Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield, PhD, one of the pioneers in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) died on February 8 at the age of 83. At the University of Nottingham, where the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre at The University of Nottingham was named in honor of his innovative work to change the face of modern medical science, Sir Peter developed MRI to become one of the most important and revolutionary breakthroughs in modern medical science and diagnostic imaging. In 1993, he was knighted for his service to physics and in 2003, Mansfield and Lauterbur shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. This Nobel award recognizes his important role in the development of MRI, which is used today in research, diagnosis and the treatment of millions of patients around the world.
Sir Peter's achievement is particular remarkable in that he had started his working life as an apprentice printer after leaving school at the age of 15. In 1964, he joined the University of Nottingham in central England as a lecturer in physics. In 1978, Mansfield became the first person to step inside a whole-body MRI scanner so it could be tested on a human subject. In addition, his pioneering work on ultrafast scanning techniques, known as echo-planar imaging, illustrates his visionary genius to generate sophisticated MRI applications for clinical use. The results of this work revolutionized diagnostic imaging and physiology research by opening windows into the structure, function and physiology of the human body. His contributions were groundbreaking and all activities of the SCMR community including clinical applications and new CMR derived knowledge on cardiovascular disease are a direct result of Sir Peter's transformative lifetime achievements.