The nuclear medicine community in Italy and the world is in mourning. We lost a very dear friend and colleague, an extraordinary man, and an outstanding specialist in nuclear medicine on April 13, 2020 when Professor Giovanni Lucignani passed away.
Giovanni Lucignani or Gianni (as usually called by his friends) began his career in nuclear medicine in 1978 when he graduated in Medicine at the University of Roma. He attended his fellowship in neurology at the Sapienza University in Rome in 1982, and later, he moved to the Laboratory of Cerebral Metabolism, in Bethesda (Maryland, USA), directed by Louis Sokoloff. In 1986, he obtained his degree in nuclear medicine, in Italy. After conclusion, he was invited to start a program on cerebral quantitative imaging with F-FDG at the PET Centre of the San Raffaele Hospital (Milan, Italy), directed by Prof. Ferruccio Fazio.
In 1992, he became Associate Professor of Imaging and Radiotherapy, and later in 2001, he started his adventure as Clinical Director of the Division of Nuclear Medicine for the Hospital “Luigi Sacco” in Milan, Italy. From 2004 to 2006, he was Clinical Director of Nuclear Medicine at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy. In 2006, he became the Clinical Director of the Division of Nuclear Medicine for the Hospital “San Paolo” in Milan, Italy. In 2009, he was nominated the Head of the Department of Imaging and Radiotherapy of the Hospital San Paolo in Milan, Italy and occupied this position until his retirement.
He was himself the author of numerous national and international scientific publications, and he wrote many book chapters and published over 250 papers.
In addition, he was deeply involved in the Italian Association of Nuclear Medicine (AIMN) and became president for two consecutive periods (2009–2013). He also actively participated as a member of the Advisory Board (1995–1996), as a member of the scientific committee (1994–1997) and as the coordinator of the Task Groups and Committees (2000–2002) of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (EANM). He was component of the Editorial Board for many international journals.
Throughout his career, Gianni took an interest in a variety of fields in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. He passed along his knowledge and share his duties with his colleagues and younger fellows. He was dynamic; and he was ready for anything.
In 2013, he founded the review journal “Clinical and Translational Imaging” that it is the official journal of the Italian Association of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. During his editorship, he focused not only on the diversity and quantity of the content, but also on a close cooperation with his colleagues in the field of nuclear medicine worldwide. As the Editor-in-Chief, he shared his enthusiasm for this great project with everyone. His excellent and dedicated work as well as the high level of commitment to the journal resulted in the acquisition of content, highly attractive for the nuclear medicine community worldwide, and increasingly downloaded and cited. The latest achievement for the journal is that it will receive its first impact factor in 2021. Unfortunately, Gianni will not be able to celebrate this great success with us.
At Springer, he will be remembered as a very engaged person and outstanding Editor, who crossed the borders and closely worked with colleagues from many countries and ethnicities. He was the main and fundamental contributor to the journal’s success in countless ways. His unexpected death came as a shock to all of us. We would like to respectfully honor and pay tribute to all his contributions to the journal.
In addition, he had a great passion for the photography and for the art in general, especially for the lyric and classical dance. He loved to attend the shows at Scala of Milan, in Italy.
We send our deepest thoughts to his family and best wishes in a very sad and difficult time.
We are left, however, with the memory of a joyful man and irreplaceable fellow. We are truly blessed to have worked with Gianni and will miss him immensely.
Orazio Schillaci, President of AIMN
Thank you to Laura Evangelista and Maria Picchio, Deputy Editors of Clinical and Translational Imaging, as well as Sabine Ben Ghechir, Publishing Editor at Springer, for their contributions to this article.
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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In memoriam of Professor Giovanni Lucignani. Clin Transl Imaging 8, 227–228 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40336-020-00369-x