added. “It was a real testament to his legacy seeing all those in the audience.”    


While at the meeting, Patton also delivered a talk entitled “History of Nuclear Medicine Instrumentation (A Biased View),” and provided mentorship to NMT students competing in the meeting’s oral and poster presentation sessions. Students Tara Corpening, Eden Buchanan and Paola Montalvo placed first, second and third place, respectively, in the oral presentations. Laura Ortiz and Fernando Munoz placed first and third, respectively, in the poster competition. 


Patton’s additional contributions to the field include coauthoring nine textbooks, 76 book chapters, 84 articles in referred journals and 57 articles in proceedings. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Radiology in Nuclear Physics, and has served in a number of leadership roles for the American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine and the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. 

James A. Patton, Ph.D.