RSNA 2003 > Scientific Program > Honorary Members > Honorary Members

Honorary Members

Elected by the Board of Directors upon nomination by the President, Honorary Members are persons who have distinguished themselves in medicine or allied sciences.

Nicholas C. Gourtsoyiannis, MD
Nicholas C. Gourtsoyiannis, MD
Outstanding scientist, educator, and pioneer in the diagnosis of small bowel disease, whose significant contributions have advanced radiology in Europe and around the world.

A pioneer in the diagnosis of small bowel diseases, Nicholas C. Gourtsoyiannis, MD, is currently evaluating 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."

For his outstanding contributions to the advancement of radiology in Europe, RSNA takes great pride in presenting Dr Gourtsoyiannis with an Honorary Membership.

"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."

After receiving his medical degree in 1967 from the University of Thessaloniki in Greece, Dr Gourtsoyiannis received a doctorate from the University of Athens. He completed an internship in internal medicine at the Red Cross Hospital of Athens, a radiology residency at the Evagelismos Hospital in Athens, and a fellowship at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, England.

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.

Dr Gourtsoyiannis has been awarded a gold medal from the European Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology, an Olson Medal of Sweden, and a Schinz Medal of Switzerland. He also holds honorary membership in medical societies, including the Radiological Society of Switzerland, Italian Society of Medical Radiology, British Institute of Radiology, Royal Belgian Radiological Society, Turkish Radiological Society, and Hungarian Society of Radiology.

An RSNA member since 1988, Dr Gourtsoyiannis has been active in a number of international societies. He is a founding member and past-president of the European Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology, a past-president of ECR, and will be president of the European Association of Radiology in 2004. He is also founding member and immediate past-president of the Hellenic College of Academic Radiology.

Lilian F.L.Y. Leong, M.D.
Lilian F.L.Y. Leong, M.D.
Dedicated researcher and educator, whose unwavering commitment to radiology has increased the specialty's prominence in Asia and has strengthened its relationship with radiology in North America.

Lilian F.L.Y. Leong, MD, MBA, is devoted to promoting radiology as a major component of modern healthcare in Asia. She is also committed to developing 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.

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.

"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," said RSNA President Peggy J. Fritzsche, MD. "Her unceasing labor on behalf of Chinese radiology provides a fine example for young radiologists around the world."

For these outstanding contributions, RSNA is pleased to present Dr Leong with an Honorary Membership.

"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."

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 and serves on the editorial advisory boards of the Asian Oceanian Journal of Radiology and the International Journal of Ultrasound, and on the editorial board of the International Journal of Neuroradiology. Dr Leong's research interests are ultrasound, gastrointestinal radiology, and radiology department planning.

Dr Leong is a member of a many local, national, and international medical organizations. She is president of the Asian and Oceanian Society of Radiology and vice-president of the Radiology Outreach Foundation. She has been awarded honorary membership in the Chinese Society of Radiology and the European Congress of Radiology.

She is a member of international groups, including the Association of International Academic Radiologists, Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, the International Commission of Radiological Education, the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, and the International Radiology Quality Network. She has been an RSNA member since 1985. Locally, Dr Leong belongs to the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society, and the Medical Council of Hong Kong. She is a council member for the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, founding president of the Hong Kong College of Radiologists, and the director of the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences Society.

Alois Rüttimann, M.D.
Alois Rüttimann, M.D.
Dynamic leader whose vision and determination helped improve the quality of radiologic education in Switzerland and forge a close relationship between American and European radiology.

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

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.

"Alois is a strong leader, a perfect gentleman, and a visionary, who is able to distinguish between the important and the unimportant," said RSNA president Peggy J. Fritzsche, MD.

In appreciation of his numerous contributions to research and education in diagnostic radiology, RSNA is pleased to present Dr Alois Rüttimann with an Honorary Membership.

"I have attended more than 30 RSNA Annual Meetings in Chicago," said Dr Rüttimann. "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 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.

A Swiss citizen, Dr Rüttimann studied medicine, pathology, surgery, and radiology at the University of Zurich and University Hospital of Zurich. He completed a residency at the University Hospital of Stockholm. He studied pulmonary disease at Davos in Switzerland.

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 program.

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, Dr Rüttimann established a multistage radiology board exam. He extensively studied the format of the American boards and developed the Swiss radiology boards in the late 1970s. These were the first specialty boards in Swiss medicine. Although examinations at that time were voluntary, Dr Rüttimann and his colleagues at the universities realized the political implications of such an exam and required residents to sit for the exam to become staff members.

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 has published about 40 peer-reviewed articles. Dr Rüttimann initiated and organized the First International Congress on Lymphology in Zurich.

An internationally respected researcher, Dr Rüttimann is the founder of the International Society of Lymphology, and has been a member of RSNA since 1975. He is also a member of radiologic organizations, including American College of Radiology, Brazilian Society of Radiology, Swiss Society of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, and the Royal Swedish Society of Radiology. He has been awarded the highest honors of the European Society of Radiology and the Czech Radiological Society.

Jacob Valk, M.D., Ph.D.
Jacob Valk, MD, PhD
Internationally acclaimed researcher, lecturer, and author, whose vast body of scientific writings has increased our understanding of neurology, psychiatry, and neuroradiology.

Jacob Valk, MD, PhD, has earned admiration from peers around the world for his vast body of scientific writings dating back to 1963.

"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 such as white matter disease of the brain," said RSNA President Peggy J. Fritzsche, MD. "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."

Dr Valk's research is especially directed at pediatric neuroimaging, inborn errors of metabolism, toxic encephalopathies, and white matter disorders in dementia. For his outstanding contribution to neuroimaging, RSNA is honored to present Dr Valk with an Honorary Membership.

"The RSNA meeting has been of such importance to me that I have only missed two meetings in nearly 30 years," said Dr Valk. "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."

Dr Valk received his training in neurology and psychiatry from the Valeriusclinic Amsterdam, and the Psychiatric Hospital in Wolfheze. He earned his doctorate in 1971 from the University of Amsterdam. He then began his training in radiotherapy at the Academic Medical Centre and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, and in diagnostic radiology at the Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre and Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam.

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 is also the author of 16 books, including Computed Tomography of Cerebral Infarctions, Basic Principles of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Magnetic Resonance of Head, Neck and Spine, Spine, and recently, 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. He has served on several editorial boards, including Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography, Neurology, and European Radiology.

Dr Valk has presented invited lectures at medical meetings around the world. He is an honorary member and founder of the International Academy of Research in Learning Disabilities, Dutch Society of Radiology, Belgian Society of Radiology, Turkish Society of Neuroradiology, as well as a co-founder of the Collège d' Enseignement Postuniversitaire de Radiologie. He has received top honors from the Dutch Society of Radiology and the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

A member of RSNA since 1984, Dr Valk is also a member of many other radiologic societies, including American Society of Neuroradiology, American Society of Pediatric Neuroradiology, European Society of Neuroradiology, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Neuropediatrics, and European Congress of Radiology.