Corinna Vehlow: Excellent Master Thesis Defended

Corinna Vehlow yesterday finished her study of Computational Visualistics with an excellent defense of her Master thesis “Visualization Toolkit for Contact Density Potentials within Amino Acid Neighborhoods in Protein Structures”. She carried out her Master project at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in the Bioinformatics/Structural Proteomics group headed by Dr. Michael Lappe. Her work aims at supporting prediction of the folding of protein structures. As a prerequisite, Corinna had to dive deeply in molecular cell biology to understand the chemical and spatial structure of proteins as well as their function. She also had to understand, not only the basics, but also current research questions and to derive requirements for her tool. The core of the thesis is the design and development of a toolkit which incorporates assumptions and probabilities for interactions between amino acid residues. The 3D information was projected in a Contact Map which supports the investigations of biologists. Informal feedback of the users clearly indicates that additional insights are gained with her toolkit. A journal paper summarizing the major results is currently under review. Her thesis, written in excellent English, was graded with 1.0 from both reviewers.

Konrad Mühler defended his Phd thesis

With an excellent presentation Konrad nicely rounded up his Phd thesis on computer-assisted surgery. Konrad developed and refined techniques for animation, viewpoint determination and annotation of 2d slices and 3d models thus supporting the use of 3d models for surgical education and training. Together with Christian Tietjen he integrated his development in the METK – an efficient extension to Mevislab which supports the fast development of surgical applications. A major achievement of his work was the concept and realization of the LiverSurgeryTrainer – a system which directly supports the training of preoperative decisions in liver surgery based on a representative set of case data.

The commission with external reviewers Prof. Thomas Ertl and Prof. Karl-Heinz Höhne lead by Prof. Dietmar Rösner assessed his overall achievements with the best possible grade “Summa Cum Laude”.

Steffen Oeltze: Excellent PhD thesis

Steffen Oeltze has defended his Phd thesis “Visual Exploration and Analysis of Perfusion Data”. Steffen dealt with the visual exploration and visual analysis of perfusion data and their applications in the diagnosis of the coronary heart disease, in breast tumor and cerebral stroke diagnosis. To tackle clinically relevant problems in a uniform way, he developed a pipeline including preprocessing, data analysis and visual exploration. Steffen has cooperated with the VRVis in Vienna and the visualization group in Bergen as well as with colleagues from Fraunhofer MEVIS . Also several clinical partners were involved in this endeavor. Specific results have been published already in IEEE TVCG and IEEE TMI as well as EuroVis. The thesis was graded with the highest possible “Summa Cum Laude”. External reviewers have been Prof. Helwig Hauser (Bergen, Norway) and Prof. Frits Post (Delft, The Netherlands) .

Christoph Russ: Excellent Master thesis

Christoph Russ has successfully completed his study in computational visualistics with an extraordinary master thesis on virtail endoscopy. Christoph dealt with virtual endoscopy already in the practical stage of his study where he worked in Australia on that topic.

The master thesis was accomplished at SIEMENS Corporate Research, Princeton, New Jersey and jointly supervised by Dr. Patric Ljung and Christoph Kubisch (Visualization research group, Univ. Magdeburg). In his thesis, Christoph Russ developed new methods for an automatic and realistic display of the colon wall and colon wall abnormalities for virtual colonoscopy, an endoscopic procedure to detect colon cancer at an early stage. Christoph used modern computer graphics hardware in a sophisticated manner.

The core aspects of the thesis have already been published at the well-known Volume Graphics conference, where Christoph presented the work as first author of the scientific publication. He was awarded a master degree with distinction for his extraordinary achievements.

Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing in Biology and Medicine

This year’s Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing in Biology and Medicine ( takes places in Leipzig in early July. Our group will be represented with three full papers.

Alexandra and Kerstin dealt with general problems of surgical planning and developed a methodology to classify anatomic structures in focus, focus-near and context structures. This enables them to choose appropriate rendering parameters to directly support surgical questions, such as infiltration, viability of surgical removal with a security margin.

Tobias developed a new method to generate smooth and accurate surface models from segmentation results. His smoothing approach detects artifacts resulting from slices and corrects them without introducing additional errors in other portions of anatomic structures.

Rocco will present a research result from the MOBESTAN-project. He developed methods to simultaneously visualize simulated blood flow as streamlines and the anatomic context. He employed and adapted smart visibility and illustrative rendering techniques to support the interpretation of the data by clinical experts.

BVM-Award für Florian Wagner

Der BVM-Award (Bildverarbeitung für die Medizin) wurde auf der gleichnamigen Tagung an den Magdeburger Computervisualisten Florian Wagner verliehen. Damit wird seine herausragende Diplomarbeit mit dem Thema „Verbesserung eines Systems für die Diagnose von Herdbefunden in Mammogrammen“ gewürdigt. Dabei wurde mit ausgefeilten Methoden der Bildverarbeitung versucht, die diagnostische Auswertung von Mammogrammen, also von Röntgenaufnahmen der weiblichen Brust, hinsichtlich von krebsverdächtigen Herden zu verbessern. Diese Methoden sind vor allem wichtig, um eine effiziente Früherkennung von Brustkrebs bzw. seinen Vorstufen zu erkennen. Die Diplomarbeit wurde am Fraunhofer-Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen IIS, Erlangen durchgeführt und gemeinsam von der AG Visualisierung der OvGU und der dortigen Abteilung Medizintechnik (Dr. Thomas Wittenberg) betreut. Florian Wagner ist es gelungen, dass dort bereits existierende System um wesentliche Komponenten zu erweitern, die vor allem den Rand eines verdächtigen Befundes mit komplexen mathematischen Methoden analysiert. Bei der Anwendung der Methoden auf eine große Menge „echter“ Patientendaten, bei denen eine gesicherte Diagnose vorliegt, konnte tatsächlich eine verbesserte Detektion erreicht werden. Das entwickelte System kann die Arbeit eines Radiologen sinnvoll ergänzen, indem es auf verdächtige Regionen hinweist. Eine komplett automatische Analyse ist weder möglich noch sinnvoll.


Konrad Mühler (zweiter von rechts) hat einen der beiden FIN-Forschungspreise des Jahres 2009 erhalten. Mit dem von der Firma METOP gesponsorten Preis wird die beste wissenschaftliche Einzelleistung gewürdigt. Die Auszeichnung erfolgt für das Paper “The Medical Exploration Toolkit: An Efficient Support for Visual Computing in Surgical Planning and Traingin” (Autoren: Konrad Mühler, Christian Tietjen, Felix Ritter, Bernhard Preim), das in der Zeitschrift IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics erschienen ist. Dabei wird eine innovative und sehr leistungsfähige Softwarebibliothek vorgestellt, die es erleichtert maßgeschneiderte Anwendungen für die chirurgische Planung und Ausbildung zu erstellen. Die von den Autoren in den letzten Jahren entwickelten Softwarekomponenten stehen mit dieser Bibliothek weltweit zur Verfügung.

Best Presenter Award@VMV

The presentation of the paper by Sylvia Glaßer et al.,“A Visual Analytics Approach to Diagnosis of Breast DCE-MRI Data” was selected as best presentation (among 38) at the VMV-conference. It is joint work with the Department of Radiology (Prof. Ricke, U. Preim), the image analysis group of our computer science (Prof. Toennies, S. Schäfer). The paper addresses breast cancer diagnosis with dynamic MRI data and attempts to better discriminate malignant and benign tumors.


The visualization group will present 3 papers at the VMV (Vision, Modelling and Visualization) conference: Alexandra Baer et al.: “Perception-based Evaluation of Emphasis Techniques Used in 3D Medical Visualization.” Sylvia Glaßer et al.: “A Visual Analytics Approach to Diagnosis of Breast DCE-MRI Data” Konrad Mühler et al.: “Automatic Textual Annotation for Surgical Planning”

Bernhard Preim Elected as 1st Vice President of the CURAC

On June 22, Bernhard Preim was elected as 1st vice president at the general meeting of the German Gesellschaft für Computer- und Robotergestützte Chirurgie (CURAC) in Berlin. The tenure is two years. The society consists of approx. 230 members, whereas surgeons hold the majority. The society aims at the support of the application of computer technology for the preparation and implementation of surgical interventions. Important aims that are to be reached during this tenure along with the new president, Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Joerg Schipper (Duesseldorf), comprise the extension of contacts to the industry, a goal-oriented and intense interaction with the members, and the development of new focuses, e.g., in the field of surgical education.