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SPIE 2019 Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging Goes to Four Pioneers in the Field

Inaugural award recognizes the work and accomplishments of Harrison H. Barrett, Arthur E. Burgess, Charles E. Metz, and Robert F. Wagner

19 February 2019

2019 Harrison Barrett Award in Medical Imaging

IMAGE PERFECT: (L to R) SPIE Board Member Kyle Myers, Harrison H. Barrett, Catherine Barrett, SPIE President Jim Oschmann, Rebecca Metz Maven, Avery Maven (Metz' daughter and granddaughter), SPIE Immediate Past President Maryellen Giger

BELLINGHAM, Washington, and San Diego, California - On 18 February, at the SPIE Medical Imaging conference in San Diego, Harrison Barrett, Arthur Burgess, Charles Metz, and Robert Wagner were honored with the inaugural SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging. The award is presented in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in medical imaging.

Barrett, professor of medical imaging, optical sciences, biomedical engineering, and mathematics at 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 PhD 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. His collaboration with SPIE Board Member Kyle Myers, Foundations of Image Science, received the 2006 J.W. Goodman Book Writing Award from SPIE and OSA.

Burgess, who died in 2017, received his PhD 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. Burgess was active in the SPIE community, particularly during the early years of the SPIE Medical Imaging conference where he presented his research regularly and was known by his colleagues as "Art," and "a giant in the field of medical image perception."

Metz, who passed away in 2012, was, at the time, a professor of radiology and member of the Committee on Medical Physics at the University of Chicago Medicine. He is known for, among other contributions, the "Metz filter," used to clarify nuclear-medicine images; for his work on radiological imaging and computer-aided diagnosis; 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," notes SPIE Immediate Past President and A.N. Pritzker Professor of Radiology/Medical Physics at the University of Chicago Maryellen Giger. "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 an 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 highly cited and extremely creative scientific publications, as well as multiple recognitions, including the FDA Commendable Service Award and the Public Health Service Superior Service Award. Along with his pioneering research contributions, he left a terrific legacy in the many young scientists he nurtured.

SPIE presents multiple annual awards in recognition of technical achievements and public service in optics and photonics. Nominations for the 2020 awards may be submitted through 1 June, 2019.


About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves 257,000 constituents from 173 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2018, SPIE provided more than $4 million in community support including scholarships and awards, outreach and advocacy programs, travel grants, public policy, and educational resources. www.spie.org.

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