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Experimental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Conference

APRIL 16 - 20, 2023

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Günther Laukien Prize

The Laukien Prize was established in 1999 to honor the memory of Professor Günther Laukien, a co-founder of Bruker. The Günther Laukien Prize carries a monetary award of $20,000 funded by Bruker and is intended to recognize cutting-edge experimental NMR research with a high probability of enabling beneficial new applications. The Prize recipient(s) will also deliver the opening Plenary lecture at the ENC conference.

2022 Recipient

Michael Garwood, University of Minnesota

Michael Garwood was born in 1957 in the small town of Dowagiac, Michigan. As an undergraduate he attended the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) where he obtained bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry (with honors) in 1981. He remained at UCSC for his PhD where his research was in the laboratory of Prof. Thomas Schleich.  The early 1980s was a time of much excitement in Schleich’s lab, due to the inventions of MRI by Lauterbur and surface coil probes by Ackerman et al. As a graduate student Garwood was tasked with making it feasible to perform in vivo spatially-localized MRS using a surface coil. Garwood then made improvements to Hoult’s rotating frame zeugmatography (RFZ) and developed an accelerated version of RFZ known as Fourier series window. In 1985, when Garwood finished his PhD, he visited Robin Bendall at Oxford Research Systems, where Bendall was conducting early experiments that demonstrated that frequency-modulated (FM) pulses could provide extreme tolerance to RF field inhomogeneity. After witnessing that, Garwood joined forces with Bendall, Kamil Ugurbil, and others to further develop and expand the capabilities of FM pulses. In 1986, Garwood accepted a position at the University of Minnesota as post-doc where he and Ugurbil succeeded in making ultrahigh field MRI and MRS a reality. Garwood has remained at the University of Minnesota where he was promoted to assistant professor in 1987, and, since 2005, Garwood has been the Associate Director of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) at the University of Minnesota. He holds Malcolm B. Hanson Endowed Chair in Radiology.  Over the years, Garwood has been the primary advisor of dozens of graduate students seeking PhDs in physics, medical physics, or biomedical engineering.

Garwood is probably best known for his contributions to the development of frequency-modulated (FM) pulses, which includes adiabatic pulses. Notably, he expanded the theory used to understand and derive new types of FM pulses, which has led to popular pulse shapes (e.g., HSn)1 and to adiabatic pulses that enable any desired flip angle to be produced even when B1 is spatially nonuniform (e.g., BIR-4).2  Further, he exploited FM pulses in numerous applications, among which include: 1) a widely used single-voxel MRS technique called LASER3; 2) a quiet MRI sequence called SWIFT4 that makes it possible to image spins having ultra-short T2; and  3) MRI sequences that make imaging possible despite orders of magnitude reduced B0 homogeneity.5  In an ongoing international collaboration with 5 other laboratories, Garwood is leading an effort to develop a high magnetic field, portable MRI scanner. The goal is to increase access of underserved populations to high field MRI, for improving human health and medical care worldwide. Garwood and his collaborators have a long track record of using advanced techniques to study brain, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.

1.         Tannús A, Garwood M. Improved performance of frequency-swept pulses using offset-independent adiabaticity. J Magn Reson A. 1996;120:133-7.

2.         Garwood M, Ke Y. Symmetric pulses to induce arbitrary flip angles with compensation for rf inhomogeneity and resonance offsets. Journal of Magnetic Resonance (1969). 1991;94(3):511-25. doi:

3.         Garwood M, DelaBarre L. The return of the frequency sweep: designing adiabatic pulses for contemporary NMR. J Magn Reson. 2001;153(2):155-77. Epub 2001/12/13. doi: 10.1006/jmre.2001.2340. PubMed PMID: 11740891.

4.         Idiyatullin D, Corum C, Park JY, Garwood M. Fast and quiet MRI using a swept radiofrequency. J Magn Reson. 2006;181(2):342-9. Epub 2006/06/20. doi: 10.1016/j.jmr.2006.05.014. PubMed PMID: 16782371.

5.         Mullen M, Garwood M. Contemporary approaches to high-field magnetic resonance imaging with large field inhomogeneity. Prog Nucl Magn Reson Spectrosc. 2020;120-121:95-108. Epub 2020/11/18. doi: 10.1016/j.pnmrs.2020.07.003. PubMed PMID: 33198970; PMCID: PMC7672259.

Submit a Nomination for 2024

October 31, 2023

To Make a Nomination 

Nominations should include the following and be submitted by October 31: Name of nominee, the nominee's affiliation, address, phone, email; name of nominator, address, phone, email; a brief (no more than 200 words) description of the work serving as the basis for the nomination; and a list of relevant publications (no more than 5). Please send submissions by email to

View listing of Past Recipients of the Gunther Laukien Prize

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