We are pleased to announce that Dr. Dunja Simicic, a CIBM research staff scientist, has received first prize of the EPFL Physics Doctoral Thesis Award for 2022 for her thesis titled “Advanced metabolite mapping at ultra-high field using 1H-MRS, 1H-MRSI and macromolecules: applications in a rat model of type C hepatic encephalopathy”. The award was presented by Prof. Paul Dyson, Dean of the School of Basic Sciences, during its General Assembly on Dec.13, 2022.


Under the PhD supervision of Dr. Cristina Ramona Cudalbu, Dr. Simicic researched on developing novel approaches for fast magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging acquisitions and post-processing combined with optimizing single voxel MR spectroscopy at ultra-high magnetic field. She further applied these techniques to study a brain condition (Hepatic Encephalopathy) caused by chronic liver disease and brought novel insights into the metabolic outcomes of this condition. Proposed techniques and reconstructions greatly advanced the state-of-the-art methodology in the field of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging in pre-clinical settings at ultra-high field.

“I would like to thank Cristina whose energy, spirit and motivation really helped me reach my full potential leading me towards receiving this award today”, says an ecstatic Dr. Simicic after the award ceremony. She is grateful towards her teammates and colleagues at EPFL and CIBM for giving her a fulfilling PhD journey from a scientific and personal perspective.

Dunja Simicic obtained her Bachelor degree at the Faculty of Science in Engineering Physics in 2015 and her Master’s degree in Biophysics at the University of Split, Croatia in 2017. She pursued her Master project in the Laboratory of Physics of Complex Matter and then joined the EPFL Physics Doctoral School for her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Cristina Cudalbu, CIBM Center for Biomedical Imaging, and Prof. Rolf Gruetter, Laboratory of Functional and Metabolic Imaging, in the School of Physics at the  École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) .

Her PhD in the topic of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy is pushing boundaries of pre-clinical research in this field and to those interested, her PhD thesis can be accessed here.

Heartiest congratulations to Dr. Dunja Simicic for her achievements, as well as to Dr. Cristina Cudalbu for her leadership and exceptional guidance.


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