Magnetic Resonance Researcher Honored By International Society

Ferdinand Schweser

Ferdinand Schweser, PhD

Published May 13, 2014

In recognition of his outstanding early-career research, Ferdinand Schweser, PhD, assistant professor of neurology, has been named a junior fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM).

Schweser is using quantitative susceptibility mapping — a technique he pioneered — to determine whether brain iron is an early biomarker for central nervous system diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

Schweser received the honor May 12 during the 2014 Joint Annual Meeting of ISMRM and the European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology, in Milan, Italy.

He also was elected to a one-year term as a committee member of ISMRM’s Electro-Magnetic Tissue Properties Study Group.

Pioneering Quantitative MRI Breakthrough

Through his multidisciplinary research, Schweser seeks to better understand and monitor neurodegenerative diseases, and diagnose them earlier.

He pioneered quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM), a breakthrough in quantitative magnetic resonance imaging that allows for the unique assessment of magnetic particles in the brain, such as iron, calcium, myelin or contrast agents.

Schweser and his team are using the technique to determine whether brain iron is an early biomarker for central nervous system diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

He also is using QSM to differentiate hemorrhages and calcifications, detect demyelination and quantify tissue oxygenation.

Award-Winning, Interdisciplinary Scientist

“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,” Schweser says.

“Consequently, my research involves collaboration with clinicians, physicists, computer scientists, technicians and engineers.”

In addition to his neurology appointment, Schweser is a faculty member in the interdisciplinary neuroscience program as well as a research physicist for the UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the neurology department’s Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center.

He earned his doctorate in 2013 in medical physics, graduating summa cum laude from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany.

That same year, he won the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics’ Young Scientist Medal in Medical Physics and the ISMRM Seed Grant Award.

Prior to joining UB in 2014, Schweser was part of the Medical Physics Group of the Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at Jena University Hospital.