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Quantitative Imaging in Life Sciences (QILS)


Admission requirements

Elective course in MSc Life Science and Technology, MSc Chemistry.
Students with a BSc degree in LST, MST, or BSc degree in Biology/Chemistry or equivalent can enroll in this course. Students are expected to have knowledge of fundamental concepts in NMR spectroscopy and imaging techniques.

A 5 EC version of this course was previously given in the minor programme Advanced LST (uSis code 4604L2811). This course cannot be taken if this version was included in the the BSc programme.


The course on “quantitative imaging in life sciences” aims to provide basic principles of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and its quantitative applications to characterize biological tissues in vitro and in vivo and measuring changes caused by disease through structural and functional MRI. The course will include introductory concepts, nuclear magnetism, longitudinal and transverse relaxation, MR angiography, diffusion, functional imaging and MR spectroscopy. Recent articles on these subjects will also be discussed.

Course objectives

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • can explain basic concepts of nuclear relaxation mechanism in biological tissue.

  • understand how to achieve image formation from MR signal (the concept of spatial encoding) and MRI pulse sequence design.

  • understand concept and applications of anatomical imaging by exploiting longitudinal, transverse relaxation phenomenon and state-of-the art of quantification using multicomponent analysis.

  • can explain how smart MRI contrast agents work and their application in disease diagnosis.

  • understand the basics of resting state- and task specific functional MRI.

  • can explain how diffusion MRI works for quantitative diagnosis.

  • can apply basic concept of in vivo localized MR spectroscopy and chemical shift imaging and their application for finding disease biomarkers.

  • understand how basic MRI experiments are performed on an ultrahigh-field NMR spectrometer.

  • can summarise and analyse relevant literature in an academic presentation and written literature discussion.


Schedule information can be found on the website of the programmes. Assignment and presentation deadlines are communicated via Brightspace.

Mode of Instruction

The course will be taught through a series of lectures/lecture videos followed by a tutorial session composed of discussion of recent research articles on the relevant topic and testing with a set of questions to be made each week.

Assessment method

Literature essay (50%), oral presentation (25%), and tutorial questions (25%).
Attendance with active participation at tutorial sessions is mandatory.

Reading list

  1. The following books are recommended:
    a) “The Basics of MRI”, Joseph P. Hornak (online:
    b) “In vivo NMR Spectroscopy (Principles and Techniques) by Robin A. de Graaf, second Edition; ISBN-13: 978-0-470-02670-0
  2. Slides/videos presented during the courses
  3. Articles discussed and cited during the course


Register for this course via uSis


Dr. A. Alia (Matysik)