Erwin Schrödinger Prize for international research team at the Helmholtz Institute Mainz

Interdisciplinary approach significantly improves analysis in magnetic resonance imaging for medicine and research

4 October 2022

An international team at the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) has received the 2021 Erwin Schrödinger Prize – Science Award of the Stifterverband for important advances in the field of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The award ceremony took place during the Helmholtz Annual Meeting in Berlin. "The Science Award of the Stifterverband rewards scientifically or technically innovative achievements that have been made in frontier areas between different subjects of medicine, natural sciences, and engineering. This curiosity and the will to join forces across borders characterize also characterize this year's award winners," said Professor Michael Kaschke, President of the Stifterverband.

The group led by Professor Dmitry Budker, Professor of Experimental Atomic Physics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Section Head at HIM, developed a technique to improve hyperpolarized magnetic resonance imaging. The new technique for observing metabolic processes in the human body promises to be much cheaper and simpler than previous methods. MRI has become a standard method for medical examinations in recent decades. It can be used to examine soft tissues of the body such as the brain, intervertebral discs, or even the formation of tumors.

The 2021 Erwin Schrödinger Prize was awarded to Dmitry Budker (physicist, HIM), James Eills (chemist, HIM), John Blanchard (chemist, HIM), Danila Barskiy (physical chemist, HIM), Kerstin Münnemann (chemist, University of Kaiserslautern), Francesca Reineri (chemist, University of Turin), Eleonora Cavallari (pharmaceutical and biomolecular scientist, University of Turin), Silvio Aime (biological scientist, University of Turin), Gerd Buntkowsky (physical chemist, TU Darmstadt), Stephan Knecht (physicist, TU Darmstadt), Malcolm H. Levitt (chemist, University of Southampton) and Laurynas Dagys (chemist, University of Southampton). The prize is endowed with a total of EUR 50,000.

The Helmholtz Institute Mainz was founded in 2009 by the GSI Helmholtzzentrum in cooperation with Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) to further strengthen the long-standing cooperation between the two institutions. Located on the Gutenberg Campus in Mainz, HIM addresses questions concerning the structure, symmetry, and stability of matter and antimatter in experimental and theoretical investigations. Basic funding is provided by the German Federal Government and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Mainz University supports HIM by providing infrastructure.