Prof. Dr. Moritz Zaiss

Project Leader

Main Focus

Molecular MRI using chemical exchange saturation transfer at 9.4T and 3T

CEST MRI is regarded as an exciting topic in the field of biomedical imaging. Its major advantage is imaging of physiological and molecular information with spatial resolution comparable to that of conventional MRI. Correlations of CEST signals with protein content and protein structure, metabolite concentration (especially glucose), as well as pH have made CEST an interesting imaging modality for studies of cancer: Metabolic changes indicate tumor activity, Protein content is a measure of increased cellularity during tumor infiltration; furthermore, there is a correlation between gradients in pH and tumor migration.

Find previous publications on pubmed 

Find resources for CEST-MRI on the project page

latest work:

QUESP and QUEST revisited - fast and accurate quantitative CEST experiments. DOI:
T1?-weighted Dynamic Glucose-enhanced MR Imaging in the Human Brain DOI:

Fast magentization-prepared imaging readouts

For all CEST experiments the magnetization must be prepared by saturation which takes several seconds to build up. Subsequently this magentization state must be read out as quickly as possible before it is lost again. Thus, one major project that forms the basis of all subprojects is the development of fast imaging readouts.

Hand in hand with sequence development , evaluation must be refined; evaluation software is shared on our project webiste


We are part of the EU Project GLINT

The promise of the technique is to give a subject a drink of soda with high sugar and see if tumors light up due to their enhanced metabolism. First applications in vivo showed glucoCEST signal enhancmenet in tumor areas, see our .

protein CEST

CEST allows MRI imaging of protein content, conformation and denaturation. All of these might be interesting markers in brain tumors as well as other pathologies, especially in tumors it might overcome the need for contrast agents (see Figure 1). In addition, protein signals have a correlation with pH that is investitgated for use of a pH-weighted imaging.

Figure 1: Comparison of Gadolinium enhanced (left column) and 'Downfield NOE-suppressd amide-CEST effect' in human glioblastoma patients revealed that amide-CEST contrast forms a unique contrast that delineates tumor regions and show remarkable overlap with the gadolinium contrast enhancement.

Curriculum Vitae

Current position:

Post-Doc and leader of the project 'Molecular MRI using chemical exchange saturation transfer at 9.4T and 3T' at MPI, Tübingen

Degrees: Ph.D. in Physics


2004 – 2009: Physics, Ruprecht-Karls University, Heidelberg, Germany

2009-2010: graduate student at Ruprecht-Karls Universität in the
Dep. Medical Physics in Radiology,   German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg

June 2010 Graduation: Master of Physics

February 2011-February 2014 Ph.D. student, stipendiary of Helmholtz-Community at DKFZ

January-May 2013: Research Stay at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN in Gochberg lab

supported by a stipend of DAAD

February 2014: Promotion in physics: Dr. rer. nat


2014-2016: Post-Doc and leader of the project group CEST imaging at DKFZ, Heidelberg

June 2015: Research Stay at Molecular Biology Center Torino, Silvio Aimes Lab

October-November 2015: Research Stay Utrecht Medical Center, Dennis Klomps Lab

since 2016: Post-Doc and leader of the project CEST imaging at MPI, Tübingen


Young Investigator Award of the Journal of Magnetic Resonance (JMR) at ENC 2014, Boston

Gorter award 2013 (first prize) of the German chapter of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), Freiburg

Competitive Grants: DFG grant : qCEST- Quantitative  Chemical Exchange saturation transfer MR imaging of brain tumors at ultra high fields

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