European Magnetic Resonance Awards 2010

The recipients of the 2010 European Magnetic Resonance Awards are John R. Griffiths (Basic Sciences) for his contributions to the applications of magnetic resonance spectroscopy in oncology, and Stefan Neubauer (Medical Sciences) for his contributions to anatomical and functional cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy.

 

John GriffithsJohn Griffiths qualified in medicine from St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, but decided against a conventional career in medical practice. Instead, he took a DPhil in the laboratory of George Radda at Oxford University, with the long-term aim of becoming a researcher in the new field of biological magnetic resonance. Once he had qualified and obtained his first academic position (back at the Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital) he had no NMR instrument, so for several years he performed collaborative studies on borrowed equipment. In 1979 he and his collaborators performed pioneering MRS studies on the liver, in another collaborative study in 1981 he introduced the use of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) for monitoring cancers with 31P, and in 1983 the first MR spectra from a cancer in a patient. Also in that early phase was the first paper (in 1985) on the use of MRS to detect an anticancer drug and its metabolites in a tumour using 19F MRS. In 1985 he was able to get funding for his first NMR instrument, and within a year his research group used it to produce the first 1H MR spectra of a tumour.

In 1979 John Griffiths moved to St George's Hospital Medical School, where he worked till 2006, rising to Professor of Biochemistry as applied to Medicine, Director of the Cancer Research UK Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Research Group, and Chairman of the Division of Basic Medical Sciences. His work there was mainly concerned with the use of MRI and MRS to monitor cancer. In the 1980s he and his colleagues focussed mainly on characterisation of tumour metabolism, but they also followed up their initial breakthrough and performed many MRS and MRI studies on the detection of novel anticancer drugs and on their actions. Another major area of interest has been the use of Blood Oxygen Level (BOLD) MRI contrast methods and Dynamic Contrast Enhanced (DCE) MRI to monitor the effects of anticancer therapy on the tumour vasculature and on tumour blood flow; in recent years this has led to a series of studies on the biochemistry of tumour hypoxia. John Griffiths' most recent interest is the application of the new science of NMR-based Metabolomics to cancer. To date, he has published 274 research papers.

In 2006 John Griffiths moved with his research group to the new Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute, where he is a Senior Group Leader and Co-Director of Imaging, with honorary clinical appointments in the departments of Radiology and Oncology at Addenbrooke's Hospital. In 2008 he was awarded an honorary chair at Cambridge University as Professor of Magnetic Resonance as Applied to Cancer.

In 1988 Prof Griffiths founded the journal NMR in Biomedicine, whose Editor-in-Chief he remains. He was Secretary of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine for six years; he founded its British Chapter and is currently chairman of its Historical Archives Committee. In 2003 he was awarded the ISMRM Silver Medal. He has also been Secretary of the European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology. Despite focussing primarily on research he retains his medical registration and was recently awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians.

Stefan NeubauerStefan Neubauer is a Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Clinical Director of the Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research at the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, United Kingdom. He is also a senior Professorial member of Christ Church College, Oxford.

He went to Medical School in Würzburg, Germany, and graduated in 1985. He started his research career with a two-year post-doctoral research fellowship working with Joanne S. Ingwall at the NMR Laboratory for Physiological Chemistry, Harvard Medical School, Cardiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston (1985–1987). He then returned to Germany and specialised in cardiology at Würzburg University (1987–1994). From 1994 he was Cardiology Consultant and Head of the Cardiac MR Laboratory at Würzburg University, collaborating with Kurt Kochsiek, Georg Ertl, Axel Haase, Dietbert Hahn, and Klaus Schnackerz, until taking up the faculty position at Oxford University in 2000.

His work over the past 25 years has been devoted to the development and application of cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, both clinically and experimentally. He has published more than 240 original research articles and currently leads a group of approximately 40 co-workers. Editorial positions and contributions to scientific bodies include his involvement with the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (President 2006–2007) and the chairmanship of the British Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (2008–2010).

He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, Co-Editor of Magnetic Resonance Materials. Awards and Honours include the American Heart Association Paul Dudley White International Lectureship Award 2005 and the British Cardiovascular Society Thomas Lewis Lecture 2008. He is a fellow of the British Academy of Medical Sciences. He is also the leader of the Heart Theme for the Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.

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