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Vasilis Ntziachristos
© Carolin Jacklin

Karl Heinz Beckurts Prize 2021 for Vasilis Ntziachristos

Awards & Grants, IBMI,

Vasilis Ntziachristos receives this year's Karl Heinz Beckurts Prize for his outstanding achievements and pioneering work in the field of biomedical imaging. The BioNTech and CureVac founders were also honored with special prizes at the award ceremony.

Vasilis Ntziachristos has developed the "Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography (MSOT)" technology. The jury rates this development as a groundbreaking innovation with vast future potential for medicine and biology. The non-invasive imaging method provides high-resolution and high-contrast images of human tissue with structural, functional and molecular information. MSOT combines the advantages of optical and acoustic ultrasound-based detection to visualize deeper tissue layers than other purely optical imaging methods.  The technology contributes significantly to more precise diagnostics as well as research into diseases such as breast cancer, fatty liver, skin tumors, and intestinal and thyroid disorders.

Vasilis Ntziachristos heads the Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Chair of Biological Imaging at the Technical University of Munich at TranslaTUM on the Klinikum Rechts der Isar campus, one of the leading research facilities for optoacoustic imaging. His goal is to use creative engineering to break through the boundaries of conventional imaging and thus revolutionize biological research and healthcare. He founded a spin-off for MSOT back in 2010. The technology holds high potential for broad application in large hospitals and smaller practices with strong international interest.