Moreton Lecture: Imaging in the Era of Precision Medicine

Radiology is well-positioned as health care becomes increasingly person-based.


May 2015

On Tuesday morning, James H. Thrall, MD, FACR, chair emeritus at Massachusetts General Hospital and Distinguished Taveras Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, delivered the highly anticipated Moreton Lecture: “Imaging in the Era of Precision Medicine.”

Thrall’s lecture outlined how medicine has progressed from intuition-based decision-making to evidence-based care. The future of medicine will be personal medicine, tailoring medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient. Without the ability to classify patients into subpopulations, physicians are forced to consider each as “the average patient.” “I think we know that today there is no average patient,” said Thrall. Thrall outlined key elements of precision medicine, including imaging technology, precision communication, precision utilization, and genomic precision. Finally, he noted how radiology was poised to make significant contributions to the precision-imaging era.

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