Professor Lauterbur was the first scientist to use the nuclear magnetic resonance technique to make an image. He is known for his groundbreaking research in magnetic resonance imaging and for his applications of NMR spectroscopy to studies of molecules, solutions, and solids. His research encompasses studies of the origin of life.
He received the Albert Lasker Clinical Research Award (1984) for his work on medical magnetic resonance imaging. He has received numerous national and international awards including the National Medal of Science, the International Kyoto Prize, and the National Academy of Sciences Award for Chemistry in Service to Society. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1985 and is a laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. In 2003 he and Sir Peter Mansfield were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.