In recognition of his pioneering work in interventional radiology and outspoken advocacy for image-guided treatment and evidence-based science, Professor Jim Reekers from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, will receive the ESR Gold Medal at ECR 2020.
Jim Reekers is professor emeritus of radiology at Amsterdam University. Although he is now retired, he is still very active and feels inspired to continue helping to advance interventional radiology, a field that he greatly helped to develop in the late 1980s.
Professor Reekers received his medical degree from Amsterdam University in 1981. During medical school, he became very interested in the new technological possibilities of medical imaging and especially the opportunities to use imaging for patient treatment. He dropped his initial plan to become a vascular surgeon and obtained his board certification in radiology in 1986, after which he became a staff member at Amsterdam University’s academic teaching hospital, the Amsterdam Medical Centre (AMC). He finished his doctoral thesis in 1994 and was appointed professor of radiology at Amsterdam University in 1999. He worked at the AMC until he retired as a clinical staff member in 2019.
Professor Reekers was one of the early leaders in interventional radiology. Early on, he recognised the potential of image-guided treatments and developed a special interventional section within the AMC’s department of radiology. Throughout his career, he has developed many new techniques and devices. He is notably the co-inventor of subintimal angioplasty, the hydrolyser thrombectomy catheter, the optease caval filter and the Reekross catheter. He was one of the first physicians to pioneer extreme crural revascularisations.
Next to his research in the field of uterine fibroid embolisation and vascular interventions, he has focused on treatment of diabetic foot disease for the past fifteen years and, more recently, perfusion imaging.
Professor Reekers has always spoken out for evidence-based medicine and is a famous critic of using new interventional technologies without proper clinical evidence. He is straightforward and outspoken about the influence of the pharmacological industry on organising so-called ‘evidence’. He is convinced that evidence-based science is the only way to survive as a small specialty.
During his 36 years at the AMC, he trained many young interventional radiologists, wrote various books and book chapters, and published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers about interventional radiology.
Next to his academic work, he has always been a strong advocate for image-guided treatment and has given more than 600 lectures all over the world. He is currently the editor-in-chief of CVIRendovascular and he has served as president of several national and international organisations, such as the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) and the interventional radiology division of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS). Professor Reekers is an honorary member of many international organisations, and has given the SIR Dotter lecture, the CIRSE Gruentzig lecture, the BSIR Wattie Fletcher lecture and the DRG Röntgen lecture. He initiated the European Curriculum for Interventional Radiology and the European Board of Interventional Radiology (EBIR) examination, which is now the standard for the field.