MRI Pioneer, Former U Of I Researcher Peter Mansfield Dead At 83

February 10, 2017
MRI pioneer and former University of Illinois researcher David Mansfield.

In this Oct. 6, 2003 file photo, British Nobel Prize winner Peter Mansfield poses for a photograph, in Nottingham, England. Physicist Mansfield, who won the Nobel Prize for helping to invent MRI scanners, has died at the age of 83, it was reported on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.

David Jones / PA via AP

Peter Mansfield, a former University of Illinois researcher who won a Nobel Prize for helping to invent MRI scanners has died.

The University of Nottingham released a statement from Mansfield's family on Thursday confirming his death a day earlier.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a technology based on the phenomenon of nuclear magnetic resonance or NMR.

Mansfield did postdoctoral research involving NMR at the University of Illinois in the 1960s, working with another MRI pioneer, Charlie Slichter.

In 1964, the London-born Mansfield went to the University of Nottingham as a lecturer in physics.

At Nottingham, Mansfield developed ways to analyze MRI radio signals so that they could produce a useful image. And Mansfield developed protocols to produce MRI images quickly, contributing to a viable technology for viewing internal organs without surgery.

MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to generate 3-D images of the body’s internal organs without potentially harmful X-rays.

In 1978, Mansfield became the first person to step inside a whole-body MRI scanner so it could be tested on a human subject.

"Few people can look back on a career and conclude that they have changed the world," David Greenaway, vice chancellor of the University of Nottingham, said. "In pioneering MRI, that is exactly what Sir Peter Mansfield has done, he has changed our world for the better."

Mansfield was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1993, and in 2003, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with the U of I’s Paul Lauterbur.  

Mansfield is survived by his wife, two daughters and four grandchildren.

Story source: WILL