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Quantitative MRI in Disease Diagnosis (QMDD)


Admission requirements

Elective course in MSc Life Science and Technology, MSc Chemistry.
Students with a BSc degree in LST, MST, or BSc degree in Biology/Chemistry or equivalent can enroll in this course.

A 5 EC version of this course was previously given in the minor programme Advanced LST (uSis code 4604L2811). This course cannot be taken if this version was included in the BSc programme.


The course on “Quantitative MRI in Disease Diagnosis” aims to provide an understanding of basic principles of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and its quantitative applications to characterize biological tissues in vitro and in vivo, with a specific focus on identifying biomarkers for disease diagnosis through the use of structural and functional MRI. The course will cover topics such as nuclear magnetism, longitudinal and transverse relaxation, MR angiography, diffusion, functional imaging and MR spectroscopy. The course will also cover current research articles related to these topics.

Course objectives

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • explain basic concepts of nuclear relaxation mechanism in biological tissue.

  • understand how to achieve image formation from MR signal (the concept of spatial encoding) and MRI pulse sequence design.

  • understand concept and applications of anatomical imaging by exploiting longitudinal, transverse relaxation phenomenon and state-of-the art of quantification using multicomponent analysis.

  • can explain how smart MRI contrast agents work and their application in disease diagnosis.

  • understand the basics of resting state- and task specific functional MRI.

  • can explain how diffusion MRI works for quantitative diagnosis.

  • can apply basic concept of in vivo localized MR spectroscopy and chemical shift imaging and their application for finding disease biomarkers.

  • understand how basic MRI experiments are performed on an ultrahigh-field NMR spectrometer.

  • can summarise and analyse relevant literature in an academic presentation and written literature discussion.


Schedule information can be found on the website of the programmes.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of Instruction

The course will be taught through a series of lectures/lecture videos followed by a tutorial session composed of discussion of recent research articles on the relevant topic and testing with a set of questions to be made each week.

Assessment method

Written exam (70%) and a presentation on a relevant literature paper (30%).
Attendance with active participation at tutorial sessions is mandatory.

Reading list

The following books are recommended: a) “The Basics of MRI”, Joseph P. Hornak (online: b) “MRI Basic Principles and Applications" by Brian M. Dale, Mark A. Brown, Richard C. Semelka, Edition: 5; ISBN: 1119013054
Slides/videos presented during the courses
Articles discussed and cited during the course


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Dr. A. Alia (Matysik)


Assignment and presentation deadlines are communicated via Brightspace.