Johannes Lammer wins CIRSE Gold Medal for 2009


Johannes Lammer was awarded the CIRSE gold medal at the opening ceremony on September 19, 2009, Lisbon, Portugal. “I am truly honoured to receive this medal from CIRSE,” said Lammer in his acceptance speech.

Lammer was born in Vienna, Austria and fittingly for a radiologist, the most image-based of all specialisations, originally wanted to be a filmmaker. He told Interventional News, “The decision to go into medical school came about because in the summer I finished high school, the Austrian Government decided that those who were going to medical school did not have to join the Army. I thought medical school was therefore, a good option.”

In the early Eighties, Lammer left for the US to learn about CT imaging.” It was the early times of CT, and it was said that the hospital of the University of Philadelphia had a very new CT scanner,” he recalled. However, when I arrived, this new CT machine was not there. So I was simply hanging around , observing barium studies. Then one day I met Ernest Ring, an interventional radiologist who saw that I was attracted to the specialty, and I learnt a lot from his training. So I came back from the US, not a CT expert, but an interventional radiologist,” he said.

Since 1992, Johannes Lammer has been heading the department of angiography, now Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology in Vienna University Hospital and has been actively committed to furthering the cause of interventional radiology.

Both Anne Roberts and Anthony (“Tony”) A Nicholson were named as distinguished fellows of CIRSE at the opening ceremony.

Roberts was born in Boston Massachusetts, but grew up in Pasadena, California, near Los Angeles. After first studying history, education and doing a Master’s degree in the history of South Asia at UCLA, she decided to take up a career in medicine. A web profile of Roberts says that she believes that many procedures which used to require a surgical approach can now be done with “needles, wires and small plastic tubes” which are the basis of interventional radiology.

She is currently the Chief of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at the UCSD Thornton Hospital.

“I was absolutely thrilled to be named as a Distinguished Fellow of CIRSE. Especially as an American, and an American woman, to be so honoured was fantastic. Many of the previous fellows are heroes of mine, and to be in their company is truly a wonderful honour. I am very grateful to CIRSE for this tribute,” she told Interventional News.

Tony Nicholson was born in Liverpool. After studying biochemistry and microbiology, he did a Master ‘s degree in Cambridge. It was during this period that he decided on a career in medicine. In 1978 he entered Sheffield Medical School to study medicine from where he graduated MB ChB to obtain posts in medicine and surgery to registrar level at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals where he discovered interventional radiology.

He was much influenced here by the interventionalists of the time like David Cumberland, David Allison and Mike Collins and decided to become an interventional radiologist.

“I was very proud to receive this honour from a professional society like CIRSE whose membership I so respect”.

Nicholson is currently a consultant vascular and interventional radiologist at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS trust.

The 2009 Gruentzig lecturer was Riccardo Lencioni, Pisa, Italy and the Roesch lecturer was Michael D Dake, California, USA.