Jürgen Hennig was born in 1951 in Stuttgart, Germany. He earned a PhD in physical chemistry from the Albert Ludwig Freiburg University.
After one year of research as a fellow, he left for Switzerland where he undertook two years of postdoctorate study at the Department of physical chemistry of Zurich University. But he soon came back to Freiburg University to install a clinical MR institute at the Department of Radiology, where he headed research until 1992. He obtained full Professorship one year later.
In 1998, he was appointed Chairman of the section of Medical Physics of the service of diagnostic radiology, where he was eventually appointed research Director three years later. The same year, he took the lead of the newly established ‘Magnetic Resonance Development and Application Centre’ (MRDAC) at Freiburg University.
He has been Co-Chairman and Scientific Director of the Department of Radiology – Medical Physics at the University Hospital Freiburg since 2004.
Jürgen Hennig’s contribution to MRI has been crucial to the development of this modality. Under his leadership, the Freiburg MR research group has implemented new ideas and concepts for the use of MRI in a broad spectrum of applications. The measurement procedures they developed have since been implemented in all MRI devices worldwide, and are used for all MRI patient examinations. The core of their development work has been in the establishment of fast and ultra-fast MRI, the functional imaging of brain and heart, ‘molecular imaging’ for the development of highly selective contrast agents, and in the use of MRI for the development and testing of new drugs.
These achievements have earned Jürgen Hennig the recognition of his peers and prestigious awards: the European Magnetic Resonance Award in 1992, the Kernspintomographie Preis in 1993, and the Gold Medal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in 1994. He notably served as President of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM). Lately, he was honoured with the Max Planck Award in the category Medicine/Life Sciences (2004) and the Albers-Schönberg Medal of the German Radiological Society (2006). In 2006, he was also appointed Scientific Director of the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR).
Over the years, Prof. Dr. Hennig has also shown a real commitment to sharing his knowledge with colleagues from all over the world, and has been striving for developing cooperation between Europe and other continents. As a young man, he went to study chemistry in the UK and Switzerland. In 2002 he was offered a Dunhill-Chair for Neuroscience at the University of Oxford.
Lately, his foreign activities have attracted him more and more eastwards. Chairman of the Academic Committee for the new National MRI Brain Mapping Centre in Beijing, he is also President of the European-Chinese Society for Clinical Magnetic Resonance. In 2003, he was notably awarded Honorary Membership by the Chinese Medical Society and Chinese Radiological Society.
He is also the current chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board ‘Singapore Brain Imaging Centre’, as well as a member of the Academy of Science of Tatarstan Republic.
He has been married since 1984 with Annemarie Hennig-Rüegg with whom he has two children, Julian and Olivia.
In recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of MRI, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Hennig is invited to be an Honorary Lecturer of the European Congress of Radiology. He will present the Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen – Honorary Lecture: ‘Pushing the speed limits in MR imaging’.