2019 Peter Mansfield Medal and Prize
Professor David Hawkes is an internationally recognised authority on medical imaging research working closely with healthcare providers and industry to address major unsolved clinical problems and to translate novel imaging technologies to the clinic.
David Hawkes is one of the most eminent medical physicists. He’s made a significant impact in medical imaging research and is distinguished for his many and impressive contributions to the field. His work covers the whole spectrum of patient management from screening to diagnosis, therapy planning, image-guided interventions and treatment monitoring. His research interests encompass medical image computing, data fusion and modelling tissue deformation with applications in medical image analysis and image guided interventions.
He developed an accurate parametrisation of the X-ray attenuation coefficient, which led to the Jackson-Hawkes Parametrisation used clinically on the world's first whole body CT scanner. The idea was picked up again recently with the advent of modern high-speed dual-energy CT scanners resulting in a surge of interest in his original work and a number of clinical implementations. Further, he developed one of the first CT based methods for evaluating therapeutic response based on changes in both size and composition of the lesion. This research also showed the significant limitations in using lesion size alone while tissue characterisation is important. Size and number of lesions are still the main criteria in the widely used RECIST imaging biomarker. This was shown long before RECIST was adopted.
His world-leading research provided major contributions to the first fully automated and accurate 3D alignment of multi-modal medical images with versions of these algorithms now available on pretty well all commercial medical systems. This technology also led more recently in the development of Deep Learning methods in medical imaging by facilitating the automatic establishment of correspondence between different data sets.
An outstanding world-class scientist, Hawkes’ research has provided robust tools for accurate surgical therapeutic interventions in soft tissue of the chest and abdomen. His pioneering work has been instrumental in: a major change in the cancer diagnosis and treatment pathway internationally with mpMRI guiding biopsy and, if appropriate, subsequent focal treatment for localised prostate cancer; the assessment of congenital heart disease with interventional MRI; and developing the world's first stereo augmented reality system to be used on patients during surgery.