GOLD Medals and other awards were presented to IPEM members who have made outstanding contributions in their field of work.
The Gold Medal and Early Career awards are for IPEM members who have made outstanding contributions in academia, innovation and healthcare, and in recognition of the achievements of early career members.
The prizes were presented at MPEC in Bristol by Professor Stephen O'Connor, IPEM's President.
Healthcare Gold Medal
Dr Huda Al Naemi is a Consultant Medical Physicist at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) in Qatar, where she has worked for more than 20 years. HMC employs around 25,000 people and manages 13 hospitals across Qatar.
In 2006 she became Executive Director of Occupational Health & Safety and established the provision of medical physics services in support of medical imaging, including consultation, preparation of new equipment tenders and specifications for different imaging equipment as well as quality control testing. She is also involved in the training and education programme for radiology residents.
She became Chair of the National Medical Radiation Licensing Committee at the Supreme Council of Health and has undertaken projects with the IAEA and Qatar Foundation, all contributing to improvements in healthcare.
She has participated in a number of projects funded by the Qatar National Research Fund:
• Developed and implemented a system for quality and safety in women’s imaging in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
• Personalised assessment and monitoring of organ-level cancer risks and radiation dose in nuclear medicine and radiological examinations in collaboration with Geneva University Hospital
Dr Al Naemi has recently been appointed an Assistant Professor of Medical Biophysics Research in Radiology at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, a branch of Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University. Its aim is to provide the best education possible for medical students to conduct research and improve healthcare.
In 2017, Dr Al Naemi received the State Encouragement for Medical Sciences Category Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions in various scientific and humanitarian fields.
Innovation Gold Medal
Professor Andy Beavis is an IPEM Fellow and Head of Radiation Physics at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
He has led, and contributed to the development and implementation of many new radiotherapy clinical techniques. Early in his career these included the development of computer-aided treatment planning, conformal therapy, use of advanced MRI in routine treatment planning, and Virtual Simulation process, which all required bespoke developments such as implementing a universal image format for the Multidata TPS before DICOM was available. His work with Varian’s Dynamic Wedge led to a number of publications and collaborations with international clinics, including Stanford and St Louis, led to the clinical implementation of Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy and Image Guided Radiotherapy.
Professor Beavis co-invented the Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training (VERT) system and is Founder and Director of Vertual Ltd and his work in this field has led to a change in policy on radiotherapy training. In 2009 he was awarded the IPEM Manufacturers’ Award and the Department of Health’s Healthcare Science Award for Innovation for his work on VERT and introducing virtual reality training into routine use in oncology.
Professor Beavis is the clinical lead on a project to create a Molecular Imaging Research Centre at the University of Hull. His most recent project has funded a Radiotherapy PhD Cluster to develop bio-marker indicators and biological modifiers to realise personalisted adaptive radiotherapy.
Academic Gold Medal
Professor Panicos Kyriacou is an IPEM Fellow and an Associate Dean (Postgraduate Studies) in the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at City, University of London.
He received a BESc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and MSc and PhD in Medical Electronics and Physics from St Bartholomew’s Medical College, University of London. Following completion of his MSc, he joined the medical devices industry where he worked as a Senior Biomedical Engineer specialising in Draeger Medical Intensive Care Devices. He returned to St Bartholomew’s Medical College, where he engaged in research training for a PhD in the field of medical optics and bioinstrumentation.
Following the completion of his PhD, he was appointed Lecturer in Medical Electronics and Physics at Queen Mary, University of London. In January 2004, he continued his academic career as Director of the Undergraduate Programme in Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Research Group at City, University of London, where he was subsequently appointed Senior Lecturer and then Reader. He was appointed Head of Department in Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering at the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and was promoted to Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Dean for Postgraduate Studies. In 2014 he was appointed Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise at the newly-formed School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering and Director of its Biomedical Engineering Research Centre.
Professor Kyriacou’s main research activities are primarily focused upon the understanding, development and applications of instrumentation, and biosensors and physiological measurement to facilitate the prognosis, diagnosis and treatment of disease or the rehabilitation of patients. He has authored and co-authored over 200 publications, peer reviewed journal publications, invited chapters in books and conference proceedings. He is also the holder of six patents with inventions in the area of biomedical instrumentation and optical biomedical sensors.
His research achievements have advanced the understanding and monitoring of critically-ill new-born children and adults and have profoundly impacted on the design and use of pulse oximeters. He has led many innovations in the utilization of optical biosensors and his pioneering work on regional and organ perfusion monitoring has revolutionized clinical monitoring in anaesthesiology, intensive care and surgery. He has played a pioneering role in the pedagogy of biomedical engineering in both the UK and abroad through the development of biomedical engineering degrees, both undergraduate and postgraduate.
He has held several positions within IPEM, including Vice President Academic. He is Adjunct Professor at Yale Medical School, Honorary Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellowship at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
Professor Kyriacou is Editor-in-Chief of Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, and Deputy Editor of Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express.
He is the Past President of the European Alliance for Medical and Biological Engineering & Science (EAMBES), with a focus on strengthening the biomedical engineering profession across Europe.
Healthcare Early Career Award
Dr Emmanuel Akinluyi is Chief Biomedical Engineer and Head of Clinical Engineering at Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
Having completed the Clinical Scientist training scheme, he embarked on a part-time PhD in ‘healthcare system design’ at the University of Cambridge while working at Guy's. He currently has two papers on the methodology he developed and applied in review.
Dr Akinluyi joined the first cohort of Higher Scientific Specialist Training (HSST) trainees in 2014 and became the first to submit a thesis for the DClinSci degree, introduced as the academic component of the HSST programme. He created the Medical Engineering Design component of the MSc Clinical Sciences: Clinical Engineering course. This intensive programme includes the exploration of real-life design opportunities with clinicians and/or patient volunteers, and he continues to coordinate, administer and lecture on the course and assesses student presentations on their design solutions.
He also lectures on the Device Risk Management and Governance module of the MSc Clinical Sciences: Clinical Engineering, including Medical Device Regulation, a lecture he developed to update it to the new MDR).
In 2018 Dr Akinluyi participated in the accreditation of the MSc Clinical Sciences: Clinical Engineering course by IPEM.
He has acted as an academic supervisor for 13 students and the educational supervisor for three for their major project on the MSc Clinical Sciences: Clinical Engineering course, and has examined 18 projects in the last four years.
Dr Akinluyi has initiated and led discussions about the possible development of course content, to include a highly-transferrable module on systems, design and risk approaches to ‘Engineering better care’.
Academic Early Career Award
Dr Bilal Tahir is an Associate Member of IPEM and is a Yorkshire Cancer Research Connects Senior Fellow and lecturer in Cancer and Lung Imaging at the University of Sheffield.
He was awarded the prestigious James Morrison Research Fellowship to undertake radiotherapy imaging research followed by a research fellowship from the Sheffield Hospital Charity and a proof-of-concept grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to conduct research in image-guided radiotherapy and pulmonary imaging.
He was then awarded a five-year career development senior fellowship by Yorkshire Cancer Research and tenure-track lectureship position in oncological imaging.
Dr Tahir’s world-leading research in functional lung imaging and image-guided radiotherapy has received national and international recognition, leading to 15+ publications in the top-tier journals, 34 conference proceedings, eight invited presentations and five conference prizes.
He is a founding member of the Ventilation Archive for Medical Pulmonary Image Registration (VAMPIRE) international consortium, which performed the world’s first multi-institutional study to validate the physiological accuracy of CT-based ventilation techniques.
He is a young scientist representative for the EPSRC image-guided therapies network, responsible for all early career researchers affiliated with this network.
Dr Tahir has been invited to contribute a chapter on functional lung imaging in lung cancer in a new IOP book: Lung cancer and imaging.
He is a senior member of a new American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) working group on lung function imaging. The purpose of the proposed working group will be to provide the AAPM members guidance on pertinent lung function imaging topics, foster clinical trial development in radiation oncology, and explore non-radiation oncology applications.
A founding member of the UK Cardiac SABR consortium, which seeks to develop stereotactic radiotherapy for cardiac ventricular arrhythmias, Dr Tahir was involved in the first patient treatment using this technique in the NHS.
He is the scientific lead and coordinator for several clinical studies, including Lung HeXeRT: Advanced Proton, Hyperpolarised 3-helium and 129-xenon Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Lung Cancer Radiotherapy.
A number of other awards and prizes were also presented at MPEC.
Roy Ellis Patient Benefit Award
Professor David Brettle, a Past President of IPEM and Head of Medical Physics and Engineering at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, is the person credited with bringing the ‘Little Linac’ model to the world.
He started the Little Linac project when he was President with a simple vision: to provide every child in the UK undergoing radiotherapy treatment for cancer with a free kit of play bricks to make a model treatment machine to help ease their stress and anxiety.
After a couple of false starts to the project, IPEM eventually partnered with Best-Lock Ltd, who were quick to grasp what was required and worked with IPEM to perfect the design of the model. As well as the linac, the kit also makes three other imaging or treatment machines a child might encounter during their time in hospital – an MRI scanner, a gamma camera and a CT scanner.
An initial order for 3,000 Little Linac kits was placed with Best-Lock and IPEM gave 100 kits to each of the 16 paediatric radiotherapy centres across the UK to give to children undergoing radiotherapy treatment. The remainder were sold to generate funds to purchase the next 3,000 kits, so that the project will become self-sustaining. Every Little Linac model that is sold enables IPEM to donate two more kits to children undergoing radiotherapy treatment for cancer.
Little Linac models have been sold around the world, with orders from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Mexico and even Peru.
Vivienne Parry is a multi-award winning science journalist and author and is currently Head of Engagement at Genomics England. A scientist by training, she is most well-known for presenting BBC TV science programme Tomorrow's World and Panorama. She is also a regular contributor to The Guardian. Her Honorary Fellowship was presented by Professor Mark Tooley, immediate Past President of IPEM.
Martin Black Prize for best paper in Physiological Measurement: Dr John Prince
A paper to better understand the longitudinal characteristics of Parkinson's disease won the Martin Black Prize, awarded for the best paper published in Physiological Measurement.
The paper was entitled Big data in Parkinson's disease: using smartphones to remotely detect longitudinal disease phenotypes by authors Dr John Prince and Professor Maarten de Vos, of the Department of Engineering Science, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Oxford, and Dr Siddharth Arora, of Somerville College, University of Oxford.
Its objective was to better understand the longitudinal characteristics of Parkinson's disease through the analysis of finger tapping and memory tests collected remotely using smartphones.
Roberts’ Prize for best paper in Physics in Medicine and Biology: Dr Sonja Schellhammer
A paper on a study to test the feasibility of simultaneous irradiation and imaging won the Roberts’ Prize for 2019.
The paper was entitled Integrating a low-field open MR scanner with a static proton research beam line: proof of concept by authors Dr Sonja Schellhammer, Dr Aswin Hoffmann et al, of OncoRay – the National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Helmoholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Germany.
Other prizes were awarded at MPEC to recipients who were unable to attend the event.
Professor Marcel van Herk is Professor of Radiotherapy Physics, a joint post between the University of Manchester and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust.
He has been active in radiotherapy and worked at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) since 1982. As a medical physics student, he started on the development of a liquid ionization imaging device that later became the Varian PortalVision system for electronic portal imaging. During his PhD at the NKI, the detector was further developed and commercialised and the focus of the work shifted to image processing, correction procedures and margins. Starting during a Postdoc at Harvard Medical School, USA in 1992, his work incorporated 3D image processing, first CT-MR image registration for treatment planning, later measuring organ motion and other uncertainties in radiotherapy such as delineation variability.
For the past 10 years, he also held a part-time teaching role as a Professor at the University of Amsterdam, working on the integration of microscopic optical imaging into radiotherapy treatment planning.
His goal is to do research to improve the clinical practice of radiotherapy. He has co-authored more than 190 papers in peer reviewed journals.
Spiers' Prize for Outreach
Lauren Urquhart is a trainee Clinical Scientist, specialising in imaging with ionising radiation and is the Vice Chair of the Scottish Trainee Network.
She was awarded the Spiers’ Prize after organising a public outreach event in Inverness. The event was aimed at local schoolchildren, students, prospective trainees, members of the public and fellow colleagues. There were presentations from trainees and healthcare professionals across Scotland, as well as a variety of stalls. More than 60 people attended the event and you can read how successful it was in the September 2019 edition of Scope.
Jack Perkins Prize for best paper in Medical Engineering & Physics: Dr Gema Prats-Boluda
The prize was won for an article entitled Electrohysterographic characterization of the uterine myoelectrical response to labor induction drugs published in June 2018. Dr Gema Prats-Boluda, of the Center for Research and Innovation in Bioengineering at the Universitat Politècnica de València, was one of the main authors of this paper.
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