MEMORIAL From 1968 to 1978, Gordon Potts was very much involved in the National Institutes of Health and served on multiple commit- tees including the Radiation Sciences study section, and he was e are saddened to inform you that Dr Douglas “Gordon” the Chairman of its Diagnostic Committee. WPotts passed away on March 6, 2021, at the age of 94. By 1985, Gordon had acquired an interest in health care orga- Gordon Potts was born on January 27, 1927, in Otahuhu, a nization and planning. Having had previous experience with public suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. He went to a university in health care systems in New Zealand and Great Britain, he decided Christchurch and obtained a bachelor of science degree, majoring to accept the position of Chairman of Radiology at the University in atomics, nuclear physics, and mathematics. His initial intent was of Toronto, Canada. Gordon was instrumental in restructuring the to become a physicist but he changed that later to radiotherapist, previously independent radiology training programs at the 5 which subsequently led to a career in radiology. In 1953, he started University of Toronto–affiliated hospitals and merging them into a training in radiology at the Auckland Hospital, where he was very single program. In doing so, Gordon enhanced the experience of much influenced by Stephen Moor, who had recently returned the trainees and created the largest such program in Canada. The from neuroradiology training with James Bull at the National University of Toronto’s annual Best Resident Award in Radiology Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London, England, and Eric was named in Gordon’s honor. During his tenure from 1985 to Lysholm at the Serafimer Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. Intrigued 1992, Gordon was also the Radiologist in Chief at the Toronto by the new techniques in neuroimaging developed in Europe, Western Hospital, and his presence, guidance, and active participa- Gordon decided to further pursue training in neuroradiology. tion greatly contributed to the successful formation of a dedicated In 1955, he embarked on a 7-week journey as a cargo ship’s Neuroscience Center at that institution. doctor from Auckland to London, where he completed his radiol- During his professional career, Gordon remained strongly ogy training at University College Hospital. He then started his focused on research and teaching in neuroradiology, while always neuroradiology training at the Atkinson Morley Hospital. This striving for innovation, scientific excellence, and education. He institution was known to be the most active neurosurgical unit in was one of the 14 founders of the American Society of Britain with Wylie McKissock as Head of Neurosurgery and James Neuroradiology in 1962, was its President from 1970–1971, and Bull as the Consultant Neuroradiologist. After 1 year, Gordon received its Gold Medal in 1998. moved to QueensSquare asa senior registrar working with James In retirement, Gordon remained active at his country home on Bull, who was the neuroradiologistin charge atthattime. Shelter Island, NY, where he was known to make a delicious “Potts” In 1960, Gordon was recruited by Juan Taveras to join the staff jam and participated in growing oysters as part of a program at at the Neurological Institute at the Columbia Presbyterian Center in Cornell University to replenish the shellfish stocks of the Peconic New York, which included Norman Chase and Ernest Wood. It was Bay system on the East End of Long Island. Gordon’s annual oyster- one of the first institutions in the United States to receive National fest party was a highlight for many of his friends and neighbors. Institutes of Health funding for neuroimaging research. This focus At the same time, he remained committed to his New Zealand on research was further strengthened by the recruitment of Sadek roots. In the 1980s, he acquired a large plot of bush land on the Hilal, who was interested in cerebral vascular flow conditions. Northern Island of New Zealand called Doubtless Bay. For almost In 1967, Dr. John Evans, Chairman of Radiology, recruited 30 years, he slowly developed the land and constructed a simple, Gordon to the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center to country home near its waterfront. One of his greatest achievements become Head of the Division of Neuroradiology. The National and pleasures there was to be part of the Whakaangi Landcare Institutes of Health approved the neuroradiology training program Trust, which aimed to protect and promote the native bush and at Cornell and provided funding for research in CSF production the Kiwi population. and absorption. Michael Deck was recruited from Queens Square As part of his ongoing commitment toward neuroscience edu- to further complete the neuroradiology research team at Cornell. cation in New Zealand, he founded the Moor Trust Annual It was at this time that Gordon and Hans Newton decided to Educational Meeting in 2014 in honor of his mentor Stephen embark on creating a textbook on neuroradiology, entitled Moor, to facilitate a Visiting Professorship in Neuroradiology at Radiology of the Skull and Brain, which consisted of 2 volumes and a the University of Auckland, providing exposure to and discussion series of 6 books. Theirs was a joint work that took more than a dec- between radiology residents and staff in Auckland with innova- adeto completeand resulted in one of the most admired and tive leaders in neuroradiology from around the world. respected textbooks in our field, often referred to as the “Red Bible.” We will remember Gordon as a genuine, warm human being, Gordon was also an inventor and designed the “Pottometer,” who was down-to-earth even as an innovative world leader in a device that demonstrated on the radiographs at the time of my- neuroradiology. He had a skill for making friends all around the elography the degree of angulation from the horizontal, as well as globe and was a role model for many. Gordon is survived by his 3 the “Potts” needle for direct puncture of the carotid and brachial children, their partners, and his 6 grandchildren. arteries. He also designed the “Potts Chair,” which made it possi- ble to obtain biplane radiographs during a somersault procedure K. ter Brugge at the time of pneumoencephalography. http://dx.doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A7127 E18 ter Brugge Apr 2021 www.ajnr.org
American Journal of Neuroradiology – American Journal of Neuroradiology
Published: Apr 1, 2021
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