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William Mong Distinguished Lecture by Professor Jürgen Hennig

Visualize and Quantify Living Biological Systems: Present and Emerging Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologies

Professor Jürgen Hennig, an internationally leading scientist in the field of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, from Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Medical Physics, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany, gave a lecture on November 18, 2013 titled “Visualize and Quantify Living Biological Systems: Present and Emerging Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologies” at Yu Chun Keung Tam Shuk Yin Lecture Theatre, 3/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus.

MRI has been around for more than 40 years, but there are still intense new developments driven by the need to improve the performance in the closely interwoven performance parameters SNR, spatial, and temporal resolution. Some buzzwords for the current intense technological and methodological developments are compressed sensing, sparse sampling, ultrahigh field MR, 13C-hyperpolarization, new concepts for spatial encoding (Inverse Imaging (InI), OVOC(MREG), PatLoc,…) and others.

Although small animal MR has been around as long as human MRI, this field has developed a strong push in the ‘postgenomic’ era. Molecular biology has made tremendous progress towards understanding the elementary units of life – genes, enzymes, receptors, signaling pathways, cellular and subcellular units. With the tremendous progress there is an increasing awareness, that knowing the unit elements is not sufficient to understand their systemic integration and function. From intra- and intermolecular interactions over tissue microstructures to small structures up to the macroscopic MR scale offers the possibility to gather information over a huge range of scales. From microMR to whole body MR offers insight into morphology, anatomy, physiology, function and metabolism helping to understand the normal organism as well as disease.

In human MRI the focus of application is shifting from primary diagnose to the use of MR as an integrated tool for treatment monitoring in the therapeutic workflow of the patient. The possibility to perform longitudinal repetitive studies has facilitated not only improvement in the personalized treatment of patients, it also helps to further the understanding of the normal and diseased state.

William Mong Distinguished Lecture by Professor Jürgen Hennig

The University of Hong Kong Faculty of Engineering