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Richard Carson, PhD

Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and of Biomedical Engineering; Director of Graduate Studies, Biomedical Engineering

Contact Information

Richard Carson, PhD

Mailing Address

  • Radiology & Biomedical Imaging

    PO Box 208048, 15 York Street

    New Haven, CT 06520-8048

    United States



Richard E. Carson received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1983 in Biomathematics. From that time on, he has focused his research on the development and application of mathematical techniques for the study of human beings and non-human primates with Positron Emission Tomography (PET), a noninvasive imaging technology that uses radiopharmaceuticals to trace in vivo physiology and pharmacology. From 1983 until 2005, Dr. Carson was an integral part of the PET program at the National Institutes of Health, rising to the rank of Senior Scientist. In 2005, Dr. Carson joined the faculty of Yale University as Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Diagnostic Radiology. He was Director of the Yale PET Center from 2007 to 2022, a state-of-the-art facility focused on quantitative PET techniques using novel radiopharmaceuticals. Dr. Carson is also Director of Graduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Carson’s research interests are concentrated in the following areas: 1) Ultra-high resolution brain PET systems and algorithms for image reconstruction with PET, 2) Development of mathematical models for novel radiopharmaceuticals to produce images of physiological parameters, 3) Use of receptor-binding ligands to measure drug occupancy and dynamic changes in neurotransmitters by analysis of PET tracer signals, and 4) applications of PET tracers in clinical populations and preclinical models of disease. Dr. Carson has published over 400 papers in peer-reviewed journals, given over 200 invited lectures and is a member of the editorial board of two of the leading journals in the field of brain PET, the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, and the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. Dr. Carson was awarded the Kuhl-Lassen award from the Brain Imaging Council of the Society of Nuclear Medicine in 2007. He became a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2008 and was awarded the Sheffield Distinguished Teaching Award from the Yale School of Engineering. In 2009, he was named the winner of the Ed Hoffman Memorial Award from the Computer and Instrumentation Council of the Society of Nuclear Medicine. In 2010, Dr. Carson was named as a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. In 2016, Dr. Carson was given the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy of Radiology Research. In 2017, Dr. Carson received the Edward J. Hoffman Medical Imaging Scientist Award from the IEEE. In 2018, Dr. Carson gave the Henry N. Wagner Jr. Lectureship at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging annual meeting in Philadelphia. In 2019, Dr. Carson was named as a Fellow of the IEEE. In 2023, Dr. Carson received the Yale University Graduate Mentor Award. In 2024, Dr. Carson received the Image of the Year award at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging annual meeting.

For complete list of publications, please click here

Education & Training

  • PhD
    University of California at Los Angeles (1983)
  • BS
    Brown University, Applied Math-Biology (1977)


  • PET-RTRC External Advisory Board
    St. Louis, MI, United States 2018
    NIBIB Biomedical Technology Resource Center (P41), “PET Radiotracer Translation and Resource Center” External Advisory Board-Member
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
    Dresden, SN, Germany 2017
    Scientific review panel
  • Dementias Platform UK MR-PET scientific advisory board
    Manchester, England, United Kingdom 2016
    Dementias Platform UK MR-PET scientific advisory board
  • EPSRC Centre for Mathematical and Statistical Analysis of Multimodal Clinical Imaging
    Cambridge, England, United Kingdom 2015
    Scientific Advisory Board
  • NUS CIRC Scientific Advisory Board
    Singapore, Singapore (2012-2018)
    Member, Scientific Advisory Board, National University of Singapore Clinical Imaging Research Centre
    London, England, United Kingdom (2008-2011)
    Member of scientific advisory board for European Research initiative to develop Imaging Probes for early In-vivo Diagnosis and Evaluation of response to therapeutic Substances

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
IEEE Marie Skłodowska-Curie AwardIEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society2024
Image of the Year AwardSociety of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2024
Yale Graduate Mentor AwardYale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences2023
IEEE FellowIEEE2019
Henry Wagner LectursehipSociety of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging2018
Edward J. Hoffman Medical Imaging Scientist AwardIEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society2017
Distinguished Investigator AwardAcademy of Radiology Research2016
MemberConnecticut Academy of Science and Engineering2010
25 Most Influential in RadiologyRT-Image2009
Edward J Hoffman AwardSociety of Nuclear Medicine2009
Sheffield Distinguished Teaching AwardYale University School of Engineering and Applied Science2008
Member, College of FellowsAmerican Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering2008
Kuhl-Lassen AwardSociety of Nuclear Medicine2007

Professional Service

Advancement Committee for EngineeringMember2016 - 2017
Physical and Biological Sciences Degree CommitteeMember2012 - 2015
Institutional Animal Care and Use CommitteeMember2010 - 2011
Biomedical EngineeringMember2009 - Present
Term Appointments and Promotions CommitteeMember2006 - 2009
Radiation Safety CommitteeMember2005 - 2013
Journal of Nuclear Medicine Editorial BoardMember2004 - Present
Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism Editorial BoardEditorial Board1993 - 2019

Departments & Organizations