RC2NB - Workstream 2

Innovative imaging and analysis of body fluids

The main actors in this workstream are Prof. Cristina Granziera and Prof. Jens Kuhle.

Cristina Granziera focuses her research on innovative imaging techniques, in particular on better visualization of axonal damage and (de-/re-) myelination, both typical pathophysiological processes in MS, which cannot be reliably visualized with conventional imaging. In addition to her own SNF-funded project, she coordinates the work of several neuroimaging research groups in neurology in the ThiNk Basel Group (Translational Imaging in Neurology Basel), which she founded in Basel.

The aim of this group is to combine information from innovative imaging techniques with clinical, neurophysiological and laboratory chemical parameters in order to investigate the pathophysiological processes of various neurological diseases. ThiNk Basel is affiliated to the DBE (Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Basel) and maintains collaborations with the DKF and DBM (Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel).


Different MRI sequences in an MS patient: A) Typical presentation of a white matter lesion in routine clinical sequence; special sequences show reduced myelin (B) and axon density (C) in the same MS lesion. Newly developed special sequences for imaging cortical (D) and chronically active (E+F) lesions.

Jens Kuhle manages the MS Center at the USB. In his research he focuses on biomarkers from serum and cerebrospinal fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) and in recent years has made a significant contribution to the recognition of neurofilaments, a component of the neuronal cytoskeleton not found in any other human cell, as the first laboratory biomarker for MS. Thanks to the development of a highly sensitive and reliable measurement method, the SIMOA method, he and his team have been able to show that neurofilaments in serum very specifically indicate neuroaxonal damage and correlate with current disease activity on the one hand, and have a prognostic value and can detect therapeutic effects on the other.

Jens Kuhle heads the Swiss MS Cohort (SMSC), which he founded with Ludwig Kappos and with financial support of the Swiss MS Society 2012. This unique cohort has so far included about 1500 patients with MS from Basel as well as the larger university and cantonal neurological clinics in Switzerland. In the long term, these patients will be documented clinically every 6 or 12 months, with imaging and standardized blood and CSF samples in high quality. Think Basel has taken over the standardized analysis of conventional and advanced MR measurements for the entire SMSC consortium.The SMSC data center was established by the DKF, headed by Pascal Benkert, PhD (Senior Data Scientist at DKF). It provides the basis for a large number of research projects, which are also methodically and statistically planned and evaluated at the DKF.

KuhleJ und GrazieraC

Jointly evaluate information from innovative imaging techniques and body fluids: Prof. Cristina Granziera and Prof. Jens Kuhle.

October 2020