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New imaging research chairs make history

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Two research chairs have been named after Drs. Ting-Yim Lee, left, and Frank Prato, both of whom are revolutionizing health care through their groundbreaking imaging research.
Two research chairs have been named after Drs. Ting-Yim Lee, left, and Frank Prato, both of whom are revolutionizing health care through their groundbreaking imaging research.

In a historical-first, St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation and Western University announced two research chairs that are a critical step toward new approaches in imaging research and patient care in London and around the world. The combined value of both innovative new research chairs is $6.5 million, which will be endowed in perpetuity to advance imaging research at Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute.

The research chairs have been named after the two scientists who are revolutionizing health care through their groundbreaking imaging research – Drs. Ting-Yim Lee and Frank Prato. The work of both scientists is based at St. Joseph’s Hospital. 

“These chairs build on the legacy of exceptional imaging leadership across our academic, research and health care organizations,” says Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Care London. “They are a critical step towards new approaches in medical technology and hospital-based research that will revolutionize patient care,

Research teams in the city are using state-of-the-art imaging technology to help clinicians better predict and diagnose illnesses before their unset and uncover why, and how, illness forms. Their goal is to one day find a cure to some of the most devastating diseases in the world.

“We’ve come to know medical imaging as one of the cornerstones of innovation and discovery at Lawson, and the two new research chairs represent two monumental leaps forward in the field of imaging research,”  —Dr. David Hill, Lawson Scientific Director

  • The Ting-Yim Lee Chair in Cardiac Computerized Tomography (CT) Imaging Research has been established through the generosity of Ting-Yim and Maggie Lee and a joint funding collaboration between St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation and Western University.  

Dr. Lee is a scientist and professor of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, medical physicist at St. Joseph’s and a scientist with Lawson’s Imaging program. Through his leadership, The Ting-Yim Lee Chair in Cardiac Computerized Tomography (CT) Imaging Research will transform the way clinicians diagnose, and prevent, severe tissue damage in persons who have experienced a cardiac event.

“Over the past 28 years, St. Joseph’s and Western have created opportunities for me and supported my research endeavor in many ways. I feel this gift is the best way to repay the help that I have received. We are onto something that is worthwhile and successful. By setting up this Chair, there would be a significant person – a clinician-scientist – to lead the next phase of the cardiac CT program. I am really humbled that the institutions see the value in this research and have contributed to guarantee that we have the necessary leader to carry forth this development,” says Dr. Lee. 

This Chair represents the next phase of CT imaging research, focused on developing software and new methods that will save people’s lives.

  • The Dr. Frank Prato Research Chair in Molecular Imaging has been established to further enhance scientific understanding in the specialty of molecular imaging – building upon St. Joseph’s internationally-recognized leadership in imaging excellence.
Dr. Frank PratoDr. Frank Prato (pictured right) is a scientist and professor of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Chief Medical Physicist at St. Joseph’s Health Care London and the founder and Program Leader of Lawson’s Imaging Program. Through his visionary leadership, The Dr. Frank Prato Research Chair in Molecular Imaging will improve the way clinicians effectively diagnose disease and actively correct the course of treatments in real time for life-threatening illnesses.
 
“Over the past 40 years I have been privileged to work with outstanding people and incredible resources. Today medical imaging has become a cornerstone of care at St Joseph’s Hospital. Here at St Joseph’s we realize patient stewardship includes research as an essential part of the patient care continuum and that discovery, through research, leads to improved patient care. The holder of this chair will help lead us into the next frontier of medical imaging directly benefiting our local, national and global communities,” says Dr. Prato
 
The research chair in molecular imaging represents the next phase of precision medicine using molecular imaging to distinguish between varying forms of dementias, cancers, and to detect the early onset of cardiac disease and diabetes before symptoms emerge.
 

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