In memoriam Dr. Ian Isherwood

Posted in News on Nov 02, 2018

Ian Isherwood (March 30, 1931 - September 3, 2018) received the Beclère Medal in 1998, he was president of the Radiological Section of the U.K. Royal Society of Medicine, British Society of Neuroradiologists, Manchester Medical Society, and the British Society for the History of Radiology, which he founded. He also chaired the European Association of Radiology, predecessor of the current ESR.

Professor of diagnostic radiology at the University of Manchester from 1975 until his retirement in 1993, was at the forefront of advances in the teaching and applications of radiology, and he helped establish diagnostic radiology as an important specialty in academic medicine internationally. He promoted multidisciplinary research into the development and application of new imaging techniques in many important areas.

He pioneered the use of CT scanning in medicine; the world's first commercial CT head scanner was installed at Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1972, and the first commercial whole-body scanner in Europe was installed in the university's Department of Diagnostic Radiology in 1975. He was one of the first to recognize the huge impact that Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), later referred to as MRI, would have on the diagnosis and management of disease.

The first cryogenic superconducting NMR scanner in Europe was installed in Manchester in 1983, and then the Ian Isherwood MRI Centre in the department of diagnostic radiology was opened by Isherwood himself in May 1997. The new facility allowed the study of body structure and also body function, particularly of the brain. One of its systems was networked to a similar scanner based in the department of neuroradiology at the Royal Infirmary, enabling scans made on one machine to be instantly available on the other. This was unique in the U.K. at that time.

Tributes are already flowing in for a key figure in the history of European medical imaging.


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