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Michael E. Phelps is a professor and an American biophysicist. He
is known for being one of the fathers of positron emission
tomography. Phelps spent his early life as a boxer, winning the
coveted Golden Gloves. However, at age 19, he was severely injured
in a car crash, leaving him in a coma for several days and
effectively ending his boxing career Phelps went on to earn his
B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Western Washington
University in 1965, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Washington
University in St. Louis, in 1970. He joined the faculty of
Washington University School of Medicine in 1970. From 1975-1976,
Phelps was a member of the faculty at the University of
Pennsylvania. In 1976, he moved to the David Geffen School of
Medicine at UCLA where he is the Norton Simon Professor &
Chairman of the Department of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology
and Director of two institutes, the Institute for Molecular
Medicine and the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging
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