Léandre George Pourcelot

Léandre Pourcelot, PhD, MD, is now retired. He was born on September 7, 1940, in Orchamps-Vennes, France. He obtained the electrical engineering degree from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées, INSA Lyon, France, in 1963, and a Ph.D. in 1967. He completed medical studies and obtained the MD degree from the medical Faculty at the University of Tours in 1977, where he also obtained a degree in nuclear medicine in 1980. From 1980 to 2006, he was Professor of Biophysics, Francois Rabelais University, Tours, France, (http://www.univ-tours.fr) and Head of the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Ultrasound at the University Hospital (http://www.chu-tours.fr)

He began his professional career in 1963 as a researcher at INSA, Lyon, where he developed the first European ultrasonic Doppler velocimeter. In 1968, he joined the Faculty of Medicine in Tours, France, where he was assistant, associate, and then full Professor. He also was director of the Group of Public interest GIP “Ultrasound” and of the INSERM research Unit 316. www.inserm.fr

His research activities dealt with ultrasonic instrumentation and clinical applications, and he was principal investigator of several studies in the field of space physiology. In 1972 he and his research group developed one of the first real-time ultrasound imaging systems based on the electronic scanning of a linear array. Pourcelot was also one of the pioneers in clinical Doppler vascular research. In 1974 he described the “Resistance Index” or the “Pourcelot index”. In 1977 he described pioneering work on colour-coded Doppler images. He led a team of researchers and clinicians who had devised important and creative experiments in the application of Doppler ultrasound in adult vascular diseases as well as in the assessment of foetal conditions, and designed many innovative apparatuses for the purpose. They were also responsible for important pioneering works on space physiology and medicine (1982-2000), including the first echograph used on board of a space vehicle (1982). Other works included the use of high frequency ultrasound transducers, and techniques in the study of newborn cerebral function, physiology and pathophysiology, and with particular reference to the preterm baby.

Pourcelot co-founded several industrial companies, as well as the French Society for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (1972) www.sfaumb.fr, the French Doppler Club (1975) and more recently (2004) the Planiol Foundation www.fondation-planiol.fr He is a member of WFUMB, and was president and member of a large number of learned societies.

In 1995 Pourcelot received the prestigious IEEE Judith A. Resnik Award for his work on ultrasound imaging in the measurement of cardiovascular systems during space flight. In 2003, he was honoured with the Ian Donald Gold Medal for Technical Merit from the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG).
His oral history may be found at https://ethw.org/Oral-History:L%C3%A9andre_George_Pourcelot