Lawson Health researcher honoured for achievements
October 4, 2023
LONDON, Ont. – An exceptional career of innovation, influence and leadership has won St. Joseph’s Health Care London physicist Ting-Yim Lee (pictured) the inaugural Career Achievement Award presented by WORLDiscoveries. Ting-Yim, director of PET/CT Research at Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) and medical physicist at St. Joseph’s Hospital, is being recognized for the significance of his work in the field of medical imaging and outstanding success in turning innovative ideas into tangible products and services.
Each year, WORLDiscoveries, the technology transfer and business development office for Western University, Lawson, and Robarts Research Institute, hosts the Vanguard Awards. These prestigious awards honour the community’s brightest minds, visionary entrepreneurs, and the exceptional achievements they have made in technology and research. By partnering with WORLDiscoveries, recipients of the Vanguard Awards have reached significant market-readiness milestones, propelling their ideas toward real-world impact. All recipients have made remarkable strides in their respective fields, shaping the future of innovation.
Ting-Yim pioneered use of advanced methods to analyze medical images from machines like CT, MRI and PET to gather important information about diseases. Over the years, he has published 290 research papers, which have been cited nearly 19,000 times – an indication of their impact in the medical community.
His work initially focused on using dynamic CT scans to study blood flow in stroke and cancer patients and to address challenges related to imaging the heart. With dynamic CT scans, images are taken continuously as change in vessels, organs and other structures is happening. The effect is similar to a real-time video. Ting-Yim also played a role in developing guidelines for using these scans to study the growth of new blood vessels that nourish the proliferation of cancer cells.
More recently, Ting-Yim shifted his focus to PET scans to examine biological processes in the body, demonstrating their effectiveness in detecting prostate cancer in a short, 22-minute scan. One of his notable contributions was the development of CT Perfusion software, which played a crucial role in a U.S. nation-wide ovarian cancer trial involving more than 20 medical centres. This software proved valuable as an early biomarker for assessing treatment response.
In addition to research, this world-renowned researcher has obtained eight patents and has licensed five enhanced versions of the CT Perfusion software to GE HealthCare, making it easier for clinicians to apply his techniques in real-world hospital settings.
Dedicated to creating the next generation of scientists, Ting-Yim has mentored and trained 70 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, clinicians and research associates, many of them going on to earn prestigious research awards themselves.
“I am grateful for the support received over the decades from colleagues and trainees,” says Ting Yim. “Without them, the work cannot be done. This award is not just for myself but for all collaborators and contributors on this journey.”
In presenting the award, WORLDiscoveries says Ting-Yim’s work has transformed industries, inspired countless individuals within the field to pursue innovation and entrepreneurship, and has left a lasting impact on society at large.
St. Joseph’s congratulates this remarkable and dedicated scientist on this prestigious and well-deserved award.