|CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICISTS||ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE DES PHYSICIENS ET PHYSICIENNES||CANADIAN ORGANIZATION OF MEDICAL PHYSICISTS||ORGANIZATION CANADIENNE DES
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JOHN R. CUNNINGHAM
"It is, of course, a great personal honour for me to receive the Kirkby Medal, but as an Applied Physicist working in the field of Medicine, it is special and I must conclude that it lends honour to that very worthy branch of Physics as well."
Ottawa, March 21st, 2002 - The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP) are pleased to announce that the 2002 CAP/COMP Memorial Peter Kirkby Medal for Outstanding Service to Canadian Physics is being awarded to Dr. John R. Cunningham, Camrose, Alberta, for his major contributions to the field of medical radiation physics.
Dr. Cunningham is recognized for his major contributions to the field of medical radiation physics. His work impacted the accuracy and the quality of radiation dose distributions used to treat cancer patients throughout the world. The "Cunningham algorithms" also sparked a new Canadian software industry which continues to grow today, with exports to over 50 countries.
Working with the late Dr. Harold E. Johns at the Ontario Cancer Institute, he co-authored the classic textbook "The Physics of Radiology" - a book that is found on numerous bookshelves and medical libraries around the globe. Non-physicists prefer this book because it introduces radiological physics concepts very clearly with ample numerical examples. This book and the teaching of its material has inspired a generation of physics students and allied health professionals.
"Jack" has been a supporter of the medical physics profession in Canada "by example", and he is one of the founding fathers of the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine. He has been a member of many international committees, and served as President of the International Organization of Medical Physicists. Before and during his term, he helped communities in developing countries establish key medical physics services, providing training resources to the local physicists. He has been, and continues to be, an excellent ambassador of Canadian physics on the world stage.
Recently, "Jack" was a distinguished guest of honor at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the world's first Cobalt-60 treatment of cancer in London, Ontario. He spoke about the early days of the medical and nuclear industries in Canada. He is indeed an unofficial historian for our field and a very effective communicator for all types of audiences.
Now in his retirement years and living in Camrose, Alberta, he participates in a graduate course in medical radiation physics at the University of Alberta. He and his spouse Sheila have a passion for historical details, and they have traced their remarkable genealogical roots wherever their travels have taken them.
In 1950, Dr. Cunningham received his BSc in Engineering Physics at the University of Saskatchewan where, in 1951, he completed his Master of Science in Radiation Physics. From 1953 to 1955, he studied at the University of Toronto where he obtained his PhD in Physics.
The Peter Kirkby Memorial Medal was introduced in 1996 and is awarded bi-annually. The 2002 Medal will be presented to Dr. Cunningham during the CAP's awards banquet to be held at the Quebec Convention Centre on June 4th, 2002.
The Canadian Association of Physicists, founded in 1945, is a professional association representing over 1600 individual physicists and physics students in Canada, the U.S. and overseas, as well as a number of Corporate and Departmental Members. In addition to its learned activities, the CAP also undertakes a number of activities intended to encourage students to pursue a career in physics.
The Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists is a scientific and professional organization composed of 350 medical physicists and graduate students working in the areas of medical imaging, cancer therapy, and medical biophysics, plus Corporate Members who are involved in these areas. The COMP also has a close relationship with the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine (CCPM), which is the national certification body in Canada for clinical competence in physics applied to medicine.
For more information, please contact:
Canadian Association of Physicists
Tel: (613) 562-5614
Fax: (613) 562-5615
Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists
Tel: (613) 599-3491
Fax: (613) 599-1949
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