Dr. Frank Prato Ph. D., FCCPM, ABMP
- Heart disease, secondary to blood starvation of heart muscle, causes a greater number of deaths and
disabilities than any other single disease. Over the last decade new treatment methods have reduced the
mortality and morbidity of heart disease and over the next decade further new therapies will emerge.
Each new treatment often calls for new imaging methods. The co-dependence of new therapies with new
cardiac imaging methods calls for cardiac research laboratories to have diverse multi-disciplinary
facilities. My medical biophysics laboratory has both a biological and imaging physics infrastructure.
On the one hand we have a record of developing new imaging methods in MRI, MRS, Nuclear Medicine SPECT
and PET, X-ray CT and Ultra Sound. On the other hand we ensure the relevance of these imaging methods
by testing them in animal models of human heart disease before we implement them in patients. With the
advent of new therapies such as regenerated stem cell therapy we are presently recruiting graduate
students and post-doctoral fellows with diverse backgrounds ranging from theoretical physics to stem-cell
biology to work with a team including cardiologists, medical physicists and surgeons. If you can work hard
towards a vision to help realize new gains in the battle against heart disease then consider training in
one of the best laboratories in the world right here in Canada.
- Occasionally we get an opportunity to investigate phenomena at the limits of scientific knowledge
in non-mainstream science. The opportunity to make seminal scientific discoveries often eludes us because
they cannot be assured in grant proposals to peer review agencies. It has been a scientific convenience
for more than 25 years to assume that weak extremely low frequency magnetic fields cannot elicit biological
effects; that chronic exposure to magnetic fields from power lines cannot induce childhood leukemia;
that pulsed weak magnetic fields cannot affect the opioid system and pain perception. Such scientific bias
is now in question because a handful of dedicated scientists are willing to withstand the criticism of peers
and investigate phenomena in areas of science for which the biophysical understanding lags behind
Here at the Lawson Health Research Institute, a modest scientific effort over the last 25 years has
demonstrated surprising physiological and behavioural responses in animals and humans as a result of
exposure to pulsed magnetic fields. These fields are considered weak. The magnetic field intensity is
similar to the earth's geomagnetic field and frequencies are similar to those from electrical power
distribution and use. These discoveries which are protected by patents (e.g. US 6,234,953 B1) include
methods by which pain perception can selectively be increased or decreased and findings that will have a
significant future impact on management of patients with mental health/neurological diseases and those
suffering from chronic pain. We at UWO are considered world leaders in this area of bioelectromagnetics.
If you wish to be part of an interdisciplinary team helping to develop effective complimentary alternative
medicine approaches to the treatment of pain through the discovery of biophysical mechanisms and if you
have courage to study in a controversial area of science then a graduate student position or post-doctoral
fellowship in Bioelectromagnetics may be for you.
- Brief Description: I am addressing the following two personal "holy grails" in my research program.
1. Improve treatment of Heart Disease through better diagnostic imaging.
2. Treat Pain, Anxiety and Depression with Magnetic Fields.