University of Pittsburgh
March 21, 2004

Nobel Laureate Paul C. Lauterbur to Deliver University of Pittsburgh's 2004 Commencement Address April 25

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH— Nobel Laureate and University of Pittsburgh Alumnus Paul C. Lauterbur will deliver Pitt's 2004 commencement address, titled "The Road to Pittsburgh and Beyond." The commencement ceremony will take place at 1 p.m.

April 25 in Petersen Events Center, 3719 Terrace St., Oakland.

The Center for Advanced Study Professor of Chemistry and Distinguished Professor of Medical Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Lauterbur received the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with

Sir Peter Mansfield of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom for discoveries leading to the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

"The University of Pittsburgh is both delighted and honored to welcome

Dr. Lauterbur as this year's commencement speaker," said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "He has achieved the highest levels of national and international recognition for his pathbreaking research, and we feel enormous pride that he is a Pitt alumnus. Dr. Lauterbur's Nobel Prize-winning work has, literally, revolutionized the practice of modern medicine. We look forward to hearing, firsthand, of his scientific journey, one which culminated in such far-reaching innovation."

After he earned the Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland in 1951, Lauterbur began research the same year at the Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, receiving the Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Pitt in 1962. In 1963, he joined the Department of Chemistry faculty at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and, in 1985, he became a professor in the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago.

"While working at the Mellon Institute and trudging up the hill to my graduate chemistry classes at Pitt, I never dreamed that one day I would be invited back to the University of Pittsburgh as its commencement speaker. This is truly a great honor," said Lauterbur.

Lauterbur's numerous honors include the National Medal in Science, the National Academy of Sciences Award for Chemistry in Service to Society, the Gold Medal of the European Congress of Radiology, the Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology, and the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was recognized as a distinguished alumnus by Pitt's Department of Chemistry in 2000.

Lauterbur and Mansfield's work in the 1970s led to MRI's modern use as a noninvasive and painless medical diagnostic tool. More than 60 million MRI examinations are performed worldwide each year. MRI is used to examine almost all organs of the body and is especially valuable for detailed imaging of the brain and spinal cord.