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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 August, 2004, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
City freedom for pioneering medic
Aberdeen University
Prof Mallard worked at Aberdeen University
A retired university professor who helped develop the MRI body scanner has been honoured.

Professor John Mallard received the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen at a ceremony on Saturday.

The 77-year-old's work in developing scanners has helped revolutionise how doctors diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions, including cancer.

In 1965 he became the first Professor of Medical Physics at Aberdeen University.

Prof Mallard and his Aberdeen team worked to develop the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) whole-body scanner, which was introduced to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 1980.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, John Reynolds, and representatives from the university and Grampian Police were among those at the ceremony at the city's Music Hall.

'Highest honour'

Mr Reynolds said: "Professor Mallard's contribution to the development of medical imaging has been immense and Aberdeen should be proud and honoured that the advances made by his team took place here.

"His team was responsible for some of the major discoveries which led to this technique becoming an invaluable diagnostic tool and the production in 1980 of the first clinically viable magnetic resonance images from patients at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary was a major scientific event.

"The benefits that its discovery brought to thousands of patients since then cannot be underestimated. It is both a delight and a great privilege to bestow the city's highest honour on Professor Mallard. "

There have been only 38 freedom ceremonies in Aberdeen since the 20th century, with the Queen Mother and Sir Winston Churchill among those honoured.

The most recent to be conferred the freedom were President Gorbachev in 1993 and Alex Ferguson in 1999.

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