Legendary MRI inventor Dr Raymond Damadian visits Blacktown

The Honorary Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Health, MRI inventor Dr Raymond Damadian and Blacktown Hospital Medical Imagining operations director A/Prof James Nol.

Legendary inventor of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Dr Raymond Damadian was at Western Sydney University’s Blacktown Clinical School on Saturday to launch the world’s first Master’s Degree in Medical Imaging MRI.

Dr Damadian performed the first full-body MRI scan in July 1977 and the technology has since become the premier medical diagnostic imaging method in use today, worth more than US$10 billion a year.

MRIs are able to detect diseased tissue or injury more accurately, safely and efficiently than any other medical imaging technique. 60 million patients worldwide benefit from MRI-generated images. 

Dr Damadian’s place as the ‘father of MRI’ means he has been a pioneer for one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of the 20th century, saving and enhancing countless lives.

Blacktown Hospital medical imaging staff took the opportunity to meet Dr Damadian, who graciously answered questions and signed event programs.

Dr Damadian continues to advance the technology of the instrument, and has been acknowledged for his efforts with major awards. He was inducted into the American National Inventors Hall of Fame by President George Bush Snr in 1989 and his original MRI machine is still on show in the Smithsonian.

Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals are also involved in MRI advancement – the team introduced the MR Screening program where several MRI scans are done in less than five minutes with better diagnostic confidence and less exposure to radiation than X-ray, CT and ultrasound.

Dr Damadian was in Sydney to attend the public launch of the world-first Masters of Advanced Imaging in MRI for Medical, Dental and Veterinary Practitioners at the University of Western Sydney School of Medicine Blacktown Campus on October 26.

He told the story of MRI and shared some fascinating research he has been conducting.