Prof. Dr. Vasilis Ntziachristos
Biomedical Imaging with Optical Methods, Technical University of Munich
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Vasilis Ntziachristos is being honoured for his internationally recognised contributions to optical imaging. His work has been a significant influence both to basic research and methods for treating patients. In basic research, his interest lies particularly in non-invasive applications of optical procedures, such as fluorescence in larger structures or complete mammalian bodies, including full-body imaging in a three-dimensional context. In this field. Ntziachristos focused on developing new tomographic processes and "multi-projection illumination", which also enabled quantitative theoretical modelling in tissue. The ability to more gently and safely treat cancer patients, in particular, originated from Ntziachristos' molecular imaging of the dispersion and effects of medicine in tissue. The resulting ability to trace the paths of fluorescing proteins and other molecules enables real-time description of molecular processes in complete tumours and surrounding tissue. Consequently, doctors can use photon imaging to uncover tumour boundaries in endoscopic and open interventions and selectively remove malignant tissue.
Born in Greece, Vasilis Ntziachristos studied in Thessalonica and received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He was then an assistant professor at Harvard. Since 2007 he has been a professor for biological imaging at the Technical University of Munich and is also the director of the Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging at Helmholtz Zentrum Munich. Ntziachristos has received multiple awards for his work. He has received funding from the DFG, for example in the Reinhart Koselleck Programme, which enabled him to pursue an innovative, higher-risk research project.