20-11 Prizes and Awards
A number of Nobel Prizes have been awarded for research results in NMR or neighboring disciplines.
Among the recipients were: Otto Stern: Nobel Prize in Physics 1943; Isidor I. Rabi: Nobel Prize in Physics 1944; Felix Bloch and Edward M. Purcell: Nobel Prize in Physics 1952; Nicolaas Bloembergen: Nobel Prize in Physics 1981; Richard R. Ernst: Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1991; Kurt Wüthrich: Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2002.
Paul C. Lauterbur (Figure 20-51) received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2003 for the invention of magnetic resonance imaging. Peter Mansfield (Figure 20-52) shared the Nobel Prize for his further development of MRI.
The Nobel Foundation's announcement read:
"Paul Lauterbur discovered the possibility to create a two-dimensional picture by introducing gradients in the magnetic field. By analysis of the characteristics of the emitted radio waves, he could determine their origin. This made it possible to build up two-dimensional pictures of structures that could not be visualized with other methods.”
"Peter Mansfield further developed the utilization of gradients in the magnetic field. He showed how the signals could be mathematically analysed, which made it possible to develop a useful imaging technique. He also showed how extremely fast imaging could be achievable. This became technically possible within medicine a decade later."
This was the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded in the field. Paul C. Lauterbur commented on this in a lecture given in Lund, Sweden, some days after the Prize Ceremony in Stockholm:
"It has been noted that the Nobel Prize for the development of MRI was awarded to a chemist and a physicist. That is not accidental. The field developed from a discipline that was first the province of physicists, two of whom share a Nobel Prize for it, and then became most prominent in its applications to chemistry, so that chemists received the next two Nobel Prizes, for novel techniques and applications. Although the needs of medical diagnosis stimulated the development of MRI, it was firmly grounded in the knowledge and instruments of physicists and chemists, as well as of those of mathematicians and engineers, all far from the knowledge and concerns of physicians, who became its greatest beneficiaries."
European Magnetic Resonance Award
Since 1986, the European Magnetic Resonance Forum (EMRF) and The Round Table Foundation (TRTF) confer the European Magnetic Resonance Award upon those scientists without whom magnetic resonance imaging as a patient-friendly non-invasive diagnostic technology in medicine would not exist. Since 1991 two Awards are granted, one for advances in medical applications and one for research in basic sciences; in a number of years, the Awards were combined. Since 1994, the Award is biennial. After 2012, the Award will only be given at special occasions (see also: Pro Academia Prize).
The Award is a crystal owl, representing Athena, the goddess of crafts and skilled peacetime pursuits. She personifies wisdom and righteousness. Thus, the Award symbolizes scientific perseverance and knowledge turned into cutting edge results with a direct impact on patient care.
Recipients of the European Magnetic Resonance Award
• Paul C. Lauterbur, Urbana-Champaign (1986)
• John Mallard, Aberdeen (1987)
• Peter Mansfield, Nottingham (1988)
• Graeme M. Bydder, London (1989)
• Axel Haase, Würzburg, and Jens Frahm, Göttingen (shared award, 1990)
• Werner Kaiser, Bonn, and Ian Young, London (1991)
• Roberto Passariello, Rome, and Jürgen Hennig, Freiburg (1992)
• Donald Longmore, London, and Raimo Sepponen, Helsinki (1993)
• Anders Hemmingsson, Uppsala, and Denis Le Bihan, Paris (1994)
• Thomas Vogl, Berlin, and Hanns-Joachim Weinmann, Berlin (1996)
• Gustav K. von Schulthess, Zurich, and Patrick J. Cozzone, Marseille (1998)
• Peter A. Rinck, Sophia Antipolis, and Robert N. Muller, Mons (Special Award 1998)
• Guy Marchal, Leuven, and Chrit T. Moonen, Bordeaux (2000)
• Gerhard Laub, Erlangen, and Peter Luijten, Utrecht (2002)
• Klaas P. Pruessmann, Zurich, and Silvio Aime, Turin (2004)
• Christiane Kuhl, Bonn, and Jacques Bittoun, Paris, France (2006)
• Klaes Golman, Malmö, and Luis Martí-Bonmatí, Valencia (2008)
• John Griffiths, Cambridge, and Stefan Neubauer, Oxford (2010)
• Erik Odeblad, Umeå (2012)
In addition, there are numerous research prizes given by societies in the field of magnetic resonance imaging.