Juan M Taveras

Last revised by Michael Carter on 28 Oct 2022

Juan M Taveras (1919-2002) was an Dominican neuroradiologist, who is remembered chiefly for his work in establishing neuroradiology as a separate subspecialty in the United States. He was the principal mover behind the founding of the American Society of Neuroradiology and its primary publication, the American Journal of Neuroradiology.

Juan Manuel Taveras Rodriguez was the son of Marcos and Ana Taveras, and he was born in the Dominican Republic, in the city of Moca, on 27 September 1919 1,2. He was a talented musician, playing the clarinet, sax and flute, in a jazz band and orchestra. He graduated in medicine in 1943, from the University of Santo Domingo and obtained a second MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1948 1,2.

In 1947, he married Berenice, who died in 1990 1.

He completed his radiology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1949 1,2, and in this same year, he succeeded at the exam of the American Board of Radiology (ABR)  2.

He moved to New York in 1950, where he attended the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and its Neurologic Institute 1,2. In 1952, he became director of Radiology at this Neurologic Institute, where he stayed for thirteen years 1,2.

In New York City, he founded the first American fellowship program in neuroradiology, in 1956 1,2.

In 1962, Taveras invited fourteen fellow neuroradiologists from across the United States for a dinner in New York City, at which the American Society of Neuroradiology was founded. He was the unanimous choice for its first President 1,2.

Due to his burgeoning international reputation in neuroradiology, he was given the Presidency of the VIIth Symposium Neuroradiologicum, which was held for the first time in North America, in New York in 1964.

In 1964, Juan Taveras and Ernest Wood co-authored the textbook Diagnostic Neuroradiology, the first American textbook on neuroradiology, which became a reference book in the specialty 1,2.

He was founding editor of the American Journal of Neuroradiology, in 1980, a position he held for eight years.

In 1965, Taveras moved to St. Louis and assumed the chairmanship of Radiology and Director of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine 1,2.

In 1971, he accepted the position of being a professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School 1,2, and the chief radiologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1988, he became Professor Emeritus of Harvard Medical School 1,2.

In 1991, he married his second wife, Mariana Margarita Bucher 1.

In 1996, he planned the construction of the Centro de Diagnostico, Medicina Avanzada, Laboratorio y Telemedicina in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 1,2.

Dr. Juan Taveras developed multiple myeloma, dying in the Dominican Republic on 28 March 2002, at the age of 83 1,2.

Juan wrote more than 300 scientific articles, 12 books, seven textbooks in Spanish, several book chapters, and compendiums, which became references in neuroradiology 1,2. His innovations in training, research and radiologic management, revolutionized the practice of neuroradiology.

  • President of the VIIth Symposium Neuroradiologicum (1964)

  • Master of Science Honoris Causa, Harvard Medical School (1971)

  • Knight of the Order of Duarte Sanchez y Mella, an award of the Dominican Republic (1972)

  • Doctor Honoris Causa, Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña, Dominican Republic (1987)

  • Doctor Honoris Causa, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, Santiago, Dominican Republic (1992)

  • Gold medal of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)

  • Gold medal of the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS)

  • Gold medal of the American College of Radiology (ACR)

  • Gold medal of the Association of University Radiologists

  • Gold medal of the American Society of Neuroradiology (1995)

  • Named to the Order of St Gregory, a Papal honor (2002)

Juan Taveras is still recognized today by radiologists around the world, and reasons include:

  • co-authored the book Roentgenology of the Abdomen, with Ross Golden, in 1952

  • started the first American fellowship program in neuroradiology, in 1956

  • founded the American Society of Neuroradiology, in 1962

  • co-authored the book Diagnostic Neuroradiology, with Ernest Wood, in 1964

  • founder of the American Journal of Neuroradiology, in 1980

  • founded the Sociedad Ibero Latino Americana De Neurorradiología Diagnóstica y Terapéutica (SILAN), in 1988

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