Brian F. Hutton
The collective work of H. Malcolm Hudson, Brian F. Hutton, and Lawrence A. Shepp has resulted in reconstruction algorithms that propelled the success of emission tomography as a clinically feasible method for medical imaging. Dr. Shepp developed the maximum-likelihood expectation-maximization (ML-EM) algorithm in 1982, which provided improved image quality compared to Fourier-based algorithms of the time. However, its heavy computational burden was a barrier to clinical use. Profs. Hudson and Hutton were motivated to overcome the computational workload with faster image reconstruction solutions. First published in 1994, their ordered-subsets expectation-maximization (OS-EM) algorithm applied the ML-EM algorithm successively to well-chosen data blocks. This was key to bringing ML estimation into daily practice for emission tomography. The trio’s work paved the way for techniques that improve image accuracy and precision, while potentially shortening scan duration or helping to reduce the activity of tracer administered to the patient.
An IEEE Senior member, Dr. Hutton is Professor of Medical Physics in Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Science at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine at University College London, U.K. and a Professor in the Department of Medical Radiation Physics at the University of Wollongong, N.S.W., Australia. Hutton was the 2014 recipient of the IEEE Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award with Malcolm and Shepp.