Peter Mansfield

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Sir Peter Mansfield
Peter Mansfield Leipzig.jpg
Mansfield in 2006
Born (1933-10-09)9 October 1933
Lambeth, London, England
Died 8 February 2017(2017-02-08) (aged 83)
Nottingham, England
Nationality English
Citizenship British
Alma mater Queen Mary College, University of London
Known for Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Spouse(s) Jean Margaret Kibble (m. 1962)
Children 2
Awards
Website www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2003/mansfield-bio.html
Scientific career
Institutions
Thesis Proton magnetic resonance relaxation in solids by transient methods (1962)
Doctoral advisor Jack Powles

Sir Peter Mansfield FRS,[1] (9 October 1933 – 8 February 2017)[2] was an English physicist who was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, shared with Paul Lauterbur, for discoveries concerning Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Mansfield was a professor at the University of Nottingham.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

Early life[edit]

Mansfield was born in Lambeth, London on 9 October 1933, to Sidney George (a gas fitter) and Rose Lillian Mansfield. Mansfield is the youngest of three brothers.[3]

Mansfield grew up in Camberwell. During World War II he was evacuated from London, initially to Sevenoaks and then twice to Torquay, Devon, where he was able to stay with the same family on both occasions.[3] On returning to London after the war he was told by a school master to take the 11+ exam. Having never heard of the exam before, and having no time to prepare, Mansfield failed to gain a place at the local Grammar school. His mark was, however, high enough for him to go to a Central School in Peckham. At the age of 15 he was told by a careers teacher that science wasn't for him. He left school shortly afterwards to work as a printer's assistant.

At the age of 18, having developed an interest in rocketry, Mansfield took up a job with the Rocket Propulsion Department of the Ministry of Supply in Westcott, Buckinghamshire. Eighteen months later he was called up for National Service.

Education[edit]

After serving in the army for two years, Mansfield returned to Westcott and started studying for A-levels at night school. Two years later he gained entrance to study physics at Queen Mary College, London.

Mansfield graduated with a BSc from Queen Mary's in 1959. His final-year project, supervised by Dr. Jack Powles, was to construct a portable, transistor-based spectrometer to measure the Earth's magnetic field. Towards the end of this project Powles offered Mansfield a position in his NMR research group. Powles' interest was in studying molecular motion, mainly liquids. Mansfield's project was to build a pulsed NMR spectrometer to study solid polymer systems. He received his PhD in 1962; his thesis was titled Proton magnetic resonance relaxation in solids by transient methods.[9]

Career[edit]

Following his PhD, Mansfield was invited to postdoctoral research with Charlie Slichter at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where he carried out an NMR study of doped metals.

In 1964 he returned to England to take up a place as a Lecturer at Nottingham University where he could continue his studies in multiple-pulse NMR. He was successively appointed Senior Lecturer in 1968 and Reader in 1970. During this period his team developed the MRI equipment with the help of grants from the Medical Research Council. It was not until the 1970s with Paul Lauterbur's and Mansfield's developments that NMR could be used to produce images of the body. In 1979 Mansfield was appointed Professor of the Department of Physics until his retirement in 1994.

  • 1962: Research Associate, Department of Physics, University of Illinois
  • 1964: Lecturer, Department of Physics, University of Nottingham
  • 1968: Senior Lecturer, Department of Physics, University of Nottingham
  • 1970: Reader, Department of Physics, University of Nottingham
  • 1972-3: Senior Visitor, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg
  • 1979: Professor, Department of Physics, University of Nottingham

Mansfield is credited with inventing 'slice selection' for MRI and understanding how the radio signals from MRI can be mathematically analysed, making interpretation of the signals into a useful image a possibility. He is also credited with discovering how fast imaging could be possible by developing the MRI protocol called echo-planar imaging. Echo-planar imaging allows T2* weighted images to be collected many times faster than previously possible. It also has made functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) feasible.

Awards and honours[edit]

Private life[edit]

Mansfield married Jean Margaret Kibble (b. 1935) in 1962. He had two daughters.

Mansfield died in Nottingham on 8 February 2017, aged 83.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Fellows of the Royal Society". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-03-16. 
  2. ^ Tributes to Professor Sir Peter Mansfield University of Nottingham
  3. ^ a b c Mansfield, Peter (2003). "Peter Mansfield: Autobiography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Peter Mansfield interview on Desert Island Discs
  5. ^ University of Nottingham: Peter Mansfield homepage Archived 13 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Nobel Prize 2003 Press Release
  7. ^ Peter Mansfield US Patents
  8. ^ Peter Mansfield autobiography
  9. ^ Mansfield, Peter (1962). Proton magnetic resonance relaxation in solids by transient methods (PhD thesis). Queen Mary College, University of London. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "MRI pioneer and Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield dies". 9 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.