(October 9, 1933—)
Peter Mansfield invented echo-planar imaging (EPI), the first
fast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique. EPI provides
precise images of the brain and other internal organs, replacing
invasive methods of examination and reducing the risk and
discomfort for many patients. More than 60 million cases are
evaluated with MRI each year.
Working at the University of Nottingham in England, Mansfield
proposed a method for creating clearer images using a unique
field gradient scheme and developed mathematical techniques for
capturing, analyzing, and processing MR signals more
efficiently. This led him to conceive EPI, which produced
quicker, higher quality MR images. Less sensitive to motion than
conventional MRI, EPI allows imaging of rapidly changing
physiologic processes such as a beating heart or blood flow.
Consequently, the EPI technique is used to watch brain activity
and cardiac function in real time. Its superior imaging
techniques have dramatically improved diagnostics in many
Born in England, Mansfield earned his Ph.D. from the University
of London’s Queen Mary College in 1962. He was knighted in 1993
and received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his
contributions to magnetic resonance imaging in 2003.
Leroy E. Hood
John Joseph Lynott