Dr Francis Hasford, a Ghanaian Medical Physicist, has been adjudged the winner of the 2016 International Union of Pure and Applied Physics’ (IUPAP) Young Scientist of the Year in the field of Medical Physics.

Dr Hasford, who is a Senior Research Scientist with the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), becomes the first ever African to win this prestigious prize, which is awarded to the best performing young scientist in the world below the age of 40 years in a particular field of pure or applied physics.

Prof Slavik Tabakov, the President of the International Organisation for Medical Physics (IOMP), at the award presentation, which took place at the Headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria, expressed his joy about the development of Medical Physics in Africa.

A statement by the Ghana Society for Medical Physics, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said Dr Hasford has earned several credentials including his role as a Lecturer and Head of the Medical Physics Department of the School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana, and the Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Society for Medical Physics.

He was also the Chairman for the Education and Training Committee of the Federation of African Medical Physics Organizations (FAMPO), and Ghana’s Coordinator for the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Project RAF 6044 (Medical Physics in Support of Cancer Management).

In 2016, he served as a visiting lecturer on behalf of the IAEA for the Medical Physics Masters Programme at the National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

The statement said Dr Hasford, obtained his Masters and PhD degrees in Medical Physics from the University of Ghana in 2006 and 2015 respectively, but his PhD thesis titled “Ultrasound and PET-CT Image Fusion for Prostate Brachytherapy Image Guidance,” was undertaken through an IAEA Sandwich Fellowship programme between the University of Ghana and the University of Witwatersrand, in South Africa.

His research was supervised by Professor John Amuasi, Professor Kwame Kyere and Professor Willy Vangu, who are all great scientists, and the outcome of which has since been presented at national and international conferences, where it was even adjudged as the best poster presentation at the Maiden University of Ghana Doctoral Conference in November 2015.

His research interest covers medical imaging in support of cancer treatment, and has over thirty peer reviewed research articles to his credit as well as supervised more than twenty Masters Research theses in the last five years.

The statement said Dr Hasford thanked the IUPAP and the IOMP for the honour, and dedicated the award to all young Medical Physicists in Africa.

He urged his colleague Medical Physics professionals to be motivated by the award and to be strongly committed to the development of the profession on the continent.

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