Ukr.Biochem.J. 2022; Volume 94, Issue 6, Nov-Dec, pp. 67-73


Discovery of magnetic resonance imaging: Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2003

V. M. Danilova*, M. V. Grigorieva, S. V. Komisarenko

Palladin Institute of Biochemistry, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv;

Received: 28 November 2022; Revised: 25 January 2023;
Accepted: 17 February 2023; Available on-line: 27 February 2023

The 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to two researchers, Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield, for their discovery of magnetic resonance imaging. This discovery enabled the creation of two-dimensional images of structures that could not be visualized by other methods. Paul Lauterbur found a way to generate two-dimensional images using magnetic field gradients. By analyzing­ the characteristics of the emitted radio waves, he could determine their origin. Peter Mansfield further developed the use of magnetic field gradients and demonstrated how the signals could be mathematically analyzed, which allowed the development of new effective imaging equipment. In modern medicine, magnetic resonance imaging is of great importance in diagnosing and finding the best treatment for many diseases.

Keywords: , , ,


  1. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2003 – Press release.
  2. Lauterbur PC. Image Formation by Induced Local Interactions: Examples Employing Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. Nature. 1973;242(5394):190-191. CrossRef
  3. Regime of access :
  4. Lauterbur PC. Biographical. Regime of access :
  5. Lauterbur PC. All science is interdisciplinary – from magnetic moments to molecules to men. Nobel Lecture, December 8, 2003. Regime of access :
  6. Mansfield P, Morris P, Gadlan E, Henkelman RM. NMR Imaging in Biomedicine and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Its Applications to Living Systems. Physics Today. 1983;36(2):77. CrossRef
  7. Filler A. The History, Development and Impact of Computed Imaging in Neurological Diagnosis and Neurosurgery: CT, MRI, and DTI. Nat Prec. 2009. CrossRef
  8. Lauterbur PC. Cancer detection by nuclear magnetic resonance zeugmatographic imaging. Cancer. 1986;57(10):1899-1904. PubMed, CrossRef
  9. Chang enneth (March 28, 2007). “Paul Lauterbur, MRI pioneer and Nobel Laureate, dies”. International Herald Tribune (now New York Times International Edition).
  10. Danylova TV, Komisarenko SV. Born in Ukraine: Nobel prize Winners Ilya Mechnikov, Selman Waksman, Roald Hoffmann AND Georges Charpak. Ukr Biochem J. 2019;91(3):127-137. CrossRef
  11. Regime of access :
  12. Regime of access :
  13. Regime of access :
  14. Regime of access :
  15. Mansfield P. The log road to Stockholm: The story of MRI. An autobiography. 2013. 217 p.
  16. Mansfield Peter (2003). “Peter Mansfield: Autobiography”. Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  17. Morris PG. Sir Peter Mansfield. 9 October 1933—8 February 2017. Biogr Mem Fellows R Soc. 2021;70:313–334. CrossRef
  18. Sir Peter Mansfield obituary. The Guardian. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  19. Wang S, Zhao Y, Xu Y. Recent advances in applications of multimodal ultrasound-guided photoacoustic imaging technology. Vis Comput Ind Biomed Art. 2020;3(1):24. PubMed, PubMedCentral, CrossRef
  20. MRI pioneer and Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield dies. 9 February 2017.
  21. Damadian R. Tumor detection by nuclear magnetic resonance. Science. 1971;171(3976):1151-1153. PubMed, CrossRef
  22. U.S. Patent 3,789,832. Apparatus and method for detecting cancer in tissue. Regime of access :
  23. Raymond Damadian. National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Regime of access :
  24. MRI’s inside story. The Economist. 2003-12-04.
  25. Judson Horace. (2003-10-20). No Nobel Prize for Whining. New York Times.
  26. Wade Nicholas (2003-10-11). Doctor Disputes Winners of Nobel in Medicine. New York Times.
  27. Damadian R. Regime of access :
  28. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2003. Regime of access :

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.