Atis K. Freimanis was born in Riga, Latvia. He graduated from the University of Hamburg, Germany, Medical School in 1951. He immigrated to the United States and completed his postdoctoral training in radiology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Department of Radiology in 1958. He soon rose to the appointment of full professor in 1965.

Freimanis left Ohio State University College in1970 to become Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiology at the newly established Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. He also served there as Clinical Director of the Michael J. Owens Technical College for the Radiologic Technology Program. In 1976 he returned to Ohio State as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiology, a position he maintained until 1983. There he moved on to the Michigan State University Colleges of Medicine, working through to his retirement in 1993.

Freimanis was one of the pioneers of B-mode ultrasonography at the time of the ultrasonic boom in the 1960s. He was well-known for his work on the abdomen. He published the seminal papers on sonographic detection of abdominal lymph enlargement in 1969and sonography in pancreatic diseases in 1970. These early papers were befor the advent of the gray scale His accomplishments in this regard won him the Joseph H. Holmes Clinical Pioneer Award in 1995. Freimanis also holds many distinguished fellowships. He is a Fellow of the American College of Radiology, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, and the Ohio Academy of Sciences, and Emeritus Fellow of the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound.

Atis Freimanis has been recognized with numerous awards including "Man of the Year" at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Regarded as an exceptional mentor, teacher and researcher, many of his students have achieved acclaim in the radiologic sciences, Michael Asher, Roy Filly, Sam Hissong, and John Haaga, to name a few. His awards include the Multiple Program Award (The Ohio State University Center for Continuing Medical Education, The Ohio Medical Education Network, 1972), the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence for two consecutive years (Medical College of Ohio at Toledo, 1972 [Charter Class] and 1973), the Outstanding Teacher of the Year (Department of Radiology Residents Award, Ohio State University Hospital, 1982), the Teaching Award (Ohio State University College of Medicine, 1983), the Annual Teaching Award (University Affiliated Hospitals of Flint Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program, 1986 and 1992), the Outstanding Teacher Award (Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, 1987), and The Amoco Foundation Teaching Excellence Award (Michigan State University, June 1991). His long history of teaching excellence culminated in the establishment of the Atis K. Freimanis Radiology Visiting Professorship (endowed) at Michigan State University in 1991.

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