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MRI is 50 years old today

Beckman Institute website

Fifty years ago today, Paul Lauterbur of Stony Brook University, and eventual U of I faculty member, published a paper in Nature establishing zeugmatography as a “viable way to visualize objects with a magnetic field and radiofrequency signals.” Most of us probably don’t know what zeugmatography is, but we do know its more commonly used term, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Lauterbur formulated the idea in 1971, and formally published his findings in 1973. He won the Nobel Prize for Physiology for Medicine in 2003 for his work on the critically important technology.

The first human MRI scanner on display at Beckman Institute at their Illinois MRI Exhibit, which you’ll be able to see at the Beckman Open House later this month. To learn more about the past, present, and future of MRI, check out this interview with Brad Sutton, professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the technical director of the Biomedical Imaging Center at the Beckman Institute.

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