MICCAI/Philips 2014 Enduring Impact Award to Terry Peters

At the recent International Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Interventions (MICCAI) Conference held at MIT in Cambridge, Mass, the MICCAI Enduring Impact Award, was given to Terry Peters, for pioneering contributions in CT imaging and in bringing computer-assisted intervention (CAI) techniques into clinical practice, particulary for the heart, brain, spine and abdomen.

The MICCAI (Medical Image Computing and Computer-assisted Interventions) Society and annual conference is the premier international conference in medical image processing, robotic surgery, and image-guided surgery using augmented reality and virtual reality. The Enduring Impact is their highest award for scientists whose careers have changed the field. The award was established in 2009 and sponsored by Philips. The prize is awarded to an individual who has made an enduring mark on the field by opening up new areas of research with a high clinical impact, and who has made significant contributions to scholarship and through supervision and support for young researchers.

Dr. Peters is a BIRC scientist based at Robarts Imaging Research Laboratories, a Professor in Western's Departments of Medical Imaging and Medical Biophysics, as well as a member of the graduate programs in Neurosciences and Biomedical Engineering. He received his graduate training at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) in electrical engineering, under the direction of Professor Richard Bates. His PhD work dealt with fundamental issues in computed tomography image reconstruction, and resulted in a seminal paper on the topic in 1971, just prior to the beginning of CT’s commercial development and worldwide application. For the past 30 years, his research has built on this foundation, focusing on the application of computational hardware and software advances to medical imaging modalities in surgery and therapy.

Starting in 1978 at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) as a Professor at McGill University, Dr. Peters' lab pioneered many of the image-guidance techniques and applications for image-guided neurosurgery that led to a startup company (CMI Services Inc. 1991), and licensing of the software to Elekta, a global leader in surgical instrumentation.  In 1997, he was recruited by Robarts to establish a focus of image-guided surgery and therapy within the Robarts Imaging Research Laboratories. Over the past 15 years, he has extended these techniques for minimally-invasive surgery on the beating heart, with patent applications and licensing of novel image-guided tools for valve repair. Similar principles also are being developed for procedures in the spine, prostate and kidney. A second startup (ATAMAI, 2000) provided foundational resources for medical image analysis and visualization to researchers and industry, with an emphasis on using virtual-reality techniques to enhance image-guided interventions. In the last decade this work has led to ongoing collaborative development of software and hardware tools with Northern Digital Inc. (2004) for tracking technologies, SenseGraphics (Sweden 2010) for surgical simulation software, Neochord Inc. (2011) for software development for guidance of valve repair in the beating heart, and Synaptive Medical of Toronto (2013) for sophisticated techniques for minimally-invasive brain surgery.

Dr. Peters has authored more than 430 publications including 32 book chapters and 7 books, resulting in over 11,700 citations and an h-index of 43. He is a MICCAI Society Founder and was Chair of MICCAI 2003 in Montreal, Quebec, and Co-Chair of MICCAI 2011 in Toronto, Canada. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine; American Association of Physicists in Medicine, as well as several others. He was awarded the Erskine Travelling Fellowship by the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) in 1996 and 2010, the Dean's Award of Excellence in 2011, and the Hellmuth Prize in 2012 from Western University. He has mentored more than 80 trainees at the masters, doctoral and postdoctoral levels, many of whom have gone on to lead international imaging groups or start successful companies. We congratulate Dr. Peters for this outstanding achievement.