Main Focus

We are primarily engaged in the development and adaptation of novel magnetic resonance (MR) methods and research into the fundamental biophysics underlying neuroimaging contrast.

With MR techniques, detailed information is obtained about the anatomy of the brain, its metabolism, or neural activity. Our group is engaged in the development of imaging methods to study these properties as well as of mathematical procedures for image analysis. This also includes hardware components, such as the development of radiofrequency coils for improving the sensitivity in selected MR experiments, such as the investigation of brain tissue specimen. Finally, we conduct research into the biophysics underlying image contrast to gain quantitative data about tissue composition or physiological processes.

Of ongoing interest to us is the precise imaging of parameters characterizing perfusion, including regional blood flow and blood volume. This permits mapping of activity patterns to investigate laminar-specific information processing in the cortex. Another research area focuses on the microstructure of brain tissue. Axons, which are responsible for signal transmission in the brain, are surrounded by a myelin sheath, which consists of layers of membranes and acts as an electrical insulator. It is of fundamental importance because it drastically increases the speed of transmission. Information on myelin can be obtained indirectly by studying the relaxation of water molecules in close contact with the membranes or by investigating physical tissue properties, such as the magnetic susceptibility.

Curriculum Vitae

Academic Education

1979-1985 Study of Chemistry and Physics, Universities of Dortmund and
1985    Diploma in Chemistry (equiv. to M.Sc.), University of Münster
1988    Doctorate of Natural Science (Dr.rer.nat., equiv. to PhD),
       University of Münster (with Werner Müller-Warmuth)
2000    Habilitation (postdoctoral thesis; "Privatdozent") & venia legendi for
       Physical Chemistry, University of Münster (with Hellmut Eckert)
2002    Venia legendi for Biophysical Chemistry (Dr.rer.nat.habil.),
       University of Leipzig


1985-1988 Scientific Assistant; Institute of Physical Chemistry,
       University of Münster
1991-1993 Staff Scientist; Institute of Physical Chemistry &
       Department of Clinical Radiology, University of Münster
1993-2000 "Wissenschaftlicher Assistent (C1)" (equiv. to Lecturer); Institute of
       Physical Chemistry, University of Münster
1996-1998 Research Associate; Center for In Vivo Microscopy,
       Duke University Medical Center (G. Allan Johnson)
1999    Lectureship in Biomedical Engineering;
       University of Applied Sciences Münster
2000-2001 "Oberassistent (C2)" (equiv. to Senior Lecturer);
       Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Münster
2000-2012 Visiting Scientist, Center for In Vivo Microscopy,
       Duke University Medical Center
2001-2004 Chief Physicist; Department of Cognitive Neurology,
       Max Planck Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Leipzig
2004-2006 University Professor (C3) of Experimental Magnetic Resonance,
       Department of Clinical Radiology, University Hospital Münster
since 2006 Head (W2) of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Research and
       Development Unit; Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and
       Brain Sciences, Leipzig
since 2007 Honorary Professor of Experimental Physics, University of Leipzig
since 2009 Faculty & Syllabus Spokesperson; IMPRS "Neuroscience of
       Communication: Function, Structure & Plasticity", Leipzig
since 2014 Ombudsman; MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Awards, Professional Recognition

1985 Diploma "with excellence"
1988 PhD "summa cum laude"
1992 Bennigsen-Foerder Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
1996 Fellowship of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
2000 Fellowship of the program "Innovative Medical Research" (IMF)
    at the University of Münster
2004 Prize winner, Innovation Competition for the Promotion of Medical
    Technology of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

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