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Portrait of Peter Herscovitch
Peter Herscovitch, MD

Chief, PET
Senior Attending Physician


Positron Emission Tomography


BEng, McGill University, Montreal
MD, CM, McGill University, Montreal


Email: herscovitch@nih.gov
Phone: 301-451-4248

Portrait of Peter Herscovitch
Peter Herscovitch, MD

Chief, PET
Senior Attending Physician


Positron Emission Tomography


BEng, McGill University, Montreal
MD, CM, McGill University, Montreal


Email: herscovitch@nih.gov
Phone: 301-451-4248


Dr. Peter Herscovitch was appointed chief of the Positron Emission Tomography Department in 2005 after serving as acting chief for two years.


After earning his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and medical degree from McGill University, Dr. Herscovitch trained in internal medicine and neurology, including serving as chief resident in neurology at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He pursued a research fellowship in positron emission tomography at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo., as a fellow of the Medical Research Council of Canada.

He then pursued a career in academic and clinical neurology at Washington University and Barnes Hospital.

In 1987, he came to the NIH Clinical Center as Chief of the Nuclear Medicine Department's Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Section. In 2005, Dr. Herscovitch's role was expanded when he was appointed chief of the PET Department at the CC after serving as acting chief for two years.

Dr. Herscovitch has published and lectured widely in the field of PET, especially on functional brain imaging topics, including cerebral blood flow and metabolism, neuroreceptor measurements, and brain abnormalities in neurologic and psychiatric diseases. He has co-authored three books—Quantitative Functional Brain Imaging with Positron Emission Tomography (Academic Press, 1998), Brain Imaging Using PET (Academic Press, 2002), and NeuroPET: PET in Neuroscience and Clinical Neurology (Springer-Verlag, 2004). He has published more than 200 peer reviewed manuscripts, reviews, and chapters.

Dr. Herscovitch has served on several government advisory groups, including FDA and CMS Advisory Committees and NIH Study Sections, and as reviewer for research-granting agencies.

Book Chapters and Review Articles

Herscovitch P. Regulatory approval and insurance reimbursement: the final steps in clinical translation of amyloid brain imaging. Clinical Transl Imaging: Reviews in Nuclear Med Molecular Imaging 3:75-77, 2015.

Herscovitch P: Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). In: Aminoff MJ and Daroff RB (eds) Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences, 2nd edition, Oxford: Academic Press, 2014, pp 173-178.

Herscovitch P: Cerebral circulation and its measurement by inert diffusible tracers. In: Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, 3d edition, Adelman G and Smith B (eds), Elsevier, 2004.

Herscovitch P: Functional neuroimaging. In: Principles and Practice of Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology, M Rizzo and PJ Eslinger (eds), Saunders/Churchill, 2004, pp 115-143.

Herscovitch P: Cerebral physiologic measurements with PET. In: Positron Emission Tomography: Principles and Practice, DL Bailey, DW Townsend, PE Valk and MN Maisey (eds), Springer-Verlag, 2003, pp 283-307.

Daube-Witherspoon M, Herscovitch P: Positron emission tomography. In Nuclear Medicine: Diagnosis and Therapy, Harbert J et al (eds), Thieme, 1996, pp 121-143.

Herscovitch P: Functional mapping of the human brain; Measurement of cerebral blood flow, blood volume, and oxygen metabolism with positron emission tomography. In: Principles of Nuclear Medicine, 2nd edition, Wagner HN Jr. et al, (eds), W.B. Saunders, 1995, pp 505-514; 514-531.

Journal Articles

R Chen, L Dodd, M Lee, P Paripati, D Hammoud, J Mountz, D Jeon, N Zia, T Coleman, M Carroll, L Via, JD Lee, YJ Jeong, P Herscovitch, S Lahouar, M Tartakovsky, A Rosenthal, Soyoung Lee, L Goldfeder, C Cai, SK Park, R Cho, C Barry: PET/CT imaging correlates with treatment outcome in patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Science Transl Med 6(265):1-10, 2014.

K Hall, J Guo, W Simmons, P Herscovitch, A Martin. Striatal dopamine D2-like receptor correlation patterns with human obesity and opportunistic eating behavior. Mol Psychiatry 19:1078-84, 2014.

BD Berman, M Hallett, P Herscovitch, K Simonyan: Striatal dopaminergic dysfunction at rest and during task performance in writer's cramp. Brain 136:3645-58, 2013

KA Johnson, S Minoshima, NI Bohnen, KJ Donohoe, NL Foster, P Herscovitch, JH Karlawish, CC Rowe, MC Carrillo, DM Hartley, S Hedrick, V Pappas, WH Thies. Appropriate use criteria for amyloid PET. J Nucl Med 54:476-490, 2013.

K Simonyan, P Herscovitch, B Horwitz: Speech-induced striatal dopamine release is left lateralized and coupled to functional striatal circuits in healthy humans: A combined PET, fMRI and DTI study. Neuroimage 70:21-32, 2013.

A Lerner, A Bagic, JM Simmons, Z Mari, O Bonne, B Xu, D Kazuba, P Herscovitch, RE Carson, DL Murphy, WC Drevets, M Hallet. Widespread abnormality of the GABA-ergic system in Tourette syndrome. Brain 135: 1926-36, 2012.

VA Ramchandani, J Umhau, FJ Pavon, V Ruiz-Velasco, W Margas, H Sun, R Damadzic, R Eskay, M Schoor, A Thorsell, ML Schwandt, WH Sommer, WT George, LH Parsons, P Herscovitch, D Hommer, M Heilig: A genetic determinant of the striatal dopamine response to alcohol in males. Mol Psychiat 16:809-17, 2011.

Kreisl WC, Liow JS, Kimura N, Seneca N, Zoghbi SS, Morse CL, Herscovitch P, Pike VW, Innis RB: P-glycoprotein function at the blood-brain barrier in humans can be quantified with the substrate radiotracer 11C-N-desmethyl-loperamide. J Nucl Med 51:559-66, 2010.

G Giovacchini, P Herscovitch, WH Theodore: Using cerebral white matter for estimation of nonspecific binding of 5-HT1A receptors in temporal lobe epilepsy. J Nucl Med 50:1794-800, 2009.

G Giovacchini, L Lang, Y Ma, P Herscovitch, WC Eckelman, RE Carson: Differential effects of paroxetine on raphe and cortical 5-HT1A binding: A PET study in monkeys. NeuroImage 28:238-48, 2005.

Poremba A, Malloy M, Saunders RC, Carson RE, Herscovitch P, Mishkin M: Species-specific calls evoke asymmetric activity in the monkey's temporal poles. Nature 427:448-51, 2004.

R Gil-da-Costa, A Braun, M Lopes, MD Hauser, RE Carson, P Herscovitch, A Martin: Towards an evolutionary perspective on conceptual representation: Species-specific calls activate visual and affective processing systems in the macaque. Proceed Nat Acad Sci 101:17516-21, 2004.

Kurdziel KA, Kiesewetter DO, Carson RE, Eckelman WC, Herscovitch P: Biodistribution, radiation dose estimates and in vivo Pgp modulation studies of [18F]paclitaxel in non-human primates. J Nucl Med 44:1330-9, 2003.

Balkin TJ, Braun AR, Wesensten NJ, Varga M, Jeffries K, Baldwin P, Herscovitch P: The process of awakening: Reactivation and functional reorganization of heteromodal association cortices. Brain 125:2308-19, 2002.

Braun AR, Balkin TJ, Wessenstein NJ, Guadry F, Carson RE, Varga M, Baldwin P, Belenky G, Herscovitch P. Dissociated activity within the visual cortices and their projections during rapid eye movement sleep. Science 279:91-5, 1998.

Carson RE, Channing MA, Blasberg RG, Dunn BB, Cohen RM, Rice KC, Herscovitch P: Comparison of bolus and infusion methods for receptor quantitation: application to [18F]-cyclofoxy and positron emission tomography. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 13:24-42, 1993.

Herscovitch P, Raichle ME, Kilbourn MR, Welch MJ: Positron emission tomographic measurement of cerebral blood flow and permeability-surface area product of water using 15O-water and 11C-butanol. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 7:527-42, 1987.

Herscovitch P, Markham J, Raichle ME: Brain blood flow measured with intravenous H215O. I. Theory and error analysis. J Nucl Med 24:782-89, 1983.


  • Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
    • President 2014-15
    • Scientific Program Committee Chair, 2009-13
  • International Society for Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
    • President, 2015-2017
    • Treasurer, 2008-2013
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 2017 – present
  • Fellow, American College of Physicians (FACP)
  • Fellow, Royal College of Physicians, Canada (FRCPC)
  • Fellow, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (FSNMMI)
  • Kuhl-Lassen Brain Imaging Award and Lecturer, Society of Nuclear Medicine, 2000
  • EE Kim Distinguished Lectureship, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 2014
  • Peterson Memorial Lecture in Nuclear Medicine, University of Iowa School of Medicine, 2016
  • Society of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging, Presidential Distinguished Service Award, 2013, 2016
  • Listed in Best Doctors in America (Nuclear Medicine)
  • Scarlet Key Honour Society, McGill University
  • NIH Clinical Center Director’s Award, 2005
  • NIH Office of the Director Honor Award, 2012
  • NIAID Merit Award, 2015

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This page last updated on 05/14/2019

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