Professor Nicholas Spyrou
Emeritus Professor of Medical Physics
Phone: Work: 01483 68 6802
Room no: 17 BC 04
NICHOLAS SPYROU did his postgraduate degrees and research in neutron and reactor physics at Imperial College and was research associate to the Professor of Nuclear Power there. He joined the University of Surrey as a lecturer in 1969 and began to develop very rapid methods of analysis based on nuclear reactions using short-lived nuclides for the determination of trace element concentrations and their distributions in biomedical, environmental and industrial samples. This led to an interest in imaging, particularly the fundamental aspects of reconstructive tomography and its applications to the medical field and the nuclear industry. He is co-author of the book on ‘‘Imaging with Ionising Radiations’’. He pioneered neutron induced gamma-ray emission tomography at Surrey in the mid-eighties. He also established fields of research in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and PET-CT, neutron detection and dosimetry, the design and shielding for high energy medical linear accelerators, neutron activation and proton induced X-ray emission analyses, biodielectrics and electrical impedance measurements in gastroenterology. Major research projects undertaken were in Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes and the impact of environmental pollutants on health. He was awarded an Honorary MD in 1988 for his research on ‘Trace Elements in Health and Disease’.
He is a member of various International Committees and is an Executive Member of the Biology and Medicine Division of the American Nuclear Society. He also serves on the NHS Knowledge Network Group on Science and Technology under one of the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisors and has a particular brief in PET, cyclotron and radiotherapy facilities. In 2005 he was the 21st recipient of the prestigious Hevesy Medal, since its inception in 1962, for ‘his outstanding contribution to the field of nuclear analytical methods and radiochemistry applications’; the second British scientist to be thus honoured since 1962. He is Emeritus Professor since January 2008.
Professor Spyrou has initiated a large number of research projects and developed a variety of novel methods using ionising and non ionising radiation probes in order to study elemental composition of and distribution in materials and in particular the structure and function of biological systems.
He has pioneered the method termed neutron induced gamma-ray emission tomography and established rapid radioanalytical techniques for determination of trace element concentrations in a variety of samples, environmental, biomedical and industrial.
Research projects include the localisation and binding sites of elements in cells; the dielectric properties of tissues using in vivo probes for applications to gastric motility and in physiological mechanisms modulating fat induced satiety; the measurement of cerebral glucose metabolism in Alzheimer's and other diseases using positron emission tomography (PET).
More recent research has focused on the development of micro-PIXE tomography, in studies of three-photon positron annihilation for hypoxia imaging and in a Department of Health investigation of ‘Radiotherapy Capacity and the Built Environment’ where he leads a multi-disciplinary team. He was Course Director of the MSc in Medical Physics for 30 years since 1978 and Director of the BSc Course in Physics with Medical Physics since its launch in the late eighties. He has supervised over 90 research students to their PhD degrees and more than 370 MSc students in their dissertations for the MSc degrees in Radiation and Environmental Protection and in Medical Physics. He collaborates with a very large number of universities , hospitals and other research institutions, here and abroad. He has published over 280 papers and has presented almost as many at international conferences including 28 plenary lectures.
- Radioactivity Group, Quality of Life Division, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington.
- Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
- Siemens Molecular Imaging, Knoxville.
- Departmentof Epidemiology, University of Wales, Cardiff.
- Nuclear Department HMS Sultan, Gosport.
- Argonne National Laboratry.
- Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals, King's College, London.
- Imanet Solutions, GE Healthcare, Hammersmith Hospital, London.
- Clatterbridge Cyclotron Centre, Wirral.
- Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton.
- Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, Fulham Road, London.
- Wingate Institute of Gastroenterology, Bart's and the Royal London Hospitals Medical School, Queen Mary College.
- Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
- Erigal Limited Cyclotrons for PET, Keele.
- Alliance Medical Limited, London and Upton Oxon.
- Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford.
- International Atomic Agency, Vienna.
- National Institute of Science and Technology, Gaitthersburg.
- Medical Physics Department, University of Jordan.
- Obninsk Nuclear Centre.
- Nuclear Physics Institute, Rez, Prague.
- Inter-universities Reactor Research Centre, Delft.
 Spyrou NM. Radioanalytical and imaging techniques:Challenges and opportunities in biomedical applications. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2008;278.
 Mohammed NK, Mizera J, Spyrou NM. Elemental contents in hair of children from Zanzibar in Tanzania as bio-indicator of their nutritional status. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2008;276:125.
 Marouli M, Dean J, Spyrou NM. Early stages in the development of a UK primary standard for positron emitters in gas. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2008;277:261.
 Ma A, Awotwi-Pratt J, Alghamdi A, Alfuraih A, Spyrou NM. Monte Carlo study of photoneutron production in the Varian Clinac 2100C linac. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2008;276:119.
 Chin MPW, Spyrou NM. Non-convergence of Geant4 hadronic models for 10 and 30 MeV protons in 18O and 14N. Appl. Radiat. Isot. 2008:in press.
 Chin MPW, Spyrou NM. EGSnrc and GEANT4 simulation of electron nanosteps in gold. Trans. Am. Nucl. Soc., 2008.
 Alzimami KS, Spyrou NM, Sassi SA. Investigation of LaBr3 : Ce and LaCl3 : Ce scintillators for SPECT imaging. 2008 IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: from Nano to Macro, Vols 1-4 2008:1243.
 Spyrou NM. The 11th International Conference on Modern Trends in Activation Analysis - Foreword. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2007;271:5.
 Mlwilo NA, Mohammed NK, Spyrou NM. Radioactivity levels of staple foodstuffs and dose estimates for most of the Tanzanian population. Journal of Radiological Protection 2007;27:471.
 Marouli M, Dean J, Spyrou NM. Feasibility of using proportional gas counters as a primary standard for positron emitters in gas. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section a-Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment 2007;580:660.
 Lewis DV, Spyrou NM, Williams AM, Beeley PA. Lithium-gadolinium-borate as a neutron dosemeter. Radiation Protection Dosimetry 2007;126:390.
 Chin PW, Spyrou NM. Monte Carlo investigation of positron annihilation in medical positron emission tomography. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section a-Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment 2007;580:481.
 Beasley D, Spyrou NM. 3D quantitative elemental mapping using simultaneous proton induced X-ray emission tomography and scanning transmission ion microscopy tomography. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section B-Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 2007;264:323.
 Awotwi-Pratt JB, Spyrou NM. Measurement of photoneutrons in the output of 15 MV varian clinac 2100C LINAC using bubble detectors. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2007;271:679.
 Alsager AA, Spyrou NM. Evaluation of image performance of CZT detector for digital mammography: Monte Carlo simulation. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section a-Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment 2007;580:462.
 Alnafea M, Wells K, Spyrou NM, Guy M. Preliminary Monte Carlo study of coded aperture imaging with a CZT gamma camera system for scintimammography. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section a-Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment 2007;573:122.
 Alghamdi AA, Ma A, Spyrou NM. Calculation of the photonuclear yield using an anthropomorphic phantom. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2007;271:639.
 Alghamdi AA, Ma A, Marouli M, Albarakati Y, Kacperek A, Spyrou NM. A high-resolution anthropomorphic voxel-based tomographic phantom for proton therapy of the eye. Physics in Medicine and Biology 2007;52:N51.
 Admans LL, Clarke J, Spyrou NM. Problems associated with routine PIXE analysis in quantifying elemental concentrations of leukocytes from Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) surgery patients. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2007;271:643.
 Abuelhia E, Kacperski K, Kafala S, Spyrou NM. Performance of triple coincidence imaging as an addition to dedicated PET. Radiation Physics and Chemistry 2007;76:351.
 Jalbout WT, Spyrou NM. Spectral reconstruction by scatter analysis for a linear accelerator photon beam. Physics in Medicine and Biology 2006;51:2211.
 Admans LL, Jeynes C, Clarke J, Spyrou NM. Elemental content of erythrocytes from patients undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) surgery using PIXE analysis. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2006;269:619.
 Kacperski K, Spyrou NM. Performance of three-photon PET imaging: Monte Carlo simulations. Physics in Medicine and Biology 2005;50:5679.
 Beasley D, Spyrou NM. The University of Surrey's new proton microprobe and the feasibility of PIXE-tomography for trace element analysis of biological tissues. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2005;264:289.
 Amin GAM, Spyrou NM. Study of gamma-radiation-induced optical effects in Ge-Se-Cd for possible industrial dosimetric applications. Radiation Physics and Chemistry 2005;72:419.
 Alfuraih A, Alghamdi AA, Ma A, Spyrou NM. Prospect of using the photoneutron beam component from high energy linacs in BNCT, a Monte Carlo simulation. Eurocon 2005: the International Conference on Computer as a Tool, Vol 1 and 2 , Proceedings 2005:1703.
 Admans LL, Spyrou NM. Elemental composition of erythrocytes from coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) patients with and without type II diabetes mellitus using PIXE analysis. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2005;263:797.
 Williams AM, Beeley PA, Spyrou NM. Response of a lithium gadolinium borate scintillator in monoenergetic neutron fields. Radiation Protection Dosimetry 2004;110:497.
 Spyrou NM, Awotwi-Pratt JB, Williams AM. Monte Carlo calculations and neutron spectrometry in quantitative prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) of bulk samples using an isotopic neutron source. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2004;259:287.
 Mills RG, Spyrou NM, Stokes RP, Holloway IE, Beeley PA. Introduction of a thermal response to the DSTL PADC personal neutron dosemeter. Radiation Protection Dosimetry 2004;110:309.
 Kacperski K, Spyrou NM, Smith FA. Three-gamma annihilation imaging in positron emission tomography. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 2004;23:525.
 Kacperski K, Spyrou NM. Three-gamma annihilations as a new modality in PET. 2004 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record, Vols 1-7 2004:3752.
 Cutts DA, Maguire RP, Leenders KL, Spyrou NM. Hemispherical dominance of glucose metabolic rate in the brain of the 'normal' ageing population. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 2004;259:277.