Manuscripts and Special Collections

Brian Worthington

Brian Worthington was born on 9 June 1938 in Oldham, and was educated at Hulme Grammar School.  He won a scholarship to Guy's Hospital, London, from where he graduated in physiology and medicine.  After qualifying, he trained in radiology.  He worked in the London Hospital, then moved to Nottingham in 1970 as Consultant Radiologist at Nottingham General and City Hospitals, becoming a Consultant Neuroradiologist in 1971.  In 1975 he was appointed Reader in Diagnostic Radiology in the Department of Human Morphology at the University of Nottingham, and in 1981 he was promoted to Professor in Diagnostic Radiology. 


From 1974 to 1980, Worthington was involved in research with colleagues in the Physics Department at Nottingham exploring the potential of nuclear magnetic resonance as the basis of a medical imaging technique.  This technique was later named magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  From 1980 until his retirement in 1997, he conducted collaborative research which established many of the applications of MRI in the evaluation of disorders of the nervous system, musculoskeletal system and female pelvis.  He worked primarily with the research groups headed by Raymond Andrew and Bill Moore until their departure from Nottingham in the early 1980s, after which he collaborated extensively with Peter Mansfield’s group, particularly regarding research into Echo-Planar Imaging. 

Worthington was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1998.  He died on 9 December 2007.


Four black and white MRI images of horizontal cross-sections through a human brain.  This image is from the papers of Brian Worthington, held by Manuscripts and Special Collections.  Document reference PBW/12/8/10.

MRI images of the human brain (PBW/12/8/10)

Principal subject areas within the collection

Worthington’s research papers form a large part of the collection.  As a radiologist he was interested in all forms of medical imaging, so his papers relate to MRI, X-ray and CT (computed tomography) scanning, as well as image perception in general.  They include research notes, experimental results and photographs, copies of his own published papers, drafts of such papers, and papers on the clinical applications of MRI and imaging by other authors. 

The collection also contains material relating to Worthington’s membership of scientific societies, papers from conferences he attended and lectures he gave, and departmental material from his time at Nottingham.

Also included are around 500 large X-ray, CT and MRI images of the human body, together with around 9,400 35 mm slides showing MRI, CT and X-ray images, diagrams, graphs, and scanning equipment. 

The catalogue of the Brian Worthington collection is available and searchable through the Manuscripts Online Catalogue: catalogue record   

Next page: British Radiofrequency Spectroscopy Group.

Manuscripts and Special Collections

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