Bioelectromagnetics Society honours Dr. Frank Prato with prestigious D’Arsonval Award

BIRC scientist Dr. Frank S. Prato has received the D’Arsonval Award, the highest scientific honour of the international Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS). Dr. Prato is the Imaging Program Leader and Assistant Scientific Director at the Lawson Health Research Institute, and Chief Medical Physicist at St. Joseph’s Health Care.

Bioelectromagnetics is the study of how electromagnetic fields interact with and influence biological processes. The award recognizes exceptional scientific accomplishments or practical application of electromagnetic fields for human benefit.

Among Dr. Prato's landmark discoveries is how magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to view the extent of permanent heart muscle damage caused by a heart attack. This method is now used extensively throughout Canada and the rest of the world. He also discoverd that exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields can induce analgesia - pain relief - in humans. Dr. Prato is currently exploiting these discoveries to develop image-guided therapies to treat heart disease and to treat pain.

The D’Arsonval Award has been given only 14 times in the last 27 years at the discretion of the BEMS Board of Directors. Dr. Prato is the first Canadian to receive the award. He gave the D’Arsonval Lecture at the BEMS Annual Meeting in Thessaloniki, Greece on June 14, 2013, where he received the award.

In a related role, Dr. Prato has been appointed to the 2013 Expert Panel established by the Royal Society of Canada to review Safety Code 6, Health Canada's guidelines for human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy.