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Hal Anger, 85; Inventor of Gamma Camera Used in Nuclear Medicine

November 15, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Hal O. Anger, 85, a nuclear medicine pioneer credited with inventing the gamma camera that captures metabolic processes within a living body, died of undisclosed causes Oct. 31 at his home in Berkeley.

A Denver native who grew up in Long Beach, he earned a degree in electrical engineering at UC Berkeley. After working on technology to jam enemy radar during World War II, he joined Berkeley's Ernest O. Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, where he worked until retiring in 1982.

In 1957, Anger invented his camera device utilizing gamma radiation to show activity within the human body. As Dr. Robert Henkin explained on the Society of Nuclear Medicine's website (www.nucmednet.com): "[W]ith the development of the gamma camera came the ability, in live time, to image the blood flow in a patient, watch the kidneys function, evaluate the blood flow of the brain and heart, examine the liver as it generates bile."

Anger held 15 patents on diagnostic instruments he invented. His career has been chronicled in such articles as "The Early Years With Hal Anger" by Alex Gottschalk in a 1996 issue of the publication Seminars in Nuclear Medicine.

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