Amazing life story of medical pioneer
WHEN he was 15, Sir Peter Mansfield was told to forget about his dream of a career in science because he didn't have the right qualifications.
More than six decades on, the man who pioneered the development of the MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging – scanner can look back on how he proved his doubters wrong.
And today he releases a book which tells his amazing story.
The Long Road to Stockholm is Sir Peter's autobiography.
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He was due to appear at the launch event at 11am at the University of Nottingham.
The 79-year-old said: "It tells the story of my whole career, which is something I look back on with great pride."
When a young Sir Peter, who now lives in Beeston Fields, told his career adviser of his hopes, the response was he should "consider a career in something less ambitious".
But he refused to let the dream die and started evening classes while doing a full-time job at a printing firm.
This led to a place on a science course at Queen Mary College at the University of London.
He joined the University of Nottingham in 1964 and his first paper on the MRI scanner was presented in 1973.
The following year the device was used for the first time – although the only thing which could be squeezed into it was the finger of one of his students, Andrew Maudsley.
The machine was eventually produced on a bigger scale and Sir Peter offered himself as the first volunteer to put his whole body through the scanner.
Fast forward nearly 40 years and the scanners are widely used today, detecting conditions and illnesses including brain tumours, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, strokes, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease.
Meanwhile, approaching his 80th birthday, Sir Peter still has an office at the university.
He said: "The MRI scanner has been the highlight of my career. It took up a great proportion of my life's work."
Sir Peter's work led him to a Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine – the highest honour for scientific work – and he was knighted in 1993.
Speaking about his book, he added: "The title of the book has come about because to get to Stockholm would be a long walk, a long journey.
"That is how my career has been – it has been a long road to where I am now.
"I started writing the book about three years ago.
"I had about a year off because of ill health but I was able to finish it off."