Judith Elizabeth (‘Judy’) Adams was a professor of diagnostic radiology at the University of Manchester and an eminent skeletal radiologist. She was born in Liverpool, the daughter of Percy Charles Lockyer and Barbara Lockyer née Bailey. When she was seven, her father was appointed as a superintendent of a copper mine in Northern Rhodesia; her mother was a teacher. As a child in Africa, she won prizes for show jumping and dressage. For the final years of her secondary schooling she boarded at Roedean in East Sussex and passed her A levels in less than two years. She went on to study medicine at University College London, where she also fenced. She qualified in 1968.
She held junior posts at University College Hospital and in Cambridge, where her training included radiotherapeutics and haematology. Her radiology career began in 1972. Her mentors included Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, the inventor of X-ray computed tomography, and Charles Dent, who pioneered the study of metabolic bone disease in the UK.
She gained her fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists in 1975 and became a lecturer at the University of Manchester in 1976, a senior lecturer there in 1979 and a professor in 1993.
Her clinical and research expertise lay particularly in osteoporosis, bone densitometry, quantitative computed tomography and vertebral fracture recognition. She produced 34 book chapters and more than 200 peer-reviewed publications.
She was a member of many societies, including the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the European Calcified Tissue Society, the Bone Research Society, the International Skeletal Society and the European Society of Musculoskeletal Radiology. In 1987, she hosted the International Bone Densitometry Workshop in the UK.
At the Royal College of Radiologists, she was an examiner, a regional education adviser, a member of the council and other boards, and dean and vice president. She was awarded the gold medal of the Royal College of Radiologists in 2016.
She was also an adviser to and trustee of the National Osteoporosis Society, and a member of the medical board and the conference planning committee. In 2016, she was awarded the Linda Edwards award of the National Osteoporosis Society in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the field of osteoporosis.
She was awarded with a gold medal by the International Skeletal Society in 2007, an honorary membership of the European Society of Musculoskeletal Radiology in 2012 and in 2015 she was invited by the Bone Research Society to co-present the annual Dent lecture.
In 1972, she married Peter Adams; they had met at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge when he was a senior registrar and she was a junior doctor. He went on to become head of the medicine department at the University of Manchester. They shared a passion for gardening and opera.
Adams died of bowel cancer, just a few months after recognising her own malignancy on an abdominal CT scan. She was survived by her husband, who died just eight days later, their two sons, Charles and James, and three grandchildren.
[The Times 11 November 2017 www.thetimes.co.uk/article/professors-peter-and-judy-adams-obituary-kq8r9bzgr – accessed 18 January 2020; Osteoporosis International January 2018, Vol.29, Issue 1, pp.1-2 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00198-017-4282-y – accessed 18 January 2020; BMJ 2017 359 5866 www.bmj.com/content/bmj/359/bmj.j5866.full.pdf – accessed 18 January 2020; Clinical Radiology The Royal College of Radiology Obituaries – Clinical Radiology Professor Judith Elizabeth Adams www.rcr.ac.uk/college/obituaries/professor-judith-elizabeth-adams – accessed 18 January 2020; The Royal Osteoporosis Society In Memoriam: Professor Judith Elizabeth Adams 16 Oct 217 https://theros.org.uk/what-we-do/latest-news/2017/october/16/professor-judith-elizabeth-adams/ – accessed 18 January 2020]