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Master of Nuclear Medicine Technology program graduates inaugural class

From left: La’Quita Clayton, John Wairimu, Chanel Palmore and Matthew Ward

By Adam Pope

UAB News

Four University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions graduate students — Chanel Palmore, La’Quita Clayton, John Wairimu and Matthew Ward — will make up the first class to graduate from the new Master of Science program in nuclear medicine technology.

Nuclear medicine technology is a highly specialized field that utilizes radiopharmaceuticals for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Nuclear medicine technologists were recently ranked among the top 25 amazing health care support jobs of 2017, according to U.S. News & World Report.

UAB’s Master of Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology program is the first in the United States to offer a graduate entry-level degree in the field, and UAB’s program is also the only nuclear medicine technology program in the state of Alabama.

“I feel privileged to have pursued my studies in this great, world-renowned university and hospital alongside great and wonderful classmates,” Wairimu said. “I have rubbed shoulders with some of the greatest scientists, physicians and professors in the world at UAB, and having learned from them, I feel ready and confident enough to go out there in the world and have an impact in someone’s life.”

A major component of the program consists of clinical training in PET/CT and in the UAB PET/MRI facility. Students who are the first to go through this program say they feel proud to be integral in guiding the direction of future students in the program.

“I take great pride in being able to say that I was a part of the first class to earn a master’s degree in nuclear medicine technology,” Palmore said. “Being part of a small class with a wide range of backgrounds, we have been instrumental in guiding the direction of future master’s students in this program.”