Elected: 1975
Discipline: Clinical Sciences
Professor George Warburton Ashcroft FRSE
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Professor George Ashcroft was deeply interested in the brain, and how and where it performs its multitude of functions. He was amongst the first to realise the potential of acquiring information which could lead to a greater understanding of brain malfunctions to help his patients, when I was struggling in the 1970s and onwards to set-up in Scotland – the first outside London – a facility to image radio-active isotopes from a cyclotron, now known as PET (positron emission tomography), which is now widely used. George became a real ally, and when this was finally achieved, he was the first to start using it. Unfortunately, the resolution which could be achieved at that time did not give sufficiently clear images to give meaningful results from his many attempts, which was a sore disappointment to us both. However, improvements in the imaging technology since then, and also the advent of functional MRIU (magetic resonance imaging) has led to many of the problems which were his goals, now being gainfully attacked. He was a real leader in his field, well ahead of his time.