SPIE Names 2019 Winners of Barrett Award in Medical Imaging

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The inaugural SPIE 2019 Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging, presented in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in the field, went to Harrison Barrett, Arthur Burgess, Charles Metz, and Robert Wagner during the SPIE medical imaging conference held in February in San Diego.

Barrett, professor of medical imaging, optical sciences, biomedical engineering, and mathematics at the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences and director of its Center for Gamma-Ray Imaging, is a fellow member of SPIE and the 2011 recipient of the SPIE Gold Medal. He received his Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard in 1969, and, before joining the University of Arizona, worked for the Raytheon Research Division. His current research is in image science, with applications in both medicine and astronomy, developing new methods for the assessment and optimization of image quality.

Burgess, who died in 2017 and was known by his colleagues as “a giant in the field of medical image perception,” received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia where he began his career. He later spent 10 years at Harvard Medical School (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), teaching and conducting research in the Department of Radiology.

Metz passed away in 2012 while he was a professor of radiology and member of the Committee on Medical Physics at University of Chicago Medicine. He is known for the “Metz filter,” which is used to clarify nuclear-medicine images, as well as his work on radiological imaging and computer-aided diagnosis. He was also known for using mathematics to improve diagnostic tests and for his work as an educator.

“Charles was a true scientist, educator, and mentor of the highest caliber,” said Maryellen Giger, SPIE immediate past president and A.N. Pritzker Professor of Radiology/Medical Physics at the University of Chicago. “He was one of the giants in elucidating the mathematical foundations of imaging science, and he had a wonderful sense of humor.”

Wagner, who died in 2008, was a SPIE fellow, a distinguished research physicist, a founder of the SPIE medical imaging symposium, and a member of the Senior Biomedical Research Service in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). His research resulted in many cited and creative scientific publications, as well as multiple recognitions, including the FDA Commendable Service Award and the Public Health Service Superior Service Award.

Published: March 2019
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