Francis HASFORD: My Contribution in Science Should Impact Positively on the Lives of People
Date: 2021-12-17
Source: WLA
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Q & A with WLA

Q: What is your early inspiration of doing science?
A: As a young student growing up, I was fortunate to have had role model teachers who made science education highly interesting and fun. Through their mentorship, I was able to connect science to everyday life at an early age. My inspiration to pursue science grew higher when I was enlightened to appreciate the contribution of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to nation building and development of mankind. At the university level, my curiosity in the use of physics principles to support healthcare delivery led me to specialize as a medical physicist.

Q: Do you have any scientific hero(es)? If so, how did he/she inspire you? 
A: As a medical physicist, I am inspired by the works of Marie Skłodowska-Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. She is believed to be the first medical physicist in the world and my inspiration stems from the works she did on the introduction of the principles of physics in the field of medicine with a focus on diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Q: What is the best advice that you have received?
A: The best advice I have received in the field of science to the effect that my contribution in science should impact positively on the lives people. This has contributed to my desired quest to achieve greater prospects as a research scientist, clinician and an academician.

Q: What is your greatest achievement so far?
A: My greatest achievement is the contribution I’ve made to developing younger generation of medical physicists and scientists through my role as academician, mentor and supervisor. I have contributed to the training of over 100 medical physicists and supervised over 40 postgraduate research studies.
Through my research work, focusing on ultrasound and PET/CT image fusion for prostate brachytherapy, I received the 2016 IUPAP/IOMP Young Scientist Prize for work of outstanding quality in Medical Physics.
I’ve also served at the high level as Secretary General and Vice-President of the Federation of African Medical Physics Organizations.

Q: What is your research goal?
A: My research goal is to contribute to improving safety and quality of medical images and radio-diagnosis in healthcare delivery. 
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: The best part of my job is having the opportunity to serve the medical physics community in Africa as an executive officer (formerly Secretary General and now Vice-President). Through this, I’ve had the opportunity to impact positively towards the development of medical physics profession in the African region and beyond.

Q: Would you like to share with us some of your unforgettable experience?
A: The unforgettable experience is when on the night of 6th November 2016, I was announced as winner of the IUPAP/IOMP Young Scientist Prize. The announcement indicated to me that my contribution to science was receiving recognition and making an impact as I had previously been advised.