Dr Scheenen's research is focused around the development of in vivo magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy for oncological applications. Embedded as a biophysicist within a clinical department at the Radboudumc, and working part-time in the Hahn Institute in Essen, he is able to recognize and develop new MR methodology at the technological forefront and at the same time translate these innovations towards relevant clinical applications. In the last five years Dr Scheenen started building a research group (currently 14 people) largely involved in the in vivo assessment of prostate cancer aggressiveness with a European Starting Grant. Work from the group ranged from the development of new RF coil technology and imaging pulse sequences at 7 Tesla, to the exploration of new in vivo biomarkers for cancer aggressiveness attainable at this ultra-high field strength, down to larger patient studies in clinical practice validating multi-parametric MRI for prostate cancer management, in single institution and multi center setting. In the coming years the focus on MRI in oncology will be further strengthened towards visualization of metastases of different malignancies (including prostate cancer).
Dr Scheenen is convinced that implementation of new technology in clinical research works best when directed from an understanding of the mechanisms of the disease at hand. Complimentary to (pre-)clinical MR(S) development, for a more fundamental knowledge of metabolism involved in cancer development, we have built the first and only dynamic nuclear polarization setup in the Netherlands to study fast metabolic pathways in cancer cell lines.