Top award for Aberdeen University medical physics professor

An Aberdeen university professor who is helping revolutionise MRI scanner technology has been awarded a the top prize in medical physics.

Professor David Lurie will receive the Academic Gold Medal from the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) at a special ceremony in Surrey in recognition of his contribution to the industry.

The 62-year-old joined the Aberdeen University research team in 1983, shortly after the creation of the world’s first full-body MRI scanner Mark I at the institution.

Prof Lurie will pick up the award in September.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted.

“This is a huge honour, not just for myself but for everyone at the university.

“I started working in the medical physics field in the early 1908s, and joined Aberdeen University soon after that – it was an exciting place to work, because it was where a lot of fledgling MRI technology was being first developed.

“The medal is for the contributions I have made to the field since then, firstly in terms of research.

“In the last few years I have worked on a number of projects that are becoming important parts of the field, in particular my work on Fast Field-Cycling (FFC) MRI scanning.

“This technology we hope will soon become an important tool that will be used in hospitals.”

He hopes that through FFC technology, medical professionals will be able to detect diseases, such as cancer, with more accuracy.

Over the course of his career, Prof Lurie has written 70 peer reviewed publications, and given 74 lectures at conferences and workshops around the world.

In addition to recognising Prof Lurie’s contribution to research in the field, the prize is also granted to those that have had an impact on medical physics education.

Prof Lurie, who is the current chair of biomedical physics and engineering at the university: “There is of course the research aspect, but I have also thoroughly enjoyed my role as a lecturer.”

He also paid tributes to colleagues he has worked with over the years, “in particular Professors John Mallard, Jim Hutchison and Peter Sharp for their support and guidance”.

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