Wietske van der Zwaag entered the field of MR during her degree in Molecular Sciences in Wageningen, the Netherlands. She received her PhD in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, in 2006, working with one of the first European 7T scanners. She subsequently worked at the Centre d’Imagerie Biomédicale (CIBM) at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) from 2007 to 2015. Van der Zwaag joined the Spinoza Centre, in 2015, shortly after its opening. She is the recipient of a Swiss National Science Foundation project grant and an NWO Vidi.
Ultra-high field Magnetic Resonance Imaging
The use of ultra-high field scanners (7T) allows the study of the human brain at unprecedented resolution. My research is centred on best harnessing the strong points of 7T in neuroimaging. I am especially interested in functional MRI of finely organized brain structures, such as the cerebellum.
Much of my work is directed to the improvement of both the spatial and temporal resolution with which functional MRI data can be acquired. I also work on the improvement of functional MRI acquisitions by characterisation and removal of the so-called ‘physiological noise’, and the improvement of post-processing strategies for high-resolution data. The acquisition of good structural data, in terms of resolution, SNR and bringing quantitative measures, is vitally important for functional neuroimaging. Hence, some of my work is also dedicated to, mostly quantitative, anatomical sequences.
In 2019, I received an NWO Vidi grant to investigate cerebellar function using 7T MRI.