Paul Bottomley (scientist)

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Paul Bottomley
Born (1954-10-09) 9 October 1954 (age 62)
Melbourne, Australia
Residence United States
Nationality Australian
Institutions Johns Hopkins University
Known for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Paul Bottomley pioneered research involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Currently, he is the Director of the Division of MR Research at Johns Hopkins University, published in 170 journals, has almost 50 U.S patents and is on the Board of Directors of SurgiVision (which he founded and is now known as MRI Interventions.)


Born in Melbourne, Australia, Bottomley earned a BSc in Physics from Monash University in 1974. In 1975, he started a PhD in Physics at Nottingham University in one of the three original projects that began MRI. In Raymond Andrew’s group, alongside that of Peter Mansfield, they built the first MRI system producing radiographic-quality images of the human wrist (Nature), and performed the initial work on RF-field and power deposition in human MRI. Upon completing his PhD, he went to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1978 to adapt MRI for spatially localized spectroscopy–MRS, using surface coils to demonstrate metabolite depletion and reversal in regional myocardial ischemia (Science).

In 1980, Paul joined the GE Research Center in Schenectady NY. They ordered the biggest magnet available – a 1.5T system – and built the first high-field whole-body MRI/MRS scanner, overcoming problems of coil design, RF penetration and signal-to-noise. The results translated into the highly successful 1.5T MRI product-line of well over 20,000 systems today. Paul did the first localized MRS in human heart and brain. After starting a collaboration on heart applications with Robert Weiss at Johns Hopkins, Paul returned to the university in 1994, as Professor and Director of the MR Research Division. He has about 170 peer-reviewed papers with most-cited reviews of tissue relaxation in Medical Physics, and nearly 50 patents, including spin-echo MRI, ‘crusher’ gradients, and point resolved spectroscopy (PRESS). He is an ISMRM Fellow, 1989 Gold Medal recipient, and a GE gold patent and Coolidge Fellowship awardee.[1][2]


  • Gold Medal of the Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (1989)
  • GE Coolidge Fellow and Medal, (1990)
  • GE Gold (1989), Silver (1985) and Bronze (1982) patent medallions
  • Editors recognition awards from Radiology (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990)
  • GE Dushman Award (1983)
  • Associate Editor, Magn Reson Med (1983-) and Radiology (1991-5)
  • Editorial Boards of Magn Reson Imag (1982–present), Rev Sci Instrum (1986-1988),
  • Editorial Board of Advanced Medicine (Japan: 1995–present); MAGMA (2003–2006)
  • Elected Trustee, Soc Magn Reson Med (1986-1989), Magn Reson Imag (1982-1986)
  • Fellow, Soc Magn Reson (1989)
  • Commonwealth University Scholarship (1972-1974)
  • NIH grant reviewer ’79, ‘85,’86,’90,’97, ’01, ’02 and ’03 [3]