Dr. Hansen awarded Gurney Professorship in Radiology

by Tom O'Connor, UNMC public relations | March 16, 2018

Image with caption: Neil Hansen, M.D.

Neil Hansen, M.D.

Neil Hansen, M.D., has been named the Jud W. Gurney, M.D., Professor of Radiology.

About Jud Gurney, M.D.

Jud Gurney, M.D., was a world-renowned chest radiologist.

A Nebraska native, Dr. Gurney was a 1980 graduate of the UNMC College of Medicine. He first joined UNMC's radiology faculty in 1989 then moved to the Mayo Clinic in 2000. He returned to UNMC in 2002 when he was named the Charles A. Dobry Professor of Diagnostic Radiology.

Dr. Gurney died in 2010 at the age of 55 following a battle with stomach cancer.

"Jud was recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in his field and gave unselfishly to his profession and the university," said Craig Walker, M.D., professor and chair of the UNMC Department of Radiology. "He was -- without exception -- admired by our residents and medical students for his expertise and commitment to their education. His death was a tremendous blow to all who knew him.

"Dr. Gurney was most revered as an educator. He set the standard in the department. He was a visiting professor or invited lecturer 54 times at some of the most widely respected hospitals in the United States and turned down countless other lecture opportunities."

He served as president of the Society of Thoracic Radiology and the American College of Radiology Nebraska Chapter. Two months before his death, Dr. Gurney received the Silver Medal Award from the Nebraska Radiological Society -- the highest honor given by the NRS.

The appointment, which was effective Jan. 1, was announced by Craig Walker, M.D., professor and chair of the UNMC Department of Radiology.

The newly created endowed professorship was established by the University of Nebraska Foundation after $500,000 was raised to honor Dr. Gurney's life and recognize his accomplishments. Dr. Gurney died in 2010 at the age of 55 after serving on the UNMC radiology faculty for 19 years. At the time of his death, Dr. Gurney was the Charles A. Dobry Professor of Diagnostic Radiology.

During medical school, Dr. Gurney persuaded Dr. Hansen that the best way to pursue his desire to be a medical detective was through noninvasive imaging and the field of radiology.

"Dr. Gurney personally mentored me and was instrumental in several of my training decisions, as well as my decision to pursue academic radiology at UNMC," Dr. Hansen said. "He was a legend and still is within our department. His attitude and style continue to permeate through our department through the numerous physicians he trained over the years.

"Getting this professorship is truly the greatest professional honor of my life, and I am extremely humbled by it. I can't thank our department, the Gurney family, or the NU Foundation enough for this honor and will continue to strive for excellence to live up to Dr. Gurney's name and high standard."

The professorship recognizes Dr. Hansen's achievements and provides important additional funds to support his continued scholarly efforts. As the Gurney Professor, Dr. Hansen will oversee the addition of an annual lectureship in Dr. Gurney's name.

"Dr. Hansen has had a great impact on multiple educational programs," Dr. Walker said. "His expertise has benefited radiologic technologists, medical students, and residents in diagnostic radiology and urology. As director of the physics curriculum for our residency program, he was responsible for revising the entire curriculum."

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Bernadette Vacha
March 16, 2018 at 7:07 PM

Great job!! We are so proud of you!

Lucy Muinov
March 16, 2018 at 6:59 PM

Congratulations, Neil! You are a great educator and radiologist! So proud of you!

Frank Rutar
March 16, 2018 at 3:33 PM

A great and very deserved honor!

Quan P. Ly, MD
March 16, 2018 at 1:14 PM

Congratulations, Neil! It's a great honor. I knew Dr. Gurney. I'm sure he would be proud to have you holding the professorship in his name.

Marcia Hess Smith
March 16, 2018 at 1:14 PM

Congratulations Dr. Hansen!

Ken Hansen
March 16, 2018 at 11:33 AM

Very proud of Dr. Hansen Ken Hansen (Dad)