|Administrative History||Professor John R. Mallard OBE FRSE, is an outstanding pioneer in the field of medical imaging and diagnosis. For over 30 years, thanks to the efforts of the scientific teams in the Department of Biomedical Physics and Bioengineering under the guidance of Professor Mallard, Aberdeen has been at the cutting edge of medical imaging. Professor Mallard has developed two of the most important diagnostic technologies of the 20th century, namely Nuclear Medicine and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). |
He started his career by undertaking a P.h.D with the University of Nottingham, completing this in 1952. Whilst engaged in his P.h.D he also worked firstly as a Demonstrator in Physics at the University (1949-1951) and then subsequently as an Assistant Physicist with the Liverpool Radium Institute (1951-1953). After completing his P.h.D, John Mallard was appointed Senior Physicist at Hammersmith Hospital and Postgraduate Medical School in 1953, where he continued to work until 1960. Whilst at Hammersmith Hospital, John Mallard built the first radionuclide imaging device in the UK and was also involved in the first European brain tumour imaging trials.
He moved to Aberdeen in 1965 from London's St. Thomas Hospital to become the University of Aberdeen's first Professor of Medical Physics. Among the many breakthroughs made by Professor Mallard and his Aberdeen team was the development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging with the first whole-body scanner entering service at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 1980. It was Mallard's group which was responsible for some of the major discoveries which led to this technique becoming clinically viable, and it was hailed by some as the biggest step forward since the discovery of X-rays 85 years earlier. The Mark 2 MRI scanner imaged more than 9,000 patients during the ten years it was installed in a custom-built room at Foresterhill in 1982. Professor Mallard is the recipient of many honours and medals, including the Royal Gold Medal awarded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2002, and the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen on 14 August 2004. Although Professor Mallard retired in 1992 his contribution to medicine has endured with the opening in 1998 of the John Mallard PET Centre at Foresterhill, the only purpose-built facility of its kind in Scotland. He also continues his involvement with both the University and the science he pioneered as Professor Emeritus of Medical Physics at the University of Aberdeen.