EliteForsk 2017 travel grant to HYPERMAG PhD student

Thursday 23 Feb 17
by Signe Rømer Holm


Rie Beck Olin
DTU Health Tech


Rie’s project is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research, Technology and Production Sciences (Highly Efficient Cryogenic Resonators for Magnetic Resonance and Dynamic Nuclear Polarisation, DFF – 4005-00531B). 
HYPERMAG PhD student Rie Beck Hansen is awarded an EliteForsk travel grant of DKK 200,000 at the Danish Elite Research Initiative (EliteForsk) Conference on 23 February 2017. 

The award is presented by HRH Crown Princess Mary and Minister for Higher Education and Science Søren Pind.

The Elite Research Initiative honors and supports the biggest research talents in Danish research. The Elite Research travel grant helps very talented PhD students to perform longer-term studies in some of the best research environments in the world. 

Rie’s research is focused on implementing parallel imaging sequences and reconstruction as a means to accelerate data collection for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) using hyperpolarized substances. 

"I have had a special interest in MR research since a stay at Stanford University during my master. It is a very exciting technology with certain unresolved challenges of high clinical impact. I am delighted about the opportunity to immerse myself for six months in another cutting-edge research environment. I am sure I will be extremely challenged and inspired by Professor Vigneron and his group. Thanks to the Elite Research Initiative for making this possible."
Rie Beck Hansen

Hyperpolarized MRI is a new medical imaging modality with the potential of revolutionizing diagnostic radiology. It enables non-invasive investigation of metabolism, e.g. biochemical changes in cancer tissue that can reveal response to a treatment much faster than existing methods, allowing doctors to change to more efficient treatment regimes, saving precious time, cost and patient adverse effects. However, the signal is short-lived, which demands new and robust signal acquisition schemes to harvest the full clinical potential of hyperpolarized MRI. 

Rie will use the travel grant for an extended research stay at University of California San Francisco, where she will be part of Professor Daniel B. Vigneron’s research group. Vigneron’s Lab focuses on developing new metabolic MRI techniques for both basic research and clinical assessments of human diseases.  

Rie’s research is part of Center for Hyperpolarization in Magnetic Resonance (HYPERMAG), funded by Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF124). The HYPERMAG Center of Excellence is committed to addressing basic scientific questions of hyperpolarization by providing a theoretical and experimental basis of the magnetic resonance signal and optimal ways of extracting information about the system to enable new vistas in medicine, biology and chemistry. 

Center Leader Jan Henrik Ardenkjær-Larsen, who is also Rie's Supervisor, says: “The first ever hyperpolarized Metabolic MR study was performed at UCSF in patients with prostate cancer. Their leading position in the clinical development provides us with a unique opportunity to try our research on patients. I am thrilled that Rie gets to show her skills to an internationally recognized group and will bring back new knowledge to ours.”

Read more about Rie and her project at the EliteForsk website.

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