UT Knoxville, ’65, ’66, ’68
Terry Douglass has helped shape medical technology and health-care provider businesses, impacting the lives of millions of patients.
Douglass was born in Jackson, Tennessee, but moved to Knoxville to attend UT. He graduated with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering, completing a Ph.D. just three years after the bachelor’s degree.
“What I learned and experienced while a student, researcher and instructor at UT laid a firm foundation to pursue the technology and business opportunities of which I have been blessed to be a part,” Douglass says.
After college, Douglass joined EG&G Ortec in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where he spent 15 years, the final three as company president. He played a critical role in the development of positron emission tomography (PET), a biomedical imaging and clinical research breakthrough.
In 1983, Douglass and three fellow UT graduates left EG&G Ortec and put their personal finances on the line to create Computer Technology and Imaging, later renamed CTI Molecular Imaging. They propelled PET technology from experimental to clinical use, gaining FDA approval and Medicare reimbursement through the FDA Modernization Act of 1997.
CTI further revolutionized diagnostic medicine by combining PET with CT (computer-assisted tomography) scans to create a leading-edge tool for early cancer detection and treatment.
After CTI and Siemens Medical Solutions USA merged in 2005, Douglass and two colleagues created Provision Healthcare, of which Douglass is now executive chairman.
Among Provision Healthcare’s cancer treatment innovations is proton therapy—a noninvasive treatment that uses protons to deliver a high dose of radiation directly to localized tumors with minimal damage to adjacent tissue. The company also owns proton centers and cancer centers around the world. Douglass was instrumental in CTI and the UT Medical Center forming the CTI Biomedical Fund at UTMC with a $1 million endowment in the late 1990s.
Part of the Tennessee Alumnus‘ 100 Distinguished Alumni feature.