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Ferdinand                      Schweser

Ferdinand Schweser PhD

Department of Neurology

Assistant Professor of Neurology and Biomedical Engineering, Technical Director of MRI

Specialty/Research Focus

Bioinformatics; Multiple Sclerosis; Neurodegenerative disorders; Neuroimaging; Neurology; Neuroradiology - Radiology; Parkinson's; Radiological Physics; Radiology

 
Professional Summary:

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a unique technique for studying the human body since it is non-invasive, does not require ionizing radiation and offers a multiplicity of complementary tissue contrasts. My research seeks to explore the potential of MRI for clinical and pre-clinical imaging and to provide new and improved MRI technology.

The goal of this endeavor is twofold: 1.) to contribute deeper insight into the etiology, pathogenesis and potential treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, and 2.) to give clinicians the ability to diagnose diseases earlier and monitor them more accurately.

I am currently focusing on understanding MRI contrast mechanisms as well as on developing innovative imaging and reconstruction techniques that improve the sensitivity and specificity of MRI with respect to biophysical properties of brain tissue. Advancements in this field promise to have a substantial impact on our understanding of biophysical and morphological tissue alterations associated with neurological diseases and their treatment.

We recently pioneered quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM), a breakthrough in quantitative MRI. This technique allows for unique assessment of endogenous and exogenous magnetic particles in the human brain such as iron, calcium, myelin or contrast agents. The concept of QSM is fundamentally different from conventional MRI techniques as it involves solving for all imaging voxels simultaneously in large physically motivated equations, a so-called inverse problem. At the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC), we use QSM to explore whether brain iron may serve as an early biomarker for diseases of the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Other interesting applications of this technique we are investigating include differentiation between hemorrhages and calcifications, detection of demyelination and quantification of tissue oxygenation.

I am fascinated by the synergies from combining physical expertise with high-level mathematical, numerical and engineering concepts to advance our understanding of the human brain. Consequently, my research activities are generally interdisciplinary and involve collaboration with clinicians, physicists, computer scientists, technicians and engineers. Student projects typically focus either on the application of techniques or on technical developments. Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral candidates from a variety of disciplines such as neuroscience, physics and mathematics work collaboratively in my lab.

Education and Training:
  • PhD, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Summa Cum Laude (2013)
  • MS, Pure and applied physics, Friedrich Schiller University Jena (2008)
  • Student, Physics and Mathematics, University of Kaiserslautern (2003)
Employment:
  • Technical Director of MRI, Buffalo Clinical and Translational Research Center, University at Buffalo (2015-present)
  • Graduate Faculty, University at Buffalo (2014-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Neurology, University at Buffalo (2014-present)
  • Research physicist, Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center, University at Buffalo (2014-present)
  • Faculty, Neuroscience Program, University at Buffalo (2014-present)
  • Research physicist, Buffalo Clinical and Translational Research Center, University at Buffalo (2014–2015)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Medical Physics Group, Jena University Hospital, Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Germany (2013)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Hans-Berger Department of Neurology, Jena University Hospital, Germany (2013)
  • Research Associate, Medical Physics Group, Jena University Hospital, Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Germany (2013)
  • Doctoral Research Fellow, Medical Physics Group, Jena University Hospital, Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology (2010–2012)
  • Assistant Scientist, Medical Physics Group, Jena University Hospital, Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Germany (2008–2009)
See all (1 more)
Awards and Honors:
  • Award for best doctoral dissertation (2014)
  • Junior Fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) (2014)
  • Varian poster prize (2013)
  • IUPAP Young Scientist Medal in Medical Physics (2013)
  • ISMRM 2013 Seed Grant Award (2013)
  • ISMRM Summa Cum Laude Merit Award (2013)
  • Best poster presentation in ISMRM poster-highlights session (2013)
  • Young Investigator Award at 2nd Intl. QSM Workshop (2013)
  • DGMP Young Investigator Award (2012)
  • ISMRM Summa Cum Laude Merit Award (2012)
  • ISMRM Magna Cum Laude Merit Award (2012)
  • ISMRM Magna Cum Laude Merit Award (2012)
  • Invitation to student poster-highlight session (2012)
  • Gorter Award (2011)
  • ISMRM 1st place poster award (2011)
  • Carl Zeiss Foundation doctoral scholarship (2009)

Research Expertise:
  • Inverse Problems
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Phase MRI, Pre-clinical MRI
  • Neuroimaging
  • Numerical Analysis
Research Centers:
  • Jacobs Neurological Institute
  • Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC)
  • Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center
UB 2020 Strategic Strengths:
  • Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • September 2013–September 2014
    Disentangling of biophysical contributions to the MR-phase signal in the human brain by analyzing of the multipole field distribution due to the anisotropic magnetic susceptibility of the neuronal network
    Friedrich Schiller University Jena
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • May 2014–May 2014
    UUP individual Development Award
    University At Buffalo
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • April 2013–April 2014
    ISMRM Seed Grant
    International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • July 2013–September 2013
    Research Internship in Science and Engineering (RISE)
    German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • January 2009–December 2011
    Doctoral scholarship
    Carl Zeiss Foundation
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • July 2010–August 2010
    Research Internship in Science and Engineering (RISE)
    German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
    Role: Co-Investigator
Patents:
  • DE 10/2010/014413 - Verfahren zur hochgenauen Extraktion von Informationen A method for high precision extraction of information from at least two-dimensional measurement data of an object, which are superimposed by a signal from external sources (2011)
  • WO 2010/113122 - SAR hotspot reduction by temporal averaging (2010)
  • WO 2009/128013 - Real-time local and global SAR estimation (2009)

Journal Articles:
See all (3 more)

Professional Memberships:
  • German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (DHV) (2013–present)
  • German Society for Medical Physics (DGMP) (2012–present)
  • European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) (2011–present)
  • International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) (2010–present)
  • German chapter of the ISMRM (DS-ISMRM) (2009–present)
  • German Physical Society (DPG) (2002–present)
Service Activities:
  • ISMRM Ad Hoc Committee on Standards for Quantitative MR; Committee Member (2014–2015)
  • ISMRM Electro-Magnetic Tissue Properties Study Group; Committee Member (2014–2015)
  • Second international workshop on MRI phase contrast and quantitative susceptibility mapping; Committee Member (2013)
  • Frontiers in Biomedical Physics; Editorial Board Member (2013–present)
  • Frontiers in Brain Imaging Methods; Reviewer (2013–present)
  • IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering; Reviewer (2013–present)
  • Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Reviewer (2013–present)
  • European Radiology; Reviewer (2012–present)
  • Magnetic Resonance in Medicine; Reviewer (2012–present)
  • NeuroImage; Reviewer (2012–present)
  • First international workshop on MRI phase contrast and quantitative susceptibility mapping; Organizing Committee Member (2010–2011)
  • Zeitschrift fuer Medizinische Physik; Reviewer (2010–present)

School News:
In the Media:

Clinical Specialties:
Clinical Offices:
Insurance Accepted:


Contact Information

6045C Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC)
875 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: (716) 888-4718
Fax: (716) 859-7066
Email: schweser@buffalo.edu


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