RSNA Press Release

The Radiological Society of North America Names Honorary Members

Released: December 1, 2003

Media Contacts:

Heather Babiar or Maureen Morley (630) 590-7762

Heather Babiar
(630) 590-7738
Maureen Morley
(630) 590-7754

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2003 — The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) today named four physicians as honorary members for their outstanding achievements in the field of radiology — Nicholas C. Gourtsoyiannis, M.D., Iraklion, Crete, Greece; Lilian F.L.Y. Leong, M.D., M.B.A., Hong Kong, China; Alois Rüttimann, M.D., Zurich, Switzerland; and Jacob Valk, M.D., Ph.D., Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Honorary membership in RSNA is awarded to individuals who have shown exceptional dedication to the field of radiology or have distinguished themselves in other fields of medicine or related sciences.

Nicholas C. Gourtsoyiannis, M.D.

A pioneer in the diagnosis of small bowel diseases, Dr. Gourtsoyiannis is currently evaluating magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the small bowel. His research and commitment to the radiologic-pathologic correlation led to the introduction of that concept in Europe at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR).

"Nick faces challenges with bold vision and determination," said RSNA President Peggy J. Fritzsche, M.D. "These characteristics contributed to the success of the first completely electronic scientific exhibit and poster display at ECR 2003. He is an enthusiastic and skilled teacher, and is one of the world's leaders in abdominal radiology."

"The RSNA meeting is the gold standard against which all radiological meetings are compared, both from the scientific and the organizational point of view," Dr. Gourtsoyiannis said. "As the immediate past-president and current chairman of the ECR Board, I have been inspired by the achievements of our American sister society when trying to think of ways to improve the European meeting. Therefore, I value enormously the award of Honorary Membership of the RSNA, which has made an unsurpassed contribution to the education of countless radiologists around the world."

Dr. Gourtsoyiannis spent 12 years in the Radiology Department at the Hellenic Air Forces Hospital in Athens, later becoming professor and chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of Crete. He is currently the dean of the Medical School at the University of Crete.

An active researcher and author, Dr. Gourtsoyiannis has published more than 230 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has written or coauthored 18 book chapters and is the editor or co-editor of three international books. Dr. Gourtsoyiannis has been a visiting professor at 19 universities worldwide and has given more than 100 invited lectures at international meetings in 23 countries.

Dr. Gourtsoyiannis currently serves as a section editor of European Radiology. He is a member of several editorial or advisory boards and is a reviewer for several national and international scientific journals on medical imaging and gastrointestinal diseases.

An RSNA member since 1988, Dr. Gourtsoyiannis has been active in a number of international societies and has received numerous awards.

Lilian F.L.Y. Leong, M.D., M.B.A.

Devoted to promoting radiology as a major component of modern healthcare in Asia, Dr. Leong is also committed to increasing radiology's professional status in Hong Kong to a level equal with other developed nations. As a result, she has assumed a leadership role in building international and domestic relationships to promote radiology.

"Lilian Leong, a petite whirlwind of energy, has been a central leader in radiology for Hong Kong and, in fact, a wide area of Asia," Dr. Fritzsche said. "Her unceasing labor on behalf of Chinese radiology provides a fine example for young radiologists around the world."

"This Honorary Membership is not just an honor to myself, it is an honor to radiology in Asia," said Dr. Leong. "It also signifies the further solidification of radiology in North America and Asia Oceania. I look forward to closer cooperation for the betterment of radiology service and education in the world."

One of the cornerstones of Dr. Leong's achievements was the adoption of Hong Kong as an independent member of the International Congress of Radiology.

Dr. Leong received her medical degree from the University of Hong Kong in 1971. She then moved to London where she received a diploma in radiodiagnosis and obtained a fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists. After her training, Dr. Leong returned to her native Hong Kong and began her career in the medical and health department of the Hong Kong Government's Institute of Radiology and Oncology. She is a consultant radiologist in the Department of Radiology at Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong. She is also an honorary clinical associate professor of the University of Hong Kong.

A well-respected researcher and educator, Dr. Leong has presented more than 100 invited lectures and presentations. She is the author or coauthor of more than 50 publications. She is a member of many local, national and international medical organizations. She is the founding president of the Hong Kong College of Radiologists, the president of the Asian and Oceanian Society of Radiology and vice-president of the Radiology Outreach Foundation.

She has been an RSNA member since 1985 and has earned a number of prestigious awards.

Alois Rüttimann, M.D.

A champion of European radiologic education, Dr. Rüttimann founded the highly acclaimed International Diagnostic Course in Davos, Switzerland, and designed the Swiss radiology boards.

"Alois is a strong leader, a perfect gentleman, and a visionary, who is able to distinguish between the important and the unimportant," Dr. Fritzsche said.

"I have attended more than 30 RSNA Annual Meetings in Chicago," Dr. Rüttimann said. "From these meetings, I not only learned about radiology, but I also heard the best speakers. Consequently, they were invited as faculty members to the International Diagnostic Course in Davos. I am very grateful for this opportunity and the valuable time that I spent at the RSNA meetings."

Dr. Rüttimann's vision and leadership compelled him to improve the quality and image of Swiss radiology. He worked to improve teaching and to set standards of qualifications by introducing radiology boards in Switzerland.

Dr. Rüttimann was a professor of radiology at the University of Zurich and head of the Department of Radiodiagnostics at the City Hospital Triernli in Zurich. He retired 16 years ago.

Intrigued by the American style of teaching, Dr. Rüttimann introduced the annual International Diagnostic Course in Davos in 1968, which started a new way of teaching in Europe. The special teaching format, which offers group seminars and direct interaction with the teachers, has been highly successful. Many departments use the International Diagnostic Course in Davos as a part of their residency programs.

Dr. Rüttimann installed an annual teaching course featuring the most prestigious international teachers. Through this course, Dr. Rüttimann helped forge a close relationship between American and European radiology. Additionally, he established a multistage radiology board exam. Radiology was the first medical specialty in Switzerland with obligatory board exams. This pioneering achievement by Dr. Rüttimann has helped to significantly enhance the quality of radiologic care.

Dr. Rüttimann has authored or coauthored five radiology textbooks. He is the founder of the International Society of Lymphology and has been a member of RSNA since 1975. He is also a member of several other radiologic organizations and has earned high honors from several societies.

Jacob Valk, M.D., Ph.D.

Earning admiration from peers around the world for his vast body of scientific writings dating back to 1963, the research of Dr. Valk is especially directed at pediatric neuroimaging, inborn errors of metabolism, toxic encephalopathies and white matter disorders in dementia.

"Jaap Valk has excelled in the fields of neurology, psychiatry and neuroradiology. He published a medical book every year during the middle of his career. His writings include seminal concepts on such topics as white matter disease of the brain," Dr. Fritzsche said. "He is a Renaissance man, publishing in both the arts and sciences. He is a talented pianist who has entertained many of us with his regalia of show tunes and classical pieces. He is still actively contributing, as a writer and teacher."

"The RSNA meeting has been of such importance to me that I have only missed two meetings in nearly 30 years," Dr. Valk said. "RSNA is recognized worldwide as the most important radiologic meeting offering radiologists the opportunity to learn about the newest developments in the profession and to refresh their knowledge and skills. The meeting helps to maintain the highest quality standards possible. I am very proud and deeply honored by being awarded the Honorary Membership of the RSNA."

For nearly 20 years, Dr. Valk worked as a professor of radiology and neuroradiology, and head of the Departments of Radiology and Neuroradiology at Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre. He now works as a neuroradiologist at the MRI Center in Amsterdam.

A prolific writer, Dr. Valk is the author or coauthor of more than 220 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He also authored 16 books, including Computed Tomography of Cerebral Infarctions; Basic Principles of Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Magnetic Resonance of Head, Neck and Spine; Spine; and Magnetic Resonance of Dementia. He is coauthor of Magnetic Resonance of Myelin, Myelination and Myelin Disorders, which is considered a standard text in the field.

A member of RSNA since 1984, Dr. Valk is also a member of many other radiologic societies and has earned several awards.

RSNA is an association of more than 35,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists and related scientists committed to promoting excellence in radiology through education and by fostering research, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill.

Nicholas C. Gourtsoyiannis, M.D. Lilian F.L.Y. Leong, M.D., M.B.A. Alois Rüttimann, M.D. Jacob Valk, M.D., Ph.D.

Nicholas C. Gourtsoyiannis, M.D.

Lilian F.L.Y. Leong, M.D., M.B.A.

Alois Rüttimann, M.D.

Jacob Valk, M.D., Ph.D.

# # #