Steven M. Larson, MD

Nuclear Medicine Physician

Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Chair in Radiology; Attending, Molecular Imaging and Therapy Service, Department of Radiology; Member and Lab Head, Molecular Pharmacology Program

Conditions Treated

Steven M. Larson, MD -- Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Chair in Radiology
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About Me

I am a board-certified nuclear medicine physician who cares for patients using radiotargeted therapy, particularly for people with thyroid cancer. My clinical interests focus on the use of positron emission tomography (PET) for diagnostic and molecular imaging, as well as targeted therapy and theranostics. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, I use radioantibodies and PET in oncologic imaging, both for basic research and patient management.

While an undergraduate at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, I worked as a radiochemistry technician in a radiobiology laboratory monitoring plants and animals for radioactive fallout from atmospheric atom bomb testing. This experience instilled in me a lifelong interest in radiochemistry and the effects of radiation.

In medical school at UW, I invented the first successful “kit” formulation introduced into nuclear medicine, 99mTc-Sulder colloid, a radiopharmaceutical that is still widely used in nuclear medicine today.

Prior to joining MSK, I served as Chief of Nuclear Medicine at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health, where I developed a PET program focused on brain research, including brain tumors and cancer molecular imaging. I also directed and developed nuclear medicine and PET programs at Veterans Administration Hospitals in Portland and Vancouver, the University of Oregon in Portland, and Seattle Veterans Administration Hospital. I co-authored several highly cited papers on Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS dementia and collaborated on early studies of PET-FDG in brain tumor imaging, including treatment response.

I also served as a second lieutenant in the Public Health Services at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and as an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. While at Hopkins, I helped develop a novel method still in use for detection and susceptibility testing for mycobacterium species, including mycobacterium tuberculosis.

I have served as a member of what is now the Medical Imaging (MEDI) grant review committee of the NIH, the Department of Energy Office of Science Advisory Committee, and the American Board of Nuclear Medicine. I’ve also served as Chair of the Radiopharmaceutical Advisory Committee of the FDA, Co-Chair of a National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Molybdenum-99 production with non-enriched Uranium 235, and Chair of the Molecular Imaging Committee of the Radiological Society of North America. I am currently Chair of the Clinical Imaging Steering Committee of the National Cancer Institute and of the Clinical “Impact” Study Section of NIH, as well as a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

I have received numerous awards for excellence in nuclear medicine, including the Hevesy Award from both the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNM) and the European Society of Nuclear Medicine; the Shaw prizes and the Wagner Lecture Award from SNM; the Pendergrass Award and the Radiologic Researcher of the Year Award from the Radiological Society of North America; and the Cassen Prize. I have also received the Wiley Medal from the FDA for distinguished service, in recognition of co-developing with FDA colleagues the concept of Radioactive Drug Research Committee, which is an active regulation used throughout the United States. I have also published more than 500 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals.

  • Clinical Expertise: General Nuclear Medicine; Radiolabeled Antibodies for Tumor Imaging and Therapy; Positron Emission Tomography; Radioisotopic Therapy for Thyroid Cancer
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle)
  • Residencies: Virginia Mason Hospital (Seattle)
  • Fellowships: National Institutes of Health
  • Board Certifications: Nuclear Medicine; Internal Medicine

My Research

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See Steven M. Larson’s laboratory
research at Memorial Sloan Kettering.


Visit PubMed for a full listing of Steven M. Larson’s journal articles

Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Trials

Research is integral to our mission at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and clinical trials help us discover better forms of patient care and treatment. For you, this could mean access to a new therapy or therapy combination. Click to see a list of the trials I’m currently leading.


Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicare and New York State Medicaid also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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