Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Martin Uecker


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Martin Uecker

Universitätsmedizin Göttingen
Institut für Diagnostische und Interventionelle Radiologie
Robert-Koch-Str. 40
37075 Göttingen

Email: martin.uecker(at)med.uni-goettingen.de


Research areas: magnetic resonance imaging, computational imaging, cardiovascular imaging

Martin Uecker is DZHK Professor for Real-time Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at the University Medical Center Göttingen. His work concentrates on the development and clinical translation of new methods based on computational imaging for faster, more robust, and quantitative MRI.

Research focus

Prof. Uecker develops MRI technology for biomedical applications based on a combination of MRI physics, numerical algorithms, and high-performance computing in close collaboration with clinical colleagues. His past work includes key contributions to iterative reconstruction for MRI, including compressed sensing, parallel imaging, and non-Cartesian MRI. Many leading groups in MRI research use his software for reconstructing MR images. More importantly, iterative reconstruction is now also commercially available in modern MRI scanners and helps to make MRI faster, more robust, and more accessible in day to day clinical practice. Prof. Uecker is the inventor of an exceptionally fast real-time MRI technology, which also builds on concepts from computational MRI, to enable the acquisition of MRI movies during free breathing and without synchronization to ECG. It is particularly useful in clinical practices with patients commonly presenting with arrhythmias and thus being difficult to analyze using standard MRI techniques. Currently, he works on various clinical applications of real-time MRI, including MRI-guided catheter interventions, ergometer stress testing, and robust imaging during arrhythmias. Extending accelerated imaging into higher dimensions, he works on dynamic 3D imaging to resolve cardiac and respiratory motion from a single short and continuously acquired free-breathing scan. The third major research interest is the development of efficient methods for quantitative MRI to map physical parameters such as blood flow, relaxation constants for the characterization of tissue properties, and temperature. His vision is to obtain an information-rich 3D model of any given patient heart, providing quantitative information about morphology, function, flow, and tissue microstructure using a single short (several minutes) MRI scan that can be acquired without breath-holding. It would help in moving cardiac MRI into the frontline of cardiac diagnostics and allow MRI-guided interventions as well as inform surgical procedures to enable personalized treatments.

Real-time MRI of the human heart at a resolution of 50 ms

MRI-guided endomyocardial biopsy using passive tracking at 42 ms resolution

Major achievements and awards

  • Invention of a method for interactive real-time MRI with high temporal resolution (PCT/EP2010/001814)
  • Publication about the ESPIRiT method was the most-cited publication from Magnetic Resonance in Medicine in 2014 according to the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (top 1% in the category clinical medicine according to Web of Science and one of the 30 most-cited papers in the category Radiology & Medical Imaging from 2014-2018 according to Google Scholar Metrics 2019)
  • Co-author of many award-winning papers, including two Young-Investigator Awards of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Key publications

Backhaus S, Lange T, Beuthner BE, Topci R, Wang X, Kowallick JT, Lotz J, Seidler T, Toischer K, Zeisberg EM, Puls M, Jacobshagen C, Uecker M, Hasenfuß G, Schuster A.. Real-time Cardiac Magnetic Resonance T1 and Extracellular Volume Fraction mapping for Tissue Characterisation in Aortic Stenosis. Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 2020; in press.

Rosenzweig S, Scholand N, Holme HCM, Uecker M. Cardiac and Respiratory Self-Gating in Radial MRI using an Adapted Singular Spectrum Analysis (SSA-FARY). IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 2020; in press.

Wang X, Kohler F, Unterberg-Buchwald C,  Lotz J, Frahm J, Uecker M. Model-based myocardial T1 mapping with sparsity constraints using single-shot inversion-recovery radial FLASH cardiovascular magnetic resonance. Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 2019;21:60.

Frahm J, Voit D, Uecker M. Real-Time Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Radial Gradient-Echo Sequences With Nonlinear Inverse Reconstruction.Investigative Radiology 2019;54:757-766.

Unterberg-Buchwald C, Ritter CO, Reupke V, Wilke RN, Stadelmann C, Steinmetz M, Schuster A, Hasenfuß G, Lotz J, Uecker M. Targeted endomyocardial biopsy guided by real-time magnetic resonance imaging. Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 2017;19:45.

Cheng JY, Hanneman K, Zhang T, Alley MT, Lai P, Tamir JI, Uecker M, Pauly JM, Lustig M, Vasanawala SS. Comprehensive Motion-Compensated Highly-Accelerated 4D Flow MRI with Ferumoxytol Enhancement for Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 2016;43:1355-1368.

Uecker M, Lai P, Murphy MJ, Virtue P, Elad M, Pauly JM, Vasanawala SS, Lustig M. ESPIRiT - An Eigenvalue Approach to Autocalibrating Parallel MRI: Where SENSE meets GRAPPA. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2014;71:990-1001.

Joseph AA, Merboldt K-D, Voit D, Zhang S, Uecker M, Lotz J, Frahm J. Real-time phase-contrast MRI of cardiovascular blood flow using undersampled radial fast low-angle shot and nonlinear inverse reconstruction. NMR in Biomedicine 2012;25:917-924.

Uecker M, Zhang S, Voit D, Karaus A, Merboldt K-D, Frahm J. Real-time magnetic resonance imaging at a resolution of 20 ms.NMR in Biomedicine 2010;23:986-994.

Block KT, Uecker M, Frahm J. Undersampled Radial MRI with Multiple Coils. Iterative Image Reconstruction Using a Total Variation Constraint. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2007;57:1086-1098.