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Reunion of MRI pioneers

The physicists and clinicians involved in the world’s first MRI scan of a patient's body are today gathering in Aberdeen for the second of two special events celebrating the silver anniversary of that medical milestone.

Twenty five years ago a Fraserburgh man with terminal liver cancer become the first patient in the world to receive an MRI body scan.

The historic scan was carried out in Aberdeen following the efforts of University of Aberdeen physicists and clinicians who were convinced of the potential of medical imaging technology - a diagnostic technique which was then still in its infancy.

Professor John Mallard, then Head of the Medical Physics Department at the University of Aberdeen, led a team of physicists who created a scanner which could "see" the whole body. Aberdeen clinicians then broke new ground when they put it to medical use on August 28, 1980.

Now MRI is used all over the world to shed light on all sorts of medical conditions.

To commemorate the anniversary of the team's achievement, the University has staged A Celebration of 25 Years of Clinical MRI which has brought the scientists and clinicians together again, some for the first time in 25 years.

Last night, in the first of two events, more than two hundred people attended a public lecture at King's College Centre which was given by Dr Francis Smith, the Consultant Radiologist who conducted the first patient body scan, and Professor James Hutchison, whose was one of the physicists who developed the scanner.

Professor's Hutchison's old colleagues on that pioneering team of physicists - Dr William Edelstein, Dr Glyn Johnson, Dr Linda Eastwood and Professor Thomas Redpath - along with Professor Mallard are among thoses attending an MRI scientific session taking place today.

Some of Dr Smith's clinical colleagues from those days will also be present at the event From Low Field to High Field which takes place at the King's College Centre.

At last night’s public lecture it was announced that Dr Smith has been awarded an Honorary Professorship in recognition of his contribution to MRI and for the work he has done in collaboration with the University.

Today: September 2 @ 1.30pm, King's College Centre, University of Aberdeen - Dr Francis Smith, Professor James Hutchison, Professor John Mallard and their former colleagues will be available for photographs / interviews.


Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Thursday 1st of September 2005

Ref: 1775mri
Contact: Jennifer Phillips

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