Addenbrooke’s doctor awarded Hunterian medal for new imaging techniques to help patients at risk of stroke, heart attack and poor circulation

12 December 2019
An Addenbrooke’s clinical lecturer has been awarded the prestigious Hunterian Professorship and Hunterian medal for his long-standing contribution to developing life- saving imaging techniques used in MRI scanners.

Professor Umar Sadat, a vascular surgeon and clinical research scientist for Cambridge University Hospitals and the University of CambridgeProfessor Umar Sadat, a vascular surgeon and clinical research scientist for Cambridge University Hospitals and the University of Cambridge, has been given the highest honour by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

The award was made in recognition of his development of special techniques using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that can identify atherosclerotic – or fatty plaque – in arteries.

The build-up of this plaque can dangerously narrow arteries and cause life-threatening diseases, putting patients at risk of heart attack, stroke and poor circulation.

The high level of detail provided by the MRI scans using Prof Sadat’s techniques can help consultants prioritise those patients most at risk and provide them with targeted treatments, such as statins and newer anti-atherosclerotic therapies.

Prof Sadat said: “I am delighted to have been awarded this honour which is unique in terms of Hunterian Professorship in that it recognises the huge collaborative effort that took place.

“Over many years my research has uniquely brought together the diverse fields of cardiovascular medicine, the physics of magnetic resonance imaging, radiology, bio- engineering and vascular surgery to develop this technique.

“Thanks to the invaluable help of physicists, bioengineers, radiologists, vascular specialists, surgeons and physicians based on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus we hope to be able to improve health outcomes, and potentially save the lives of many thousands of people.”

Dr Sadat received his award from the vice-president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Professor Cliff Shearman at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Vascular Society in November.

During the ceremony he also delivered the famous Hunterian lecture. Hunterian Professorships have a long history dating back to 1810, and have been awarded to some of the world’s most famous scientists and surgeons, including Sir Alexander Fleming for his discovery of penicillin, former Addenbrooke’s surgeon, Sir Roy Calne, for his pioneering transplant procedures and Lord Ara Darzi for his health reforms and contributions to scientific innovations.