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Sheena P Stewart, BSc

We are very sorry to let colleagues know that we have been informed of the death, on 16 April 2012, of Mrs Sheena Stewart, former Research Officer in the Academic Unit of Medical and Molecular Imaging (Medical Physics), Faculty of Medicine and Health.

A former pupil at Harrogate Grammar School, Sheena Stewart graduated from the University of Edinburgh with First Class Honours in Chemistry in 1969.  After a period as a research assistant at the University of Strathclyde, she joined Lothian Regional Council Water Supply Services as a chemist in 1972.  She was made Scientific Officer four years later, with responsibilities including the commissioning of new plant and equipment and the investigation of operational problems relating to water treatment and distribution.  Her post brought her into regular contact with members of the public and she showed a particular gift for communicating easily with others, whatever the difficulties.

Sheena left Lothian in 1979 in order to concentrate on bringing up her family.  She was appointed to what was then the Department of Medical Physics at Leeds in 1987.  As a member of the Bone and Body Composition Research Group, she was involved for more than twenty years in a variety of research projects designed to measure bone mineral density and body composition, using technology including DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) and the Lunar Expert, a digital X-ray scanner.  Projects on which she worked included the investigation of changes in body composition in liver disease, the assessment of bone mineral density in the hand in early rheumatoid arthritis, and a study of bone mass in osteoarthritic women.

Many of the projects in which Sheena participated were conducted in conjunction with the Musculo-Skeletal Research Unit, with funding from the Arthritis Research Campaign.  Sheena developed deep and extensive knowledge of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related research.  As well as carrying out scans herself, she took a leading part in the statistical analysis and interpretation of data from the scans.  She liaised extensively with clinical colleagues, provided advice to other researchers and undertook teaching, training and supervision of students and visitors.  She was the co-author of a number of papers which appeared in a range of journals, including the British Journal of Radiology, Clinical Endocrinology, the British Journal of Nutrition and the British Journal of Rheumatology.  

For a number of years, Sheena had responsibility for the day-to-day management of the NHS Mineral Bone Density Service within the Leeds hospitals.  In addition to her research commitments, she managed the bone densitometry service for the Rheumatology Unit at Chapel Allerton Hospital.

Very highly regarded by colleagues, patients and research volunteers alike, Sheena had to retire owing to ill-health in April 2009.

Sheena is survived by her two sons, Andrew and Graham.

The Funeral took place on 30 April.