He joins the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985 as a professor of Chemistry, Biophysics and Computational Biology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Physics. He has worked in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance imaging for almost 30 years.
After the Army, he decides to return to the Mellon Institute, especially after his group agrees to buy him his own NMR machine. His work in that area, a broad survey of carbon compounds, eventually provides the basis for his Ph.D. dissertation in 1962.
After divorcing his former wife, he marries the physiologist Joan Dawson in 1984.
Paul C. Lauterbur is born in Sidney, Ohio. He grows up in a house with many animals like dogs, birds, turtles, newts, fish and snakes.
Being tired of lectures and professors, he accepts an offer to work for the Dow Corning Corporation in their Mellon Institute laboratories. He works on things like Organosilicon synthesis, theories of rubber elasticity, techniques of vacuum distillation and elastomer testing. He is particularly fascinated by the puzzle of how very small particles strengthen rubber. During that time, he takes a few graduate courses at the University of Pittsburgh.
He attends public schools in Sidney. Even before high school, he has a chemistry set his own home laboratories. One of his teachers excuses him and some classmates from his lectures, so that they are free to use the time to do experiments in the school lab.
Paul Lauterbur shares the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sir Peter Mansfield “for their pioneering discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging”. MRI is now a routine method ensuring that physicians can give their patients the best treatment options available, while avoiding more invasive procedures.
He marries Rose Mary Caputo in 1962.
Paul Lauterbur dies in Urbana.
After two years of work experience, he is drafted into the Army.
He moves on to the State University of New York at Stony Brook, directly at the rank of associate professor for Chemistry and Radiology, and tenure soon after. He sets up another NMR lab there. Working with tumor-bearing rats, he realizes that by varying the strength of the magnetic field and analyzing the frequencies of the resulting radio signals, it is possible to use nuclear magnetic resonance to create a two or three-dimensional picture. This lays the foundation for what would become magnetic resonance imaging.
After graduating from high school, he goes on to Case Institute of Technology. He receives his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1951.