Mallard, John R 1927

(b 1927), professor of medical physics

Professor John Mallard, was the head of Physics at Aberdeen University, from 1965 to his retirement in 1992. He lead the physicists team (which included Professor James Hutchinson and Dr Bill Edelstein) who developed and tested the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) body scanning machine and brought its wide spread use to the medical profession. They were assisted by Medical Doctor Francis Smith, a Consultant Radiologist.

The team developed research from the original nuclear magnetic resonance work of Edward Mills Purcell and Felix Bloch in 1946. The first patient it was used on was a man from Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire who had terminal cancer. His Oncology Consultant was Dr Chris Smith. The patient had stomach cancer and the MRI scan showed that he had a primary tumour in his chest, an abnormal liver and secondary cancer in his bones. This occurred on August the 28th 1980.

In 1993, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 1998, the John Mallard Scottish PET Centre was opened in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary by the Minister for Health, Sam Galbraith. He was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen in 2004. In 2004 the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine established a lecture in his name, to be given annually at the United Kingdom Radiological Congress.