ESMI PhD Award | the winners 2013


The PhD Award for excellent PhD thesis 2013/2 goes to Hans Wehrl from Tübingen for his thesis on "Possibilities and limitations of combined PET/MR imaging in oncological and neurological basic research"

Hans Wehrl from Tübingen and his thesis on "Possibilities and limitations of combined PET/MR imaging in oncological and neurological basic research"

read more about his thesis - abstract, impact, related publications


Bernd Pichler - supervisor:

"Hans has done a tremendous job in pushing forward PET/MR research. His endurance and patience to solve problems, as well as his unique ingenuity and innovation deserve respect and greatly exceed my expectations. In his excellent and outstanding thesis Hans covers three major topics using PET/MR in the fields of oncology and neurology [...].

The impact of Hans’ thesis on the field of multi modality imaging is from my point of view tremendous. I think the most important part is, that he clearly shows that PET/MR is not only the combination of molecular information from PET with anatomy from MR, but that the strength is in the utilization of the functional imaging capabilities of both modalities. Also the translation of his work into humans is currently ongoing by our group but also at other institutions.
Hans currently plans to further investigate brain networks by means of functional and metabolic imaging based on PET and MR. He is currently developing methods of complex network analysis as well as CMRO2 measurements using radioactive gases and calibrated BOLD. I have no doubt that Hans will be successfully in his work, and can ultimately establish his own research group."



The PhD Award for excellent PhD thesis 2013/1 goes to Laila Ritsma from Utrecht for her thesis on “High resolution in vivo imaging of metastasis; Seeing is believing”. 

Laila Ritsma from Utrecht and her thesis on “High resolution in vivo imaging of metastasis; Seeing is believing”

read more about her thesis - abstract

NEW full text of thesis


"I have no doubts that Laila will have a bright future in science ahead of her, and I expect that she will become a future leader in the field. Impressed by her skills, her intelligence and working spirit, I rank her to the best 5% of PhD students in the Netherlands. The ESMI PhD Award will help Laila to get exposure in the imaging field and will help her to initiate collaborations with other researchers which is important for her future career. Moreover, she can contribute to the success of the annual ESMI meeting by presenting her exciting new data."

Jacco van Rheenen, Hubrecht Institute Utrecht


"PhD award winner Laila Ritsma advanced in her thesis research our fundamental understanding of cancer metastasis, through elegant development on new tools for molecular imaging. To achieve that, she developed a novel window for longitudinal intravital imaging of internal abdominal organs, thus overcoming the limitations of existing preparations.  Using this window, Dr Ritsma could detect metastatic liver colonization initiated from a single cell. These studies revealed a new pre-micrometastatic stage in which the tumor cells show enhanced migratory behavior. She further developed tools for spatially correlating the in vivo  imaging with cryosection immunolabeling, allowing her to identify cells in the microenvironment that may influence the dynamics of metastasis."

Michal Neeman, chair of the Award Committee stated.


"Dr. Ritsma has published her work in leading journals of the field, which gives her an excellent basis for her future scientific career. We are highly looking forward to follow her scientific achievements in the future and to welcome her at our next ESMI meetings."

Fabian Kiessling member of the Award Committee added.