• sense clinically
  • think mechanistically
  • act interdisciplinarily
  • treat innovatively

Dr. rer. nat. Leif Schröder

Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie
Phone: +49 30 94793 121 

Email: lschroeder@ fmp-berlin.de

University Education

  • 2001 Diploma in Physics, Universität Heidelberg
  • 2003 Dr. rer. nat., Universität Heidelberg

Professional Experience (selection)

  • 2000-2005  Research assistant, Department of Medical Physics in Radiology, DRFZ, Heidelberg
  • 2005-2007 Postdoctoral scientist as Emmy Noether Research Fellow of the DFG, Department of Chemistry, University of California, USA
  • 2007-2009 Postdoctoral research fellow, Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA
  • 2009- Head of the Emmy Noether-Group Molecular Imaging, FMP
  • 2009- Head of the ERC Project BiosensorImaging, FMP

Research Fields

  • i)   Main field: NMR Spectroscopy and imaging
  • ii)  Current research interest: Hyperpolarised biosensors for NMR and MRI

Scientific Scope

Our group works on the development of magnetic resonance detection techniques for novel targeted contrast agents. Xenon biosensors have an outstanding potential to increase the significance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in molecular imaging and to combine the advantages of MRI with the high sensitivity of hyperpolarized xenon and the specificity of a functionalized contrast agent. To explore this potential, the European Research Council (ERC) provides funding in terms of a Starting Grant over 5 years (BiosensorImaging, GA No. 242710).

Based on new detection schemes (Hyper-CEST method) in Xe MRI, this novel concept in molecular diagnostics will be made available for biomedical applications, including targeted contrast agents for oncology. The advancement focuses on high-sensitivity in vitro diagnostics for localization of tumour cells in cell cultures and first demonstrations on animal models. Such a sensor will enable detection of diseases at high sensitivity without any background signal. NMR detection of functionalized Xe biosensors has the potential to close the sensitivity gap between modalities of nuclear medicine like PET/SPECT and MRI without using ionizing radiation or making compromises in penetration depth like in optical methods.

Most important Awards, Grants or Scientififc Achievements

  • 2009 Starting Grant of the European Research Council
  • 2009 Emmy Noether Fellow of the German Research Foundation
  • 2009 Young Scientist Prize of trhe International Union for Pure and Applied Physics
  • 2008 Dr. Emil Salzer Prize for Cancer Research of the German Cancer Research Center
  • 2005 Philips Research Prize for Medical Physics

Selected References

  • Martin Kunth, Jörg Döpfert, Christopher Witte, Federica Rossella, Leif Schröder: Optimized use of reversible binding for fast and selective NMR localization of caged xenon (hot paper, inside back cover article) Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 51(33): 8217-8220 (2012) [doi: 10.1002/anie.201202481]
  • Franz Schilling, Leif Schröder, Krishnan K. Palaniappan, Sina Zapf, David E. Wemmer, Alexander Pines: MRI thermometry based on encapsulated hyperpolarized xenon (cover article) ChemPhysChem. 11: 3529-3533 (2010) [doi: 10.1002/cphc.201000507]
  • Tyler Meldrum, Leif Schröder, Phillipp Denger, David E. Wemmer, Alexander Pines: Xenon-based molecular sensors in lipid suspensions (cover article) J. Magn. Reson. 205(2): 242-246 (2010) [doi: 10.1016/j.jmr.2010.05.005]
  • Leif Schröder, Tyler Meldrum, Monica Smith, Thomas J. Lowery, David E. Wemmer, Alexander Pines: Temperature response of 129Xe depolarization transfer and its application for ultra-sensitive NMR detection Phys. Rev. Lett. 100(25): 257603 (2008) [doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.257603]
  • Leif Schröder, Lana Chavez, Tyler Meldrum, Monica Smith, Thomas J. Lowery, David E. Wemmer, Alexander Pines: Temperature-controlled molecular depolarization gates in nuclear magnetic resonance (frontispiece article) Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 47: 4316-4320 (2008) [doi: 10.1002/anie.200800382]
  • Leif Schröder, Thomas J. Lowery, Christian Hilty, David E. Wemmer, Alexander Pines: Molecular imaging using a hyperpolarized xenon biosensor (highlighted paper) Science 314: 446-449 (2006) [doi: 10.1126/science.1131847]
  • Leif Schröder, Marc-André Weber, Marco Ulrich, Jens U. Regula: Metabolic Imaging of atrophic muscle tissue using appropriate markers in 1H and 31P NMR spectroscopy Neuroradiology 48(11): 809-816 (2006) [doi: 10.1007/s00234-006-0121-0]
  • Leif Schröder, Christian Schmitz, Peter Bachert: Cumulative "roof effect" in high resolution in vivo 31P NMR spectra of human calf muscle and the Clebsch-Gordan coefficients of ATP at 1.5 T J. Magn. Reson. 174: 68-77 (2005) [doi:10.1016/j.jmr.2005.01.011]
  • Leif Schröder, Christian Schmitz, Peter Bachert: Molecular dynamics and information on possible sites of interaction of intramyocellular metabolites in vivo from resolved dipolar couplings in localized 1H MR spectra J. Magn. Reson. 171: 207–212 (2004) [doi: 10.1016/j.jmr.2004.08.015]
  • Leif Schröder, Peter Bachert: Evidence for a dipolar-coupled AM system in carnosine in human calf muscle from in vivo 1H NMR spectroscopy J. Magn. Reson. 164: 256-269 (2003) [doi:10.1016/S1090-7807(03)00205-2]