A native of Melbourne Australia, Paul earned a BSc in Physics from Monash University in 1974. In 1975 he started a PhD in Physics at Nottingham University in one of the three original projects that began MRI. In Raymond Andrew’s group, alongside that of Peter Mansfield, they built the first MRI system producing radiographic-quality images of the human wrist (Nature), and performed the initial work on RF-field and power deposition in human MRI. Upon completing his PhD, he went to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1978 to adapt MRI for spatially localized spectroscopy–MRS, using surface coils to demonstrate metabolite depletion and reversal in regional myocardial ischemia (Science).

In 1980 Paul joined the GE Research Center in Schenectady NY. They ordered the biggest magnet available–a 1.5T system–and built the first high-field whole-body MRI/MRS scanner, overcoming problems of coil design, RF penetration and signal-to-noise. The results translated into the highly-successful 1.5T MRI product-line of well over 20,000 systems today. Paul did the first localized MRS in human heart and brain. After starting a collaboration on heart applications with Robert Weiss at Johns Hopkins, Paul returned to the university in 1994, as Russell Morgan Professor and Director of the MR Research Division. He has about 170 peer-reviewed papers with most-cited reviews of tissue relaxation in Medical Physics, and nearly 50 patents, including spin-echo MRI, ‘crusher’ gradients, and PRESS. He is an ISMRM Fellow, 1989 Gold Medal recipient, and a GE gold patent and Coolidge Fellowship awardee.