Inventor of gamma camera dies at 85

Hal O Anger, a pioneer of nuclear medicine who is credited with inventing the gamma camera, has died. He was 85.

Anger died at his Berkeley home on October 31.

Called a “quiet genius” whose “instruments are still in common use today, diagnosing cancer, metabolic disorders and heart disease” by the Society of Nuclear Medicine, Anger developed his most noted invention in 1957, employing gamma radiation to depict metabolic processes within a living body.

Born on May 24 1920, in Denver, Anger cultivated an interest in electronics as a boy growing up in Long Beach, where he was involved with one of Southern California’s first radio stations.

The young scientist graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1943 with a degree in electrical engineering, and worked during World War II developing technology to jam enemy radar.

After the war, Anger returned to Berkeley to work at the Ernest O Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, where researchers were exploring the medical and therapeutic uses of radiation. He retired from the lab in 1982.

Besides holding 15 patents, Anger won many awards, including an honorary doctorate from Ohio State University, the Centennial Year Medal of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Societe Francaise de Biophysique Medal.—Sapa-AP

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