Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The Erwin L. Hahn Institute was founded as a joint research facility in an agreement signed in July 2005 by the University of Duisburg-Essen and Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands). In addition to providing a unique research infrastructure for various groups from the two founding universities, the institute practises an open-door policy granting access to institute facilities to both academic and industrial partners. The institute is named after Erwin L. Hahn, a physicist who has made innumerable contributions to the field of magnetic resonance; Hahn is best known for the discovery of the "spin echo", one of the most fundamental methods of signal formation in MRI. Located on the grounds of the Zollverein UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in Essen, Germany, the Institute has been in operation since October 2006. The heart of the Institute is a 7 Tesla whole-body magnetic resonance imager from Siemens Healthcare, Erlangen, Germany. In contrast to the conventional magnetic resonance imagers used in hospitals and clinics throughout the world, which commonly operate at a magnetic field strength of 1.5 or 3 Tesla, the ultra-high magnetic field strength of this imager provides significantly superior sensitivity for structural and functional measurements of the human body.
In 2009, the research groups active in the Institute were bolstered by two significant additions: Matthias Brand is Professor of General Psychology: Cognition in the Department of Informatics and Applied Cognitive Science of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Duisburg-Essen and has initiated a broad programme of research into the neural correlates of cognitive and emotional brain functions; Dr. Tom Scheenen heads a research group from the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre that is primarily concerned with spectroscopy of the brain and prostate. These two groups bring additional breadth and weight to the Institute's scientific activities, and although the scientific goals may be distinct, many new active collaborations between these and existing groups have already been established.