About this Collection

Louis Sokoloff (1921-2015) was an American physician and neuroscientist whose innovative research methods and tools transformed the study of brain structure and function. His experimental methods combined techniques and mathematical descriptions from biochemistry, enzyme kinetics, and physiological studies to accurately measure cerebral blood flow and metabolism. Using radioactive 2-deoxyglucose tracers, he was able to make real-time images of living animal brains under various physiological conditions, showing which brain regions were most active at a given moment. This work, which definitively linked regional metabolic activity to particular brain functions, constituted a quantum leap for brain-mapping research. It was also rapidly adapted to positron emission tomography (PET) scanning technology, which soon became essential for studying and diagnosing brain disorders and many types of cancer. He received a Lasker Award in 1981 for this work. Sokoloff also carried out important research into the role of thyroid hormone in protein synthesis.

The National Library of Medicine is the repository for the Louis Sokoloff Papers, which range from 1923 to 2015. The collection contains biographical materials, correspondence, interview transcripts, published articles, research notebooks, photographs, autoradiographs, scientific conference programs, speeches, audiovisual media, computer disks and electronic files.

As part of its Profiles in Science project, the National Library of Medicine has made available online a digitized selection of the Louis Sokoloff Papers. This website provides access to the portions of the Louis Sokoloff Papers that are now publicly available. Individuals interested in conducting research using the full collection of Louis Sokoloff Papers should contact the National Library of Medicine.

This Profile is designed to introduce you to the various phases of Sokoloff's scientific career and professional life. Narrative sections available from the navigation bar under "The Story" focus on Sokoloff's life and major scientific contributions.

Researchers can search the digitized items using the Search box or browse all Documents and Visuals in the collection by selecting "Collection Items" from the navigation bar.