Harold Elford Johns

Medicine

Designed Cobalt 60 units for treatment of cancer

Inventor of the 'cobalt bomb,' a nuclear radiation device that revolutionized the treatment of cancers located deep in the body, where previous radiation therapies had proven ineffective. Over seven million people worldwide have benefited from cobalt-60 therapy. Johns wrote The Physics of Radiation Therapy in 1953 and The Physics of Radiology in 1961 (4th edition 1983). He held a number of patents for the design of Cobalt 60 units for treatment of cancer, and he helped establish the department of medical biophysics at the University of Toronto.

Sources: Canadian Who’s Who 1993, Canadian Light Source Inc.

Photo: Canadian Light Source Inc.

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