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M. Joan Dawson

M. Joan Dawson is Associate Professor Emerita in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was married to Paul Lauterbur from 1984 until his death in 2007.

Titles by This Author

On September 2, 1971, the chemist Paul Lauterbur had an idea that would change the practice of medical research. Considering recent research findings about the use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signals to detect tumors in tissue samples, Lauterbur realized that the information from NMR signals could be recovered in the form of images—and thus obtained noninvasively from a living subject. It was an unexpected epiphany: he was eating a hamburger at the time. Lauterbur rushed out to buy a notebook in which to work out his idea; he completed his notes a few days later.