The work of Peter Mansfield and Paul Lauterbur clearly shines when considering the great innovations within my new field of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The physical principle of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) was discovered in 1946 and has been utilised for studying structural chemistry ever since. But it was not until the 1970s that Lauterbur and Mansfield realised that the radio signals of NMR could be used to create images. Through some very elegant mathematics, MRI was established. Since then, technology has prevailed to bring MRI to everyday use in the clinic, making it an important and friendly medical imaging tool that’s suitable for many diagnostic needs in healthcare. Also, MRI has undoubtedly accelerated the advancement of many fields of research – I guess we all owe Peter and Paul our thanks.
Nick Hayward is researcher in biophysics and the biology of neurodegenerative diseases at the University of Kuopio, fellow of theMarie Curie Association
, and recipient of the Intel UK Young Scientist of the Year Award