Cancer Researcher Receives the American College of Radiology's Gold Medal
Dr. Lawrence W. Bassett, a nationally renowned expert with more than 35 years experience in breast imaging, has been chosen to receive the Gold Medal by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the organization’s highest honor given for distinguished and extraordinary service in the field of radiology.
The award will be presented to Bassett May 15 at the annual national ACR conference in Washington, D.C.
“I’m very proud to be recognized by my peers for my contributions to breast imaging and radiology,” Bassett said. “Receiving this award is an incredible honor for a radiologist.”
Bassett is the Iris Cantor Professor of Breast Imaging in the Department of Radiological Sciences and a long-time Jonsson Cancer Center scientist. He serves as director for breast imaging at UCLA, a position he has held since 1976. He also served as director of the Radiology Residency Training Program at UCLA from 1978 to 1983 and from 1985 to 1990, and has been assistant dean for Student Affairs in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA since 1985. Bassett has been vice chair for Academic Affairs in the radiology department since 2006.
Judith C. Gasson, director of the Jonsson Cancer Center and a professor of medicine and biological chemistry, congratulated Bassett for his achievement.
“It’s a real honor to receive this award as it’s recognition for a life’s work in radiology,” Gasson said. “We at the cancer center are proud to have Dr. Bassett among our members.”
Bassett focuses his research on breast cancer screening and improving the quality of mammography and other breast imaging technologies on the national level. With collaborators, Bassett is working to address the national shortage of breast imaging specialists by training breast imaging fellows using a year-to-year grant from the Avon Foundation. To date, his team has trained 78 breast imaging fellows across the country in a fellowship program that has been recognized as the first in the United States.
In the ACR Bulletin announcing his award, Bassett was lauded for dedicating his life’s work to breast imaging, as advances in that field are among radiology’s most significant achievements. When the ACR’s Committee on Breast Imaging was formed in 1983, Bassett was among the founding members and later served as chairman. Since then, he has served as chair of numerous national committees addressing the problems and issues concerning breast cancer detection and appropriate management of patients with breast symptoms and abnormal screening mammograms.
Dr. Carl J. D’Orsi, director of breast imaging research at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, characterized Bassett’s work to train breast imaging fellows as “a legacy for breast imaging and radiology” in his letter nominating him for the award.
Bassett earned his bachelor’s degree in 1964 from the University of Southern California, where he attended on a four-year scholarship. He received his medical degree from the University of California, Irvine, did his internship at Northwestern University and his radiology residency at UCLA.
From 1969 to 1970, Bassett served as a captain and battalion surgeon for the 1st Division of the United States Marines in An Hoa, Vietnam. From 1970 to 1971, Bassett was a lieutenant and chief medical officer for the United States Navy in Oakland, Calif.