Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2013 for Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos

The latest and biggest news in the department is our director, Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos, winning the Gottfried Willhelm Leibniz Prize 2013. A big congratulations on winning the highest German research prize! The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), which is the German Research Foundation have decided to give out 2.5 million euros to spend on research within the next seven years.

Having briefly spoken to Prof. Vasilis at our IBMI christmas work party, he told me he has spent a great deal of time researching in Germany, thirteen years in fact. He holds the Director position at the institute since 2007 and he is originally from Greece. I avoided any sort of mentions might involve me struggling to say his surname and tuned in for any conversations that might involve someone else pronouncing it, but alas- no echo! The presentation before we proceeded to dinner highlighted achievements and acknowledged new students and staff. Yey, my name was on it! With him awarding “Secret Kiss Award”, “Open Kiss Award”, “Rise to the Challenge” and “Most photogenic” followed with some comical pictures, told me he has plenty of good humour to go around.

Going back to the more relevant note, Prof. Vasilis have won the award for his international major contribution in optimal imaging and for laying new and fundamental methods for non-invasive application of optical methods in medical research. This for example means, looking at larger dimensions or the entire body of mammals in order to study and really understand specific biological processes to its core. He introduced and developed ground breaking work on new tomographic methods which led to more careful cancer treatment for patients. His high achievements in Molecular Imaging means that we can see and follow the distribution and effects of drugs in the body in real- time. In turn, study molecular processes in tumours and its surrounding tissues. Not only do we see and can differentiate between tumours and healthy cells but also remove malignant tumours selectively. Ultimately, giving us information a step closer on how to alleviate cancers as well.

At the IBMI, we are focussing on developing new techniques and methods appropriate for clinical imaging purposes with the goal of propagating these new technologies into healthcare.

Probing is imaging, imaging is seeing and seeing is believing!

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