Frank Bova wasn’t sure why he was nominated for a prestigious lifetime medical award.
But to his peers, the answer was clear.
“Frank is always creative and always energetic,” said Dr. Maryam Rahman, a neurosurgeon who has worked with Bova at UF since she was a medical student 17 years ago. “For somebody who is as accomplished as he is, he is incredibly down to earth and fun to work with.”
The American Association of Physicists in Medicine awarded Bova, 68, the Edith Quimby Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in radiosurgery at its annual meeting on July 30 in Nashville. Bova is the principal investigator for the McKnight Brain Institute Radiosurgery Laboratory at UF. The award is given to members of the association, which is composed of more than 8,000 scientists who have made significant contributions to medical physics throughout their career.
An award recipient is nominated by his or her colleagues, meaning the people who watched Bova work over the past 40 years at UF were the ones to nominate him, Bova said.
“I was touched,” he said. “It is an honor to be selected by your peers.”
Bova earned his doctorate in nuclear engineering sciences from UF in 1977 and co-founded the radiosurgery program, which conducts research on radiation treatments and surgeries, with Dr. William Friedman in 1985. He holds 13 patents for mechanical and computer systems used in radiosurgery, Bova said.
Currently, he and his team are working on developing and refining techniques for image guided neurosurgery, he said. This form of surgery displays images on monitors within the operating room to help guide the surgeons, according to the UF Department of Neurosurgery website.
Bova said he is most proud to see how the research he began more than 30 years ago has grown and helped people. At UF, more than 4,700 patients have been treated by the radiosurgery program, and his technology has been used in many other places around the world, he said.
However, Bova wanted to make clear that while one person may get the award, “its a team effort,” he said.
“We play a team sport.”