CHAPEL HILL— Dr. Edward “Ed” Coleman, 69, died on Monday, June 25, 2012. Dr. Coleman was born in Otwell, Indiana to Ralph and Roxie Arnold Coleman on January 2, 1943.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Evansville and a medical degree from Washington University. After completing an internship at the Washington University School of Medicine and residency at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, he returned to St. Louis in 1972 for a fellowship in Nuclear Medicine at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. He thereafter moved to the University of Utah where he served as the Director of Nuclear Medicine. In 1979, he was appointed Professor of Radiology at Duke University Medical Center, Director of Nuclear Medicine and subsequently was appointed Vice-Chairman for Academic Affairs in the Department of Radiology. He recently completed his 33rd year of service at Duke.
Dr. Coleman was a world-renowned expert in the field of Nuclear Medicine. While completing his fellowship at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, he participated in the performance of the first human Positron Emission Tomography (PET) studies. PET technology became the focus of his medical career, as Dr. Coleman was a founder and first president of the Institute of Clinical PET (ICP) and a president of the Academy of Molecular Imaging (AMI). He brought PET and MRI technology to Duke University and worked to bring the technology to hospitals throughout the United States and the world.
Dr. Coleman was honored as one of the Best Doctors in the United States from 1991-2012 and was distinguished as one of America’s Top Doctors for Cancer from 2001-2011. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from University of Evansville in 2000. In 2007, he was awarded the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine. He received the Alumnus Achievement Award from Washington University in 2008 and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Evansville in 2012.
Growing up in Indiana, Dr. Coleman was known for his athletic ability, playing baseball, ping-pong and basketball. His basketball career continued in college, where he was a member of the Evansville’s national championship basketball team. His love for sports continued throughout his life. This passion paired well with his tenure at Duke, as he loved supporting the Duke basketball team and any other Duke team that had a game he could attend. While he was dedicated to his profession, he rarely missed his children's sporting events. In the past decade, Dr. Coleman used his athleticism to take on adventure trips with his children, culminating with successfully summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro where he outpaced his daughter, son, and son-in-law. He also kayaked the fjords of New Zealand, white water rafted the glacier melt of Alaska, and skied almost all of the mountains in Colorado and Utah.
All who encountered Dr. Coleman were touched by his passion for his family, his career, his community, and his true drive to help others. He touched numerous lives as a son, sibling, spouse, father, grandfather, friend, teacher and doctor.
Dr. Coleman is survived by his wife Irma Chriscoe of the home; daughters Katie Helmer (Andy) of Herndon, Va, and Emily Coleman Puckett of New Orleans; son Matt Coleman (Jennifer) of Menlo Park, Calif; step children Kyle Stembridge (PJ) of Apex, NC, Gina Lee (Todd) of Knoxville, Tenn and Ashley Roberson (Markus) of Raleigh, N.C.; two sisters Nancy Maulding of Somerville, N.J. and Sara Fryer (Stan) of Columbia, S.C.; five grandchildren; and five step grandchildren.