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High Distinction for Heidelberg Neuroradiologist

No. 38a | 02/07/2013 | by CK/Sel

Dr. Alexander Radbruch is honored with the Coolidge Award granted by GE Healthcare for his work on the use of new imaging techniques in brain cancer diagnostics. He leads the research group “Neuro-oncologic Imaging” at Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).

Dr. Alexander Radbruch

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a sequence of magnetic impulses to create detailed cross-section pictures of individual organs that make it possible to discern pathogenic changes. MRI scans are a standard procedure in cancer diagnostics. Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) is a special MRI technique that delivers very high-resolution 3D images of the venous vascular system.

Dr. Alexander Radbruch was the first to apply SWI for systematic examinations of patients suffering from a brain tumor. He discovered that the new method has two significant advantages over conventional MRI scans for these patients: The sharper 3D images it creates enable clinicians not only to determine the type of brain tumor more precisely, but also, through control examinations, to assess at an earlier time whether a tumor responds to the chosen therapy.

Alexander Radbruch studied Law and Medicine in Heidelberg and Munich, Germany, and in Houston, Texas, U.S.A. Aged 36, Radbruch has been working as an assistant physician at the Neuroradiology Department of Heidelberg University Hospital since 2009. Since September 2012, he has led the joint research group “Neuro-oncologic Imaging” at Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ).

The Coolidge Award, now in its 20th year, is an innovation award for radiology diagnostics presented by GE Healthcare. The award is named after American physicist William D. Coolidge, who constructed a predecessor model of the later X-ray tubes as early as in the first half of the 20th century. The award recognizes young scientists under 38 years of age for their outstanding work in the field of radiology. Dr. Alexander Radbruch shares the €15,000 award with Dr. Peter Isfort from RWTH Aachen University.

With more than 3,000 employees, the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is Germany’s largest biomedical research institute. DKFZ scientists identify cancer risk factors, investigate how cancer progresses and develop new cancer prevention strategies. They are also developing new methods to diagnose tumors more precisely and treat cancer patients more successfully. The DKFZ's Cancer Information Service (KID) provides patients, interested citizens and experts with individual answers to questions relating to cancer.

To transfer promising approaches from cancer research to the clinic and thus improve the prognosis of cancer patients, the DKFZ cooperates with excellent research institutions and university hospitals throughout Germany:

  • National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT, 6 sites)
  • German Cancer Consortium (DKTK, 8 sites)
  • Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ) Heidelberg
  • Helmholtz Institute for Translational Oncology (HI-TRON Mainz) - A Helmholtz Institute of the DKFZ
  • DKFZ-Hector Cancer Institute at the University Medical Center Mannheim
  • National Cancer Prevention Center (jointly with German Cancer Aid)
The DKFZ is 90 percent financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and 10 percent by the state of Baden-Württemberg. The DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.


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