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Department of Radiology - Medical Physics

Current Openings

Nuclear Hyperpolarization for Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of Metabolism in Tumors


Many diseases – including cancer, ischemia, and neurodegenerative diseases – are associated with characteristic metabolic alterations. Mammalian metabolism and dynamic metabolic changes in living organisms are difficult to access with current analytical tools: Either the spatial, chemical, or temporal resolution is insufficient. These limitations can be addressed by improving the sensitivity of MRI to detect the low-concentrated metabolites in the body. Such “hyperpolarized” metabolites can be tracked with high sensitivity in the body using MRI to map metabolic pathways. Bridging the gap between nuclear spin physics and medical diagnostics, hyperpolarization is a truly interdisciplinary research area with all its benefits and pitfalls. The hyperpolarization group in Freiburg is focused on the development of new hyperpolarization methods and bringing these advances to biomedical application.

In the present project we will enable the time-efficient and cost-efficient repetitive production of highly polarized and concentrated metabolically active agents inside an MRI system. These hyperpolarized agents will be used to interrogate metabolism in healthy, as well as breast cancer or leukemia bearing mice.

What we offer:

  • Physics with application aiming at improving diagnostics and monitoring of cancer patients
  • Emerging field of research
  • Part of the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK)
  • National and international cooperations (visits supported)
  • State of the art equipment and infrastructure
  • Competitive salary (TV-L E13, 65%)

What you will be doing:

  • Designing and installing experimental setup (Fluidics of gases and liquids, reactor design, in vivo prototype)
  • Programming and automating the setup (C++ based)
  • Developing, testing and evaluating new hyperpolarization methods
  • Applying new methods to image cancer metabolism

What we expect:

(M – must ; S – should ; N – nice to have)

  • Master in Physics, Chemistry, Engineering or similar (M)
  • Fluent English (M) and German (N)
  • Solid background in quantum mechanics and molecular physics (S)
  • Work experience (e.g. from B.Sc./M.Sc. thesis) with
    • setting up and performing experiments (M)
    • data analysis (S)
    • programming (S)
    • microcontrollers (N)
    • magnetic resonance imaging and/or spectroscopy (N)

Application and Contact:

Are you the perfect candidate? Please send your application (CV incl. publications, short cover letter) to

Dr. Andreas Schmidt (andreas.schmidt@uniklinik-freiburg.de) or Prof. Jürgen Hennig (juergen.hennig@uniklinik-freiburg.de).

Feel free to get in touch if you have questions!

Visit our Website: www.uniklinik-freiburg.de/hyperpolarization

Master's Thesis

The Department of Radiology, Medical Physics, is looking for a Master’s Student in Engineering for

Radio Frequency Detector Design for Magnetic Resonance Imaging using ‘Light Coils’

In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), radio frequency (RF) coils are used to detect the weak MRI signal from the patient. RF coils must be adapted to the patient geometry to acquire the receive signal with a high signal-to-noise ratio – for this reason, adapted coil systems have been designed for virtually every region of the body (head, thorax, heart, extremities). Unfortunately, commercial RF coils are cost-intensive and they only fit a certain range of patient sizes.
In this project we propose a new RF coil technology, “Light Coils,” that are modular individual RF coil elements. The elements can be combined mechanically and are connected optically without a need for metallic coaxial cables to transfer the MRI signal. Elimination of conducting cables for data and power transmission will also increase robustness of the system against electromagnetic interference, cable-cable couplings, and unbalanced currents that is potentially harmful to patients. The new Light Coil technology will improve the efficiency and efficacy of MRI measurements by use of modular RF coils that can be reconfigured to cover the anatomy of interest, even in extreme patient anatomy and size conditions.  

Master's Thesis

In this master’s project, flexible RF coil elements, an optically activated active detuning system, and low power ultra-low noise amplifiers will be constructed.

The successful candidate should have an interest and initial experience/background in:

  • Soldering and PCB design
  • Radio frequency electronics and circuit simulation
  • Experience in optics is a plus

We offer:

  • An interdisciplinary dynamic research environment and the state-of-the-art lab equipment
  • Improving RF circuit design and soldering skills
  • A better understanding of MR Physics and Antenna Theory
  • Academic publications and a potential extension of the project towards a PhD study.

The starting date is negotiable. Please submit your application and documents (preferably by email) to:

Dr. Ali Caglar Özen
0761 27093910

Prof. Dr. Michael Bock

Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
Radiologische Klinik - Medizin Physik
Killianstr. 5a
79106 Freiburg

Posted: March 3, 2021

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Hennig

Scientific Director
Tel. +49 761 270-38360
Fax +49 761 270-38310

University Medical Center Freiburg
Dept. of Radiology · Medical Physics
Killianstrasse 5a       
79106 Freiburg, Germany

Laurence Haller
Assistant to the Scientific Director
Tel. +49 761 270-38350

For general inquiries: