Since founding the Lawson Imaging Research Program in the 1980s Frank Prato has led the introduction of a number of new imaging technologies here in London. For example in 1982 his laboratory produced the first human MRI in Canada. Since 2002 Frank has focused on the introduction of new molecular imaging methods including the establishment of advanced positron emission tomography (PET) facilities in combination with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In 2012 the Lawson Imaging Research team installed Canada’s first human hybrid PET/MRI at Lawson’s St. Joseph’s Hospital site. Currently Frank is involved in the PET/MRI imaging of neuro-degenerative diseases caused by dementia and mental illness as well as in the study of cardiac diseases that lead to heart failure. Frank’s focus is to improve early diagnosis of disease to limit disability caused by chronic disease/conditions. Frank’s program is located within the hospital/patient environment as Imaging research is an essential part of the patient care continuum.

Scientific Record

  • 5963 life time citations, h-index = 45 (Scopus)

  • 10,483 life time citations, h-index = 58 (Google Scholar)

  • 300+ peer-reviewed publications (222 papers)

  • 700+ conference abstracts

  • 184 invited presentations

  • 65 graduate students and PDFs

  • 12 patents and 4 spin-off companies

Professional and Academic Experience

2018 FCAHS - Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences - internationally recognized leadership, academic performance, scientific creativity and willingness to serve
2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, Department of Medical Imaging, Western University, London
2018 Annual Award for Academic Excellence in Research, Department of Medical Imaging, Western University, London
2017 FURSI - Fellowship (Union Radio Scientifique Internationale) - honouring members dedication to URSI and stimulating and coordinating research and data exchange in radio science
2014  Scientist Career Award – Lawson Impact Awards, May 1, 2014 – recognizing a lifetime of excellence and relevance in research at Lawson
2013 FCOMP Award – (Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists) – recognizing a member who has made significant contribution to the field of medical physics and COMP, Montreal, Quebec, September 20, 2013
2013 The d’Arsonval Award - presented by the BEMS Society to recognize extraordinary accomplishment within the discipline of bioelectromagnetics, Thessaloniki, Greece, June 14, 2013
2007 Assistant Scientific Director, Lawson Health Research Institute
2001 Imaging Program Leader, Lawson Health Research Institute
2001 Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute
1999-2007  Inaugural Chair, Division of Imaging Sciences, Dept. of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, UWO
1992 Professor, Dept. of Medical Imaging, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, UWO
1992 Professor, Dept. of Medical Biophysics, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, UWO
1991  Fellow of the American Board of Medical Physicists (ABMP)
1982  Fellow of the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine (FCCPM)


BioMedical Physicist

Administrative Support

Shelagh Ross 519-646-6100 Ext. 64143


Research Group

Research Interest Area 

Cardiovascular and vascular health
Inflammation and inflammatory disease

Research Overview

Over the last 30 years I have founded a research imaging program at Lawson that currently includes 23 Ph.Ds. and 7 MDs. The focus it to provide leading edge medical imaging technology to the patients of Southwestern Ontario, to citywide researchers and to foster what is needed for clinical trials. We have had a rich history including: first MRI in Canada (1982), first perfusion CT in the world (2000), first PET/CT in Canada (2002), first PET/MRI in Canada (2012).

In the last decade we have introduced PET technology to London including a medical cyclotron and radiochemistry facility that supplies Health Canada approved products to London, Toronto and Windsor. We are a hospital based research program and as such we have a stewardship responsibility to our patients to provide the best medical imaging facilities to guide their treatment and when they reach the limits of proven treatment methods they have the option to enroll in clinical trials that explore new treatment approaches.



Hybrid PET/MRI, Probe Development, Heart Failure